Yeah it's a tough one, with no easy answers. Blokes are going to chase premierships, and if that means playing down the grades then it's very hard to stop. You can't add more games as an eligibility requirement, because that just discriminates against genuine low graders who get injured or go on holidays or work some weekends. Maybe you institute a rule that more than 3 starts in a high grade disqualifies you from finals in the grade two below? Eg you start 3 2nd grade games and then can't play 4ths. But would that just discriminate against guys who back up for their club when numbers are low? Or guys who fall down the grades legitimately due to poor form or injury? It's a problem, though. My 4ths got beaten in the GF the last two years with sides featuring players that didn't face us in the two regular season encounters, who were clearly of 1st or 2nd grade standard. Regardless of ability all of our players have played 4ths all year. .