How football at Cambridge fits into the bigger picture

posted in: Juniors, Men, Women, Youth

When a Cambridge FC player pulls on a pair of boots to play organised football, they become part of a global and national movement to provide them with the best experience possible.

Here’s a beginner’s guide to how the sport is administered, and how it impacts on players (whether they are four-years-old or 64-years-old; whether they are male or female):


The sport’s global body is Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) which oversees the laws of the game and all formats of the sport (including association football, futsal, beach soccer and efootball).

Regionally, FIFA administers the sport through six confederations, including the Oceania Football Confederation whose member nations include New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, and other Pacific Island countries.

New Zealand

Our national body is New Zealand Football. This body sets out the strategies and plans for developing the sport in New Zealand. It’s also responsible for providing leadership on such things as codes of conduct, standards of discipline and ethical issues.

It delivers strategies and plans through seven regional federations.


Cambridge FC is one of 100+ schools and clubs affiliated to WaiBOP Football, the federation that looks after more than 14,000 registered players in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

When Cambridge footballers participate in organised games or activities, our club is working within the guidelines of NZ Football’s plans to deliver the best possible experiences for all players, regardless of age, gender or level of participation.

The key plans are:

NZF Whole of Football Plan >>>>

NZF National Curriculum >>>>

McDonalds Junior Framework >>>>

Youth Framework >>>>

Club level

As a club affiliated to WaiBOP Football and NZ Football, Cambridge FC plays its part in supporting the achievement of the Whole of Football Plan and the implementation of the curriculum and junior/youth frameworks.

The club pays more than $25,000 a year in affiliation fees to WaiBOP and NZF.

The club’s executive committee has the responsibility of ensuring the structure of our teams/players fits with the frameworks and any regional competition rules. Examples are the banding of players by age within grades, and adhering to game rules.

The club’s Technical Director, Ricki Herbert, is responsible for leading our coaches at all levels to meet the standards required to deliver the national curriculum.

As part of the club’s commitment to deliver the curriculum, it has a partnership with the Ricki Herbert Football Academy to provide a skills centre within the club, and to run player development programmes. These are endorsed by WaiBOP Football.

Having your say

Every November, our club holds its Annual General Meeting. This is a good forum to understand how the club runs, and to share opinions on the club and its part within the region.

In mid-year, WaiBOP Football holds its Annual General Meeting, giving affiliated clubs the chance to elect board members and to participate in the discussion of the body’s annual report, its plans and activities. WaiBOP also holds meetings with clubs before and after each winter season, providing opportunities for discussion.

WaiBOP’s delegates attend the New Zealand Football Congress and help elect the sport’s board of directors.

Grassroots participants in the game have the opportunity to influence decision-making within the sport. It starts with active participation in your club.