FOOTBALL Wagga believe they've found the right mix of giving players value for money while maintaining the fairness of competition schedules after unveiling a radical cup and plate system for this season.
Senior competitions will play 11 rounds, with a bye on the long weekend of October 3 before a three week top-four finals series, culminating in grand finals on October 24-25.
In the nine-team Pascoe Cup, each team will play each other once before the competition is broken into top four and bottom five divisions, where teams will play another three games against opponents in their division.
All teams will play finals, with the top half winner to claim the 'cup' and the bottom half the 'plate'.
Senior competitions will begin on July 11, a week after junior competitions commence.
Although the revised schedule means competitions will only finish a month later than usual, a major sticking point is the senior grand finals will now be held on the same day as the NRL grand final.
Football Wagga president Tony Dobbin said they wanted to give players as many games as possible, and also feels the system will make every game relevant and keep bottom half teams motivated.
"If players are going to pay their fees we wanted the cost of matches to be as low as possible," he said.
"Usually once you can't make finals or have booked your spot teams do take their foot off the pedal, this gives every game some meaning.
"It's provided an incentive to play hard at the end of the season if you're not one of the top four teams."
While the system is viewed as a solid compromise, Dobbin said it would be considered for future seasons if it's a success.
"We would evaluate at the end of the season whether we continue it going forward," he said.
"This is certainly something which has helped us this year, but I think we'll ask for the club and player feedback for next year."
"We've had a lot of positive feedback about it."
Football Wagga last had a cup and plate system around six years ago.
Dobbin said it's too early to say whether Wagga teams will have to travel out of town to play games when cricket season begins.
"Possibly, possibly not because we've got an eye on what cricket's doing," he said.
"We've only extended the season by a month and for us that's going to work quite well."
Juniors will play a 15 week season, which includes three weeks of finals.
The makeup of the Leonard and Madden Cups (women's first and second grade) are still to be finalised, with player assessments to be undertaken.