What is gridiron?

Read on to find out more about the game itself, and what it’s like to play football with the Crusaders and Foxes.

The basics:

Our men’s team, the Cru, play 11-a-side football, while the Junior Cru (under 19’s) and our women’s team, the Foxes, play nine-a-side.

The other main difference between the three teams is that the men’s teams can attempt place kick field goals, while women only punt the ball for position and don’t kick for points.

While it’s full contact, that doesn’t just mean anything goes. All teams play under NCAA rules, which can be found here.

Games:

The senior men’s season runs from May through August, while the Junior Cru and Foxes play from September until late November.

Matches are played on a mix of both Saturday and Sunday.

There are finals for the top ranking teams, and all three seasons culminate in a championship game known as “The Vic Bowl”.

Training:

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never played the game, or even a team sport before. Come down to one of our training sessions and join in or simply take a look.

For more information about training please visit the training information page.

What’s it like to be part of the Cru/Foxes?

Gridiron is the ultimate team sport. Most people think it’s the quarterback that does all the work – while they do have an incredibly important job, a team cannot succeed unless every single person is doing their part.

This is true both on AND off the field at the Western Crusaders.

Our club slogan is “We Are One”.

Being part of the team as a player, coach or official isn’t just about winning championships – although we’re pretty great at that, too. It’s about forming lifelong friendships, working together, supporting one another and becoming outstanding members of the community

The club prides itself on creating an inclusive environment for people of all ages, shapes, sizes and backgrounds.

We want to help make every player the best footballer they can be – whether you’ve been following the NFL for 20 years or if you’ve only just discovered the game.

What position should I play and who decides?

One of the coaches will recommend a position based on your size and skill set. You’ll be provided with the opportunity to work hard to earn that position, and positions are granted based on effort, knowledge of the playbook and aptitude for the position.

One of the best parts about football is that there is a place on the field for everyone, no matter how big or small you are. Each player has a specific role, and plays an integral part within the team.

All teams have an offensive and a defensive unit and it’s possible to play both sides of the ball.

You might have a great vertical leap and a safe set of hands, meaning you’d be perfect as a wide receiver. Or tackling could be more your thing, which would make you an ideal linebacker.

For more info, you can check out a list of positions here.

Fees:

Fees for the 2015 season are $400 for the Cru and $300 for the Foxes.

Fees get reviewed annually and information and forms will be distributed during pre-season. For people on limited budgets, we can co-ordinate payment plans.

Equipment:

Safety is of the utmost importance to the Western Crusaders and our governing body, Gridiron Victoria.

Each player is required to wear a helmet, shoulder pads, a mouthguard and lower body padding (protecting the hips, tailbone, thigh and knee.)

Below are some links to online companies that sell equipment.

Mouthguards can be purchased from chemists and sporting stores, but we highly recommend that players visit a dentist and get one specially molded to their mouth.

For people on limited budget, rental equipment is available through the club.

Insurance:

We strongly recommend that all players cover themselves with private health insurance and income protection insurance.

We also advise that all players purchase Ambulance Victoria membership – details can be found on the Ambulance Victoria website.

Concussion policy:

Suiting up for a game of full-kit gridiron feels like putting on a suit of armor. But even though we’re covered in protective gear, we’re not invulnerable to injury – especially concussions.

The issue of concussion management and awareness in sport is a huge talking point in all codes, and the Crusaders/Foxes are proactive and protective when it comes to the safety and well being of players.

Gridiron Victoria now requires all players to comply with its concussion policy, and the club is strongly backing the tougher stance.

Forms:

All Membership and Registration forms can be found on the Player resources page.