AFL Rules Part C: Administrative Provisions

PART C: ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

2. CONTROLLING BODY

2.1 DEFINITION

A Controlling Body includes:
(a) the AFL;
(b) any league, association or body responsible for the organisation and conduct of Matches of Australian Football, who has determined to play such Matches in accordance with these Laws;
(c) a league, association or body responsible for the organisation and conduct of Matches of Australian Football and which is affiliated to the AFL (“AFL Affiliates”); and
(d) any league, association or body responsible for the organisation and conduct of Matches of Australian Football which is affiliated to the AFL Affiliates.

2.2 APPLICATION OF THESE LAWS

Unless Law 2.3 applies, these Laws shall apply to all Matches of Australian Football organised and conducted by a Controlling Body.

2.3 VARIATION/EXEMPTION

(a) A Controlling Body may apply to the AFL to vary these Laws as they apply to the competition or competitions conducted by the Controlling Body.
(b) An application to the AFL by a league, association or body affiliated to the AFL Affiliate shall be made through the AFL Affiliate.
(c) Unless specifically allowed under these Laws or a variation is allowed by the AFL under Law 2.3 (a), a Controlling Body shall not prescribe any rules or laws in addition to or which conflict with or affect the full operation of these Laws.

3. PLAYING SURFACE AND GOAL POSTS

3.1 GENERAL

The dimensions and markings of the Playing Surface and the playing positions for Players are contained in this Law 3 and illustrated in Diagram 1.

3.2 PLAYING SURFACE

(a) The Playing Surface shall be:
(i) oval in shape;
(ii) between 135 metres and 185 metres in length; and
(iii) between 110 metres and 155 metres in width.
(b) A white line shall be marked on the ground to identify the Playing Surface. This white line shall be drawn in the shape of an arc from the behind post at one end of the Playing Surface to the behind post at the other end of the Playing Surface. The white lines which are drawn are called the Boundary Line.

3.3 IDENTIFYING AREAS ON THE PLAYING SURFACE

The following areas shall be marked on the Playing Surface:
(a) a square, to be called the Centre Square, which shall:
(i) be located in the centre of the Playing Surface; and
(ii)be 50 metres long and 50 metres wide;
(b) a Centre Circle three metres in diameter and an outer circle 10 metres in diameter which shall:
(i) be located in the middle of the Centre Square; and
(ii) both be divided into two semicircles, by drawing a straight line parallel with each goal line;
(c) an Interchange Area, which shall be 15 metres wide;
(d) a Goal Square at each end of the Playing Surface;
(e) the Goal Line and Behind Line; and
(f) a Fifty-Metre Arc at each end of the Playing Surface.

3.4 RELOCATION OF CENTRE SQUARE

Where a Controlling Body is satisfied that the area within the Centre Square and Centre Circle will prevent the bouncing of the football or is otherwise in an unsuitable condition, it may direct the relocation of the Centre Square and or Centre Circle.

3.5 GOAL POSTS AND BEHIND POSTS

3.5.1 Position
(a) Two posts, to be called goal posts, shall be a minimum height of 6 metres and be placed at each end of the Playing Surface at a distance of 6.4 metres apart.
(b) A further two posts, to be called behind posts, shall be a minimum height of 3 metres and be placed at a distance of 6.4 metres on each side of the goal posts so that a straight line can be drawn on the ground to join each post.

3.5.2 Padding
A Controlling Body must ensure that padding is attached around each goal and behind post as follows:
(a) a minimum of 35 millimetres thick foam padding, covered in canvas or painted;
(b) a minimum height of 2.5 metres from the bottom of each goal and behind post;
(c) a suitable width to allow the padding to be fixed around each goal and behind post; and
(d) the padding must be securely attached around each goal and behind post.

3.6 GOAL SQUARE AND KICK-OFF LINE

A further area, to be called the Goal Square, shall be marked by drawing two lines at right angles to the Goal Line for a distance of 9 metres from each goal post and connecting the outer end of each line by a straight line. This line is called the Kick-Off Line.

3.7 UNDER-AGE COMPETITIONS

A controlling body may approve smaller dimensions for the playing surface and areas identified under Law 3.3 for an under-age competition or for open age competition where a complying venue is not readily available.

4. THE FOOTBALL

4.1 SPECIFICATIONS

Unless otherwise determined by the AFL, a football shall be of a symmetrical oval shape and conform to the standard size of 720–730 millimetres in circumference and 545–555 millimetres transverse circumference and be inflated to a pressure of 62–76Kpa.

4.2 SUPPLY AND SELECTION OF FOOTBALLS

Unless the Controlling Body decides on an alternative procedure, the following procedure shall apply to the supply and selection of footballs for a Match:
(a) the home Team shall supply a minimum of two footballs approved by the Controlling Body to the field Umpires before the commencement of the Match;
(b) the field Umpires shall inspect and ensure that the two footballs are suitable to be used during the Match;
(c) the field Umpires shall submit the two footballs to the captain of the away Team, who shall select the football to be used; and
(d) unless the captains of each Team otherwise agree, the football selected by the captain of the away Team shall be the football used for the entire Match.

