AIA Vitality MiniRoos is a nation-wide modified version of football that provides a football experience for players up to the age of 11. There are no ladders and no finals, scores are not recorded. There are a few reasons for this that are not always fully understood.
The technical aspects of Football in Australia are governed by a National Curriculum. It’s a comprehensive document that aims to ensure that the sport is being taught to consistent standards across the country.
The National Curriculum divides a player’s development into a number of phases. For MiniRoo players the relevant phase for most is the Discovery Phase, and for the older players, the beginning of the Skill Acquisition Phase.
The aim in the Discovery phase is to learn to love the game, to ‘learn football by playing football’. Children at this age are still developing their coordination, are ‘self-centered’ so don’t get the team concept yet, and have short attention spans. Removing factors that may limit their enjoyment, like an emphasis on winning, fields that are too big and too many players on the field, increase the likelihood that they will stick with football (and indeed sport in general) until they are ready to learn the skills to be successful.
The aim for the Skill Acquisition phase is self explanatory. The tactics that win games at the Under 10 level are not the same tactics that teach players the skills they will need as their opposition becomes more skillful and intelligent. So by removing the results factor, the emphasis can remain on teaching the core skills that will stick with players throughout their football lives.
So you see that the lack of ladders and results is not about shielding children from the realities of life, as is sometimes suggested. It is about creating an environment that focuses purely on the most important factors for their growth as footballers, enjoyment and learning.