Rules of Play
AFLM rules include some minor variations to maximise the enjoyment of the game while reducing the risk of injury for older players.
- Behind – kicked by any type of kick is 1 point
- Goal – kicked by any type of kick is 6 points
- At all times the ball shall be thrown up and not bounced.
- Only one player from each team to contest all ruck knocks
- Involvement in contest of a third or subsequent player shall result in a free kick against third or subsequent player.
- A free kick shall be awarded against any ruckman who raises his knee or leg against his opponent when contesting any ruck knock.
- At boundary throw ins only one player from each team to contest the ruck. However if throw-in is poor or misdirected the umpire is to immediately call play on and not recall the throw-in. If throw-in is satisfactory any third or subsequent player involvement in the rucking contest will result in a free kick against such player.
- The player in front of a pack competing for a mark is to be given every protection and opportunity to take the mark. Any unnecessary or deliberate interference by opponent player/s in attempting to mark or prevent the player in front of the pack from taking the mark shall result in a free kick being awarded to the player in front of the pack. The interference could take the form of a knee or boot being put into a player’s body.
- Holding the ball/ Prior Opportunity Rule These rules replace the previous barging rules.
- A player in possession of the ball who has had reasonable time (prior opportunity) to dispose of the ball MUST when legally held by an opponent firmly enough to retard his progress, dispose of the ball by a kick or handball with in a reasonable time of being held, otherwise a free kick shall be awarded against the player for failing to dispose of the ball in a legal manner.
- The field umpire shall throw the ball up when the player withy the ball has the ball held to his body by an opponent, unless the player has had a reasonable time (prior opportunity) to dispose of the ball prior to being tackled, in which case a free kick shall be awarded for holding the ball.
- Holding the ball in: A player who elects to dive on the ball and or drag the ball under him when he is on the ground will be penalised for holding the ball if he does not immediately hit the ball clear when held legally.
- When a player is fairly bumped in the side and the ball falls from his hands – the call is play on. Likewise when a player is either knocked on the arms causing him to drop.
- Player Protection
- All players making the ball their objective are to be given the utmost protection by the umpire. Any contact other than a legal side bump or legal tackle (between knee and shoulder) shall be deemed unduly rough play and a free kick awarded.
- Charges (shirt front) are banned irrespective of ball proximity. A charge means an act of colliding with an opposition player where the amount of physical force used is unreasonable or unnecessary, irrespective of ball proximity.
- Slinging players to the ground, whether the player is in possession of the ball or not is illegal and shall result in a free kick being awarded or if it happens after the ball has been disposed of, a free kick shall be awarded down the field where the ball lands.
- Late contact, in any form, when the ball has been disposed of, will result in a relayed free kick being paid down the field.
- Chopping with a clenched fist will result in a free kick being awarded.
- A free kick shall be granted against a player who deliberately kicks at the ball whilst an opposing player (s) has his hand on or near the ball or is on the ground in the immediate vicinity of the ball.
- 50 metre penalty – A 50 metre penalty only shall be applied in all instances.
- AFL Advantage Rule – To be paid at all times
- The ball shall be kept in motion. The field umpire shall call “Play On” even though a free kick should have been awarded, but by doing so would penalise the team offended against.
- If the field umpire has sounded his whistle for a free kick, he may cancel such a free kick by calling “Play On” or “Advantage” if the side offended against will be penalised by enforcing the free kick. Should the field umpire cancel a free kick, he may reverse the decision if it is obvious that it is not to the advantage of the team concerned.
- Order Off Rule
- Field umpires shall carry red and yellow cards for all matched. Players shown a YELLOW or RED card can be replaced for the set duration of the penalty period relating to the card colour.
- In addition to an umpire, a controlling body (being in this case the AFL Masters Board) may authorise a person or persons to report any player or official who commits or engages in conduct which may constitute a Reportable Offence. Any person so authorised shall have the same powers and duties as imposed upon an umpire under this law.
- Players can be ordered off for the following indiscretions:-
- Yellow Card Penalty
Any player who commits but not limited to any of the following offences:-
- throwing a player to the ground after the ball is out of play
- attempting to strike another player
- charging another player
- engaging in a melee
- engages in rough play
- including shoulder charges to the back of an opposing player,
- charges on shepherding player
- or unnecessary, vicious pushes and shepherds.