5. TEAMS

5.1 NUMBER OF PLAYERS IN TEAM

Unless the number is varied under Law 5.2, a Team must consist of between 14 and 18 Players, who may be on the Playing Surface at any one time, and no more than 4 Interchange Players. The Controlling Body shall determine the actual number of Players which may play for each Team in the competitions conducted by the Controlling Body.

5.2 VARIATION OF NUMBER

Unless otherwise determined by the AFL, a Controlling Body may reduce below 14 or increase above 22 the number of Players (including Interchange Players) who may participate in a Match played in the competition conducted by the Controlling Body.

5.3 TEAM SHEETS

5.3.1 Details
Unless otherwise determined by a Controlling Body, a Team Sheet shall:
(a) list the names and numbers of the Players in the Team;
(b) identify the Interchange Players;
(c) identify the captain; and
(d) list the name of the coach, Team Runner(s) and any other Official participating in the Match.

5.3.2 Completing and Lodging Team Sheet
Unless otherwise determined by a Controlling Body, an Official of each Team shall complete and lodge with a field Umpire its Team Sheet no later than 30 minutes before the scheduled commencement of a Match.

5.4 CHANGE OF PLAYER GUERNSEY DURING MATCH

5.4.1 Replacement Guernsey
Each Team shall ensure that a replacement guernsey is available for each Player participating in a Match.

5.4.2 Replacement of Guernsey with Same Number
Where it becomes necessary to replace a guernsey worn by a Player during a Match, the Team shall ensure that the replacement guernsey displays the number allocated to the Player before the commencement of the Match.

5.4.3 Second Replacement of Guernsey
If it becomes necessary to replace the guernsey of a Player on a second occasion, a Player may wear a guernsey that displays a different number from that originally worn by the Player. Where the replacement guernsey of a Player does display a different number, the Team Runner shall advise the Interchange Steward and the field Umpire during the next interval or, if the change occurs during the final quarter, at the first available opportunity. Upon being advised, the Interchange Steward or field Umpire, as the case may be, shall make an appropriate amendment to the Team Sheet at the first available opportunity.

5.4.4 Variation by Controlling Body
Where financial or other circumstances of a Team reasonably prevents Law 5.4.2 being followed, the Controlling Body may allow the replacement guernsey worn by a Player to display a different number from that originally worn by the Player. Where the replacement guernsey of a Player does display a different number, the Team Runner shall advise the Interchange Steward and the field Umpire during the next interval or, if the change occurs during the final quarter, at the first available opportunity. Upon being advised, the Interchange Steward or the field Umpire, as the case may be, shall make an appropriate amendment to the Team Sheet at the first available opportunity.

5.5 COUNTING OF PLAYERS

5.5.1 Request by Captain
The captain or acting captain of a Team may at any time during a Match request that the field Umpire count the number of Players of the opposing Team who are on the Playing Surface.

5.5.2 Procedure
(a) Where a request is made under Law 5.5.1, the field Umpire shall:
(i) stop play at the first available opportunity;
(ii) call into line within the Centre Square the Players of both Teams who are at the time on the Playing Surface and count the number of Players;
(iii) upon completing the count, ensure that each Team has the permitted number of Players on the Playing Surface and then recommence play at the position on the Playing Surface where the field Umpire stopped play; and
(iv) as soon as practicable after the Match, report to the Controlling Body that a request has been made to count the number of Players in a Team and the number of Players actually counted.
(b) The maximum number of Players permitted on the Playing Surface at the same time is 18 per team or, in circumstances where a Player(s) has been ordered from the Playing Surface under Law 20, 18 less the Player(s) ordered from the Playing Surface.

5.5.3 Players Exceeding Permitted Number
Where a Team has more than the permitted number of Players on the Playing Surface, the following shall apply:
(a) a field Umpire shall award a Free Kick to the captain or acting captain of the opposing Team, which shall be taken at the Centre Circle or where play was stopped, whichever is the greater penalty against the offending Team;
(b) a Fifty-Metre Penalty shall then be imposed from the position where the Free Kick was awarded; and
(c) the Team shall lose all points which it has scored in the Match up to the time of the count.

5.5.4 Correct Number and Request Without Merit
Where a count reveals that the opposing Team has the permitted number of Players on the Playing Surface, the following shall apply:
(a) a field Umpire shall award a Free Kick to the captain or acting captain of the opposing Team, which shall be taken at the Centre Circle or where play was stopped, whichever is the greater penalty against the offending Team;
(b) a Fifty-Metre Penalty shall then be imposed from the position where the Free Kick was awarded; and
(c) if a field Umpire is of the opinion that a request was made under Law 5.5.1 primarily to delay play or such request did not have sufficient merit, the field Umpire shall report the Player who requested the count for Time Wasting under Law 19.2.2.

6. TEAM OFFICIALS AND TEAM RUNNER(S)

6.1 CONTROLLING BODY TO REGULATE

A Controlling Body shall adopt rules which:
(a) specify the times and occasions when an Official and Team Runner(s) may enter the Playing Surface; and
(b) identify the tasks or duties which such persons may perform when on the Playing Surface.

6.2 IDENTIFICATION

Each Team Official and Team Runner(s) shall wear a uniform or other form of identification (such as an armband), as determined by the Controlling Body.