Skip to content

NSW Primary Schools Sports Association – Handbook

Section 6.2 – Australian Football Knockout Competition – Boys

Amended 2015

Tony Locket Shield

6.2.1 Refer to General Knockout Rules.

6.2.2 Rules and conditions

(a) Competition is to be on an open primary age basis, i.e. pupils must be thirteen (13) years or under in the year of the competition.

Special Note: Gala Days – Rounds 1 – 3

Rounds 1 – 3 to be played as Gala Days with special conditions to apply –

(i) Halves, 2 x 15 minutes

(ii) Field size may be reduced (if necessary) – minimum of 120m

(iii) If field size is reduced, the number of players may also be reduced to a minimum of 14.

(iv) Round Robin Format –Association Convener or designated teacher to determine the format of Gala day according to the number of teams and fields including the number of players per team

Determination of Venues for Rounds 4 & 5

The venues for Rounds 4 & 5 to be decided by the State Convener. Rounds 4 & 5 will revert to be Knockout games and played according to the following rules and conditions.

(b) Duration of play

Game times shall consist of four (4) fifteen (15) minute quarters with intervals of five (5) minutes, ten (10) minutes and five (5) minutes.

(c) Drawn games

(i) In the event of a drawn game five (5) minutes each way extra time shall be played with no interval between.

(ii) If at the end of this extra time a draw still remains the ball is returned to the centre and without changing ends, play continues until the next score. The team making this score shall be declared the winner.

(iii) This rule is applicable to all matches except the final.

(iv) In the final, if the game is drawn after five (5) minutes each way extra time, both teams shall be declared joint winners.

(d) The home team shall

(i) Provide the best full sized and correctly marked oval available. Consideration should be given to change room facilities and toilets.

(ii) Offer the visiting school the option to provide, if they so desire, a competent field umpire. If not taken up, the home team shall provide a suitable field umpire(s).

(iii) Ask the opposition school to provide one competent adult umpire. The home school to provide the other goal umpire, who must be a competent adult.

(iv) Provide suitable boundary umpires.

(e) Fixtures shall be played according to the rules of the National Football League unless otherwise stated and with the following special provisions.

(i) Team Numbers

A maximum of eighteen (18) players to take the field with up to seven (7) interchange players and unlimited number of interchanges.

(ii) Tackling

A player in possession of the ball may be tackled by an opponent wrapping both arms around the area below the top of the shoulders and on/above the knees. The tackle may be from either side or from behind providing the tackle from behind does not thrust forward the player with the ball.

(iii) A player in possession of the ball , when held by an opponent applying the wrap around tackle, should be given a reasonable chance to dispose of the ball by kick or handball, or by attempting to kick or handball, otherwise a free kick shall be awarded to the tackler holding the ball.

(iv) The Field Umpire shall ball up when the player with the ball has the ball held to the body by an opponent, unless the player has had a reasonable time to dispose of the ball prior to being tackled, in which case a free kick shall be awarded to the tackler for holding the ball.

(v) The Field Umpire shall allow play to continue if the ball is knocked out of a players hands by an opponent.

(vi) A player not in possession of the ball, when held by an opponent, shall be awarded a free kick.

(vii) No player shall be dumped/thrown to the ground by any tackle.

(viii) Bouncing the Ball

A player in possession of the ball may, in accordance bounce the ball or place the ball on the ground (every fifteen (15) metres)

(ix) Shepherding

A player is permitted to shepherd an opponent as long as he/she is five (5) metres or closer to the ball.

(x) Kicking off the Ground

A player is not permitted to deliberately kick the ball off the ground if it endangers the safety of other children. If this does occur a free will be given.

(xi) Barging

When an umpire considers that a player who has had reasonable opportunity to dispose of the ball chooses to barge, fend off or chop past opponents a free kick shall be awarded to the nearest opponent.

(xii) Fifty (50) metres

The fifty (50) metre penalty rule shall be replaced by a distance of twenty five (25) metres.

(xiii) Football Size

Footballs can be leather composition or weather composition Size Two (2) (12 – 13).

(f) Medals

Twenty five (25) medals will be awarded to the winning team and twenty five (25) medals to the runners-up on the day of the final plus one (1) medal for each Coach and one (1) medal for each school.

(g) Order off

A field umpire may order a player from the field of play for:

The remainder of the quarter or
A period of ten minutes or
The remainder of the match

The offending player may be replaced by a reserve player during the period of the send-off.

(h) Interchange

Interchange area will be the area directly in front of the team manager's coaching area. This coaching is to be defined at the start of the match.

Runner: the person appointed as the runner for the team must be a teacher or primary school student, and must be clearly identifiable to his/her team.


As Australian Football is a developing sport in many areas of New South Wales the NSWPSSA recommends the following guidelines to ensure player enjoyment and safety:

Players must wear mouthguards and should be encouraged to wear other protective equipment such as headwear.

The focus should be on skill development as much as winning.

In the spirit of the game all players, coaches and umpires should gather in the centre of the field at the conclusion of the game to shake hands.

Coaches, if possible should try to avoid one sided results.

Back to table of contents