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Section 4.2 - Australian Football

NSW Combined High Schools Sports Association Handbook


Amended 2022

4.2 Australian Football

4.2.1 Australian Football State-wide competition– 15 years and under

 Refer to NSWCHSSA Handbook "state-wide competitions" -

(a) Rules of the game

As set down by the National Football League except as amended below.

(b) Entry

All affiliated New South Wales state secondary and central schools are eligible to enter.

(c) Age limits

15 years and under during the year of competition.

(d) Draw

(i) A master draw will be made available at the beginning of the competition and provided on the NSWCHSSA webpages.

(ii) In order to reduce travel to a reasonable minimum, entries will be divided into association groups.

(iii) Schools may play sections of the draw as gala days to minimise travel and disruption if the majority of schools in that section agree.

(e) Conditions of play

(i) Team sheets are to be completed and exchanged between team managers.

(ii) Each player will be correctly attired.

(iii) Playing time: (up to and including quarter finals)

The duration of all games shall be four fifteen minute quarters. Two minutes between first and second quarter, ten minutes for half time and five minutes at three quarter time. Semi-final and finals: 15 minutes plus time on per quarter.

(iv) Extra time

Should the scores be level at full time, continuation into extra time must be after an interval of five minutes. There should then be played two quarters of seven minutes. If scores are still tied, the winning team to be decided on most number of goals. Should the number of goals be level at the conclusion of extra time, Golden Point extra time will be required. Golden Point extra time must occur after an interval of 5 minutes. The team who scores first (golden point) during this extra time will be determined the winner and the game will conclude.

The field umpire shall instruct the timekeeper to add "time on" when play is unduly delayed. (This applies to games up to and including quarter finals.)

The field umpire will indicate the beginning and end of "time up" by sounding a whistle and raising their arm above their head in the usual manner.

(f) Results

Refer NSWCHSSA Handbook "Results" -

(g) Number of players

A team may consist of 22 players; four interchange players may be used at the discretion of the coach. If both coaches agree, more players may be used on the interchange. If agreement is not reached, the squad must be no larger than 22.

(h) Disputes and protests

Refer NSWCHSSA Handbook "Disputes and protests" -

(i) Send-off rule

The umpire shall be informed of their right to remove a player from the field of play. This player may be replaced by an interchange player.

(i) The umpires in charge of the match may order a player from the field for a period of ten (10) minutes for abusive language or other unseemly conduct detrimental to the game.

(ii) Such player must report to the interchange steward or timekeeper on leaving the field and before returning to it.

(iii) The player sent off may be replaced by an interchange player. It will be left to the discretion of the umpire whether the player sent off is reported.

(iv) For a second offence during the game the player must be sent off for the remainder of the match and be reported. The player may be replaced by an interchange player.

(v) The umpire may send off a player for the remainder of the match if in their opinion the player constitutes a menace to the physical wellbeing of other players. This player must be reported and may be replaced by an interchange player. The umpire shall submit a report, in writing, to the state convener for appropriate action.

(j) Duties of home school

Refer NSWCHSSA Handbook "Duties of Home School" -

(i) Provide the best full size oval available.

(ii) Provide adequate first aid equipment.

(iii) Provide at least one neutral qualified umpire unless alternative mutual arrangements are made. Ensure the umpire is aware of the ‘Send off Rule’.(iv) Provide goal and boundary umpires.

(v) Provide a timekeeper.

(k) Finals venue

If possible, quarter finals and semi-finals are to be played over two days at the same central venue, to be chosen at the discretion of the state convener.

(l) Quