When, for whatever reason there's an awareness program underway encouraging folk to consider volunteering in sport, it's almost certainly valid and justified. Just as for many sporting activities, there are not enough facilities going around for the number who want to participate, there is a commensurate shortage of people to make it happen when eventually the playing spaces are found. It hasn't always been that way. For a century and more in Australia, putting up one's hand to help in delivering community sport and along the pathway beyond was cultural norm - a fine tradition with which hundreds of thousands have engaged. More often than not the biggest problem was finding sufficient tasks to allocate something meaningful for everyone who was willing and able. But times have indeed changed - and mostly because imposed external factors have made volunteering that much harder. Compliance requirements in this space have got out of hand. There are some which in the modern world make absolute sense - like needing to have a working with children and vulnerable people card. But there are others that just turn good folk away from doing what they might be very prepared to do. Whether for those who oversee competition who must carry out endless nit-picking checklists before the action can proceed or those with responsibility in governance who are inundated with policy mandates. In administration the decline can be traced back to the 1990s when the Australian Sports Commission decided that it was time - at least for national sporting bodies - for their boards to be populated by able corporate types rather than capable folk who knew about the sport. After two decades of experimentation, many NSOs are drifting back to models which have a decent mix of the two skill-sets - which should perhaps have been the design in from the outset. The flirtation with corporates-only and the accompanying standardised governance principles which all must follow or lose government privileges - mostly funding related - has left those in charge of sports massively disconnected from those who in reality actually make them happen. It's true that in most cases those in charge in the boardrooms are, like their counterparts, delivering sport at the coalface, acting in a voluntary capacity but it's there that more often than not the similarities end. As a volunteer of more than 40 years asked recently - do any of those on the board know that we have to pay to park our car in order to give our services that we remain completely happy to do for free? This is where another more modern phenomenon come into play - the third-party manager of facilities. These entities - sometimes government agencies, sometimes commercial operations - are given briefs or contracts that simply don't consider the volunteer who is making the sport tick. They often don't consider the lot of those who are actually taking part either. As a general observation, things in Tasmania are much better than on the mainland where some of the stories are simply dollar-driven with zero consideration of what the entity might be there for in the first place. But even here, there are instances where over-administration of venues has challenged the delivery of the sport for which they were originally created - an obvious example being Launceston's Silverdome. It's vital that the new superstructure created by the State Government is not so over-populated by administrative and operational personnel that the use of venues under their watch by sporting groups, particularly those at the grassroots, become impossible. There are so many silly stories about similar bodies on the big island, that the warning signs should be heeded. Venues becoming unavailable to sport so that film or television productions can be undertaken - car parks are closed to participants - long term fundraising licenses for canteens or bars are cast aside - restrictions applied to volunteers bringing their lunches or tools of trade on site - are just examples of a list of unworthy behaviours longer than the growing list of compliance requirements. Surveys indicate that Australians remain perfectly happy to volunteer in sport - but they don't need to be taxed to do so.