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AFL Rules

Basic Rules Explained- Rules vary based on age group and gender.

In Australian Rules each team consists of eighteen players with four substitutes. The substitutes can come on and off at
any time throughout the match. There are three central or field umpires, who control of the game.


Each game consists of 4 quarters of 20 minutes each. Game length used to be 4 quarters of 25 minutes, but was changed
in 1994 to 20 minutes, with the allowance for additional time-on when the ball goes out-of-bounds.


The playing area is oval shaped. With dimensions between 135 and 185 metres in length and 110 and 155 metres in width.


The object of the game is to outscore the opposition.


A goal is scored when a player kicks the ball between the two tallest upright posts. Six points is given for a goal. If the ball
passes either side of the tall posts, it is called a behind and the team scores one point.


The game commences with the umpire bouncing the ball in the centre of the pitch. The players then try to move the ball towards their goals by either handpassing, which is holding the ball in one hand and punching it with the other hand, or kicking it.


If a player kicks the ball and another player, either his teammate or the opposition catches it (called a mark) then that player can stop play without fear of being tackled by the opposition.


When a player has the ball they are able to run with the ball but must bounce the ball on the ground a least once every ten metres.

When a team has the ball within reach of goal, usually 50 metres and closer, they then try to kick a goal.


When a foul is committed a free kick is awarded to the opposition team. They are then given the ball to start the game from wherever the foul was committed.

Here is a list of reasons for a free-kicks to be awarded.

  • Pushing an opponent in the back.

  • Tackling an opponent around the neck.

  • Throwing the ball.

  • Being tackled fairly by your opponent and then dropping the ball.

  • Being tackled by your opponent when you don't have the ball.

  • Kicking the ball out of bounds on the full.

  • Running with the ball for more than 10 metres without bouncing it on the ground.



Age Group Rules

Age Group Rules - refer to the current AFL SJ COMPETITION RULES & BY LAWS. 

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