AFL Rules: Infectious Diseases

22. INFECTIOUS DISEASES

22.1 THE MEANING OF ACTIVE BLEEDING

In this Law 22, the term “Active Bleeding” means the existence of an injury or wound, which continues to bleed. Active Bleeding does not include minor bleeding from a graze or scratch, which has abated and can be readily removed from a Player or any part of their uniform.

22.2 PARTICIPATION IN MATCHES WHEN ACTIVELY BLEEDING

(a) Unless Law 22.7 applies:
(i) a Player must not remain on the Playing Surface for so long as they are Actively Bleeding; and
(ii) a Club or Team must not allow any of its Players to remain on the Playing Surface for so long as the Player is Actively Bleeding.
(b) Unless immediate treatment needs to be given, having due regard to a Player’s health and safety, a Club or Team must not allow any Player who is Actively Bleeding to be treated on the Playing Surface.

22.3 ACTIVE BLEEDING — ROLE OF UMPIRE

22.3.1 Role of Umpire
Where a field Umpire is of the opinion that a Player is Actively Bleeding, the field Umpire must stop play at the first available opportunity:
(a) direct the Player concerned to immediately leave the Playing Surface; and
(b) subject to Law 22.3.3, wait a reasonable period to allow the replacement Player to take up position before recommencing play; and recommence play.

22.3.2 Player to Follow Directions of Field Umpire
Where a Player is directed by a field Umpire to leave the Playing Surface because they are Actively Bleeding, the Player must leave the Playing Surface immediately through the Interchange Area. The Player must not re-enter the Playing Surface or take any further part in any Match until and unless:
(a) the cause of such bleeding has been abated;
(b) the injury is securely bound to ensure that all blood is contained;
(c) any blood-stained article of uniform has been removed and replaced; and
(d) any blood on any part of the Player’s body has been thoroughly cleansed and removed.

22.3.3 Replacement Player
A Player directed to leave the Playing Surface may be replaced by another Player listed on the Team Sheet. A replacement Player may enter the Playing Surface while the Player that they are replacing is leaving the Playing Surface. If a replacement Player has not entered the Playing Surface by the time the directed Player has left the Playing Surface, the field Umpire must recommence play immediately.

22.3.4 Refusal to Leave Playing Surface
Where a Player refuses to or does not immediately leave the Playing Surface when directed to do so by a field Umpire, the following will apply:
(a) the field Umpire must warn the Player that a Free Kick will be awarded and that the Player may be reported if they do not leave the Playing Surface;
(b) if the Player still refuses to leave the Playing Surface, the field Umpire must award a Free Kick to the Player of the opposing Team who is nearest to where the warning was given or where play was stopped, whichever is the greatest penalty;
(c) if the Player refuses to leave the Playing Surface:
(i) the field Umpire shall report the Player for misconduct in failing to follow a direction of an Umpire;
(ii) the Match will immediately end and be forfeited by the reported Player’s Team; and
(iii) Law 10.7 will apply to any match which is forfeited.

22.4 PROCEDURE WHEN PLAYER NOT ACTIVELY BLEEDING

Where a field Umpire is of the opinion that a Player is not Actively Bleeding, but the Player has blood on any part of their body or uniform, the following will apply:
(a) at the first available opportunity, the field Umpire must signal and direct the Player to obtain treatment. After the signal is given, play will continue;
(b) the Player may remain on the Playing Surface after the signal is given by the field Umpire, but must at the earliest opportunity:
(i) in the case of blood being on any part of their uniform, have the piece of uniform removed and replaced; and/or
(ii) in the case of blood being on any part of their body, have the blood removed and the cause of any bleeding (if any) treated and covered so that all blood is contained;
(c) if after receiving treatment, the field Umpire is of the opinion that blood is still appearing on any part of the Player’s body or uniform, the Player is deemed to be Actively Bleeding and Law 22.3 will apply.

22.5 VARIATION BY CONTROLLING BODY

A Controlling Body may adopt its own rules to specify that Law 22.3 applies to all bleeding.

22.6 FAILURE TO OBEY DIRECTION

(a) A Player’s refusal to promptly obey a direction of a field Umpire given under Law 22.3 or 22.4 is a Reportable Offence.
(b) Any fine, period of suspension or other sanction determined by a Tribunal or other body hearing the Reportable Offence shall be in addition to any sanction which may be imposed by a Controlling Body under Law 22.14.

22.7 SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES AT THE END OF A QUARTER

A Player awarded a Mark or Free Kick may Kick the football after the field Umpire has signalled that play has come to an end, even though the Player is at that time Actively Bleeding. However, this Law is subject to Law 16.6.

22.8 DELIBERATE SMEARING OF BLOOD

Regardless of any other provision in these Laws, if a Player intentionally smears or otherwise causes blood to be placed on another Player’s body or uniform, the field Umpire must immediately stop play and allow that Player such time as is necessary to have the blood removed or item of uniform removed and replaced.

22.9 PROTECTIVE GLOVES

Each Club or Team must ensure that any doctor, trainer and any other person treating Players of a Team wears protective gloves as may be approved from time to time by the relevant Controlling Body.

22.10 DISPOSAL OF BLOODIED CLOTHING AND OTHER MATERIAL

Each Club or Team must ensure that:
(a) any bloodied item of uniform or clothing of a Player is placed as soon as possible in a hygienic sealed container and laundered to ensure the removal of all blood; and
(b) all towels, wipes, bandages, dressings and other materials used in the treatment of bleeding Players must be placed in a hygienic sealed container and discarded or destroyed in a hygienic manner.

22.11 DRESSING ROOMS

Each Club or Team must ensure that all dressing rooms and other areas occupied by the Team prior to, during or immediately following the completion of any Match are kept clean and that no blood remains on any surface, equipment, hand basin, toilet, shower, bath or other area. All such surfaces, equipment and areas must be cleansed and disinfected immediately after contact with blood.

22.12 HYGIENE

Each Club or Team must ensure that:
(a) Players do not urinate (other than in a toilet) in or about any dressing rooms or on the Playing Surface prior to, during or immediately following the completion of any Match; and
(b) each of its Players observe a high standard of personal hygiene.

22.13 TRAINERS

Unless Law 22.4 applies, a trainer or other personnel responsible for the treatment of Players shall not provide treatment to a Player on the Playing Surface for any cut, abrasion or other injury involving the discharge of blood.

22.14 SANCTIONS — CONTROLLING BODY

A Controlling Body may impose a sanction upon a Player, Club or Team for a breach of any obligation imposed under this Law 22.