As the October 14 deadline approaches for affiliates to sign on with Touch Football Australia, more and more people are contacting the office, asking how the decision their affiliate makes will affect them. In the past couple of weeks information packs were sent out to every affiliate Australia-wide (with the exception of NSW affiliates), containing info on the unitary model of managment and the process and benefits of affiliation with Touch Football Australia (TFA). This article contains 10 FAQ’s about the NTL, what this means for elite players, info for coaches/referees/selectors, insurance, assets and more. If you are wondering the importance of your affiliates decision for you as a general Touchie, click here for the full story: 1) I’M AN ELITE PLAYER. WHAT HAPPENS TO ME? Players must be part of an affiliated competition to be eligible to participate in the National Touch League (NTL) and all other competitions run or sanctioned by Touch Football Australia (TFA). Players from unaffiliated competitions will not be able to play in regional, state, interstate, national or international competitions. This follows through into Regional, State, and National representative teams, with only players from affiliated competitions being eligible for selection. This is no different than the rules in place already. The current NTL “Conditions of Entry” require that all participating ATA NTL Permit holders and CB’s and Participants must be fully financial with the ATA and abide by the laws and by-laws of the ATA – ie you (Participants) will not be eligible to be a part of the NTL if you are involved in a non-affiliated competition. Representative players are also currently chosen from affiliated competitions only. Talent ID and high performance support of all kinds, including funding assistance to events, camps, sports science and medicine – will only be available to players from affiliated competitions. There will be no elite pathway for athletes involved in unaffiliated competition. Rumours of “elite competition” against New Zealand teams are false. The Touch New Zealand Board has informed us that they will not be sanctioning any competition between non-affiliated regions in Australia with affiliated members of TNZ. Please note: NSW players are not affected, as under the new constitution NSW is a member in its own right. 2) I’M AN ACCREDITED COACH / OFFICIAL. WHAT HAPPENS TO ME? Touch Football Australia (TFA) is the peak body for the sport and is recognised by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC). TFA runs courses and accredits coaches and officials under the auspices of the National Coaching Accreditation Scheme and the National Officiating Accreditation Scheme of the ASC. To be eligible to further your career or knowledge as a coach or official under these schemes, you will need to be a part of an affiliated competition. Only TFA will run nationally recognised courses as these courses are copyright and non-affiliated bodies will not be able to run them. In addition only TFA will offer qualifications for coaches and officials that will be recognised nationally and internationally. Assessments for coaches and officials will only be available at TFA sanctioned competitions. State and national coaches, referees and selectors will be chosen from among those involved in affiliated competitions only. 3) AS AN AFFILIATE, WE RUN / WANT TO RUN AUSTOUCH. WHAT IMPACT DOES THE UNITARY MODEL HAVE? AusTouch is the official vehicle for introducing juniors into the sport. It was developed by Touch Football Australia (TFA) with assistance from the Australian Sports Commission and is copyright. No unaffiliated organisation will be able to run AusTouch programs or use AusTouch resources. 4) OUR AFFILIATE NEEDS SERVICE FROM DEVELOPMENT OFFICERS. HOW DOES THE NEW MODEL IMPACT ON THIS? Development Officers from the TFA offices in each state will provide service to affiliated competitions only. 5) OUR AFFILIATE RUNS/IS PLANNING TO RUN SPORTING PULSE FOR OUR COMPETITION MANAGEMENT. IF WE DON’T AFFILIATE, WHAT HAPPENS? Only affiliated competitions will have access to Sporting Pulse, which is paid for through affiliation fees. If TFA does not receive an affiliate’s fees, then it cannot provide the service to them. 6) WILL WE BE INSURED IF WE DON’T AFFILIATE? No. Affiliation fees paid to TFA include a component for insurance which is immediately forwarded to the national insurance provider along with details of whom is paying the insurance. If fees are not paid, you will not be covered. Non-affiliated competitions may seek other insurance arrangements. However, by virtue of large purchasing power, TFA is able to offer low rates and good cover. Alternative arrangements by smaller organisations are unlikely to be competitive or offer comparable benefits. 7) WHAT HAPPENS TO THE NTL PERMITS? The current arrangements for Permits in all states except Qld will not change, since all affiliates will become part of TFA. The current arrangements for NSW Permits will not change. 8) I’M FROM A QLD REGION THAT DOES NOT SUPPORT THE NEW STRUCTURE. WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR NTL PERMIT? TFA owns and allocates all Permits. The TFA Board will reconsider the allocation of Permits in Qld on the basis of the number of affiliates that become members of TFA as of October 14, 2005. TFA will cancel Permits currently allocated to those regions that are not part of the new structure. Sunshine Coast will be allocated the current Rustlers Permit. TFA affiliates across the Rustlers drawing area will be eligible to be a part of the Permit but athletes from non-affiliated competitions will not. Brisbane City will retain their Permit. 9) HOW MUCH WILL AFFILIATION FEES COST UNDER THE NEW STRUCTURE? For the upcoming season, fees will remain as they are now. However, once the new structure is fully in place and we are able to budget effectively, fees will be reviewed for season one 2006. 10) OUR AFFILIATE HAS ASSETS. IF WE BECOME PART OF TFA DO WE HAVE TO TRANSFER THEM TO TFA? No. Affiliates continue to operate as they do now. Assets of affiliates will not be affected; they will not be transferred to anyone at any time.