- May be replaced
Yellow Card Penalty shall be automatic send-off duration of current match and the remainder of the current game day. Player may be replaced.
- Red Card Penalty
Any player who commits but not limited to the following offences:-
- unduly interferes with or assaults or uses threatening language to an umpire or behaves in a threatening manner towards an umpire
- assaults another player or official
- kicks or attempts to kick another player or official
- intentionally or attempts to trip by foot or leg
- front on shoulder charging (shirt front)
- May be replaced
Red Card Penalty shall be automatic send-off for remainder of game the remainder of the current game day with player to face tribunal. If the players is found guilty of offence player’s team will incur mandatory two point loss and tribunal will decide if further penalty is required for offending player- Player can be replaced.
A second offence of a Yellow Card will automatically attract a Red Card.
- When an emergency umpire is in attendance, he shall have the power to issue cards for any indiscretions.
- Yellow Card Penalty
- Racial Abuse
- No player, spectator or official shall act towards or speak to any other person in a manner, or engage in any other conduct which threatens, disparages, vilifies or insults another person on the basis of that person’s race, religion, colour, descent or national or ethnic background.
- In the event that a person has contravened Rule 8.1 an umpire, club or player may lodge a complaint in writing within 24 hours to the Executive Director, who shall call a tribunal meeting.
- Best and Fairest
- Any player receiving a Red or Yellow Card or two Green Cards during the Carnival is not eligible for a fairest and best award.
- Judicial Proceedings
- Should any umpire submit a written report following the red carding of a players, the National Board or it’s appointed Tribunal shall meet to adjudicate on the case
- Blood Bin
- No person – i.e. players, umpires, trainers, runners, etc. shall participate in a game if he is bleeding or has blood on his uniform or person. A bleeding person will leave the field when directed by the field umpire and may be replaced.
- The bleeding person cannot return to the field, until the cause of the bleeding has stopped, the injury is securely covered and blood has been cleaned from the uniform and body to the satisfaction of the field umpire.
Only the field umpire in charge of play has the responsibility to send bleeding person from the ground. On noticing the blood or having the matter brought to his attention the field umpire shall stop play at the next available break in the play (score, out of bounds, throw up) and then direct the person from the field. Person leaving the ground must do so from the nearest point with field umpire acknowledging entry of replacement player, if the bleeding person is a player. Such replacement player may enter the field of play and take up his position before the bleeding player has left the field of play.
- Audible Bad Language
- Due to the age of our participants the National Board of Masters Australian Football encourages the involvement of families. To that end any player who engages in the use of bad language that the umpire deems could be heard beyond the boundaries of the playing field shall pay a free kick against the offending player and advise continuance of such behaviour could incur a more severe penalty i.e. Send Off YELLOW Card.
- 60’s Comp. Only
- Should there be any player who wishes to not be tackled they wear fluoro coloured plastic tape (arm bands) on both arms. In the case of the player who can’t be tackled (wearing tape), this player can only be blocked. If so, they then have a reasonable time to dispose of the ball (not unlike the existing rules), failing to do so would incur a free kick to be paid against them, in other words they they can’t just stand there and hold the ball.
- Time On
- No Time On. The only exception is when a stretcher enters the ground or an ambulance is required on the ground. See Below
- Time clocks will stop in the event of a stretcher or ambulance being called by trainers, resumption of play when the injured is off the ground: this will be determined by the National Board administration at the ground as how it will be managed.
- Player stretchered off the ground may not play again in he carnival unless cleared so by the carnival doctor.
- No Penalties
- No penalty for deliberate rushed behinds.
- No penalty for deliberate out of bounds
AFL Revised Rules 2019
The following Revised Rules that have been amended by the AFL in 2019 are being adopted at the AFL Masters National Carnival:
Rule 2 — Playing on from kick-ins: Our rule – the player must wait for the flags to be waved, players will no longer be required to kick the ball to himself in order to play on. The man on the mark will also stand 10m from the square.
Rule 3 — Marks/Free kicks in defence: If a player takes a mark within nine metres of their own goal, the man on the mark will be brought in line with the top of the goal square.
Rule 8 — Hands in the back: The hands in the back rule has been retracted so a player can place his hands on the back of an opponent, provided he does not push off