AFL Rules: Marking the Football

14. MARKING THE FOOTBALL

14.1 DEFINITION

A Mark is taken if, in the opinion of the field Umpire, a Player catches or takes control of the football:
(a) within the Playing Surface; and
(b) after it has been Kicked by another Player a distance of at least 15 metres; and
(c) which has not touched the ground or been touched by another Player during the period when the football was Kicked until it was caught or controlled by the Player.

14.2 PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES

(a) For the avoidance of doubt, a Mark shall be awarded if:
(i) a Player catches or takes control of the football before it has passed completely over the Boundary Line, Goal Line or Behind Line; or
(ii) before the football was caught or controlled by the Player, it was touched by an Umpire or any other Official.
(b) The field Umpire may consult with the boundary or goal Umpire before deciding whether a Mark has been taken before the football passed completely over the Boundary Line, Goal Line or Behind Line.

14.3 PLAYER TO BE AWARDED THE MARK

(a) Where a field Umpire is of the opinion that a Player has taken a Mark, the field Umpire shall award the Mark to the Player at the location on the Playing Surface where the Mark was taken.
(b) Law 16 shall apply when a Player has been awarded a Mark.

14.4 FIELD UMPIRE TO SIGNAL “TOUCHED, PLAY ON”

Where a football is touched by another Player during the period when the football was Kicked until it is caught or controlled by a Player, the field Umpire shall immediately call and signal “Touched, Play On” in order to indicate to the Players that a Mark will not be awarded.

14.5 WHEN A MARK IS NOT AWARDED

Where a Player claims to have taken a Mark which is not awarded by the field Umpire, the following shall apply:
(a) if the Player does not retain possession of the football, play shall continue; or
(b) if the Player retains possession of the football and the Player is Correctly Tackled by an opponent, the field Umpire shall throw the football in accordance with Law 11.3.1, provided they are satisfied that the Player did not hear or see the signal of “Touched, Play On” or “Play On”. If the field Umpire considers that the Player did hear or see the signal of “Touched, Play On” or “Play On”, Law 15.2.3 shall apply.

14.6 FIELD UMPIRE CANCELS MARK

(a) Where a field Umpire is of the opinion that they have incorrectly blown the whistle to award a mark that was not subsequently completed, they may cancel the decision and call “Play On”.
(b) If the Player retains possession of the football, and the Player is correctly tackled by an opponent, the field Umpire shall throw the football in accordance with Law 11.3.1
provided the field Umpire is satisfied that the Player could not reasonably have disposed of the football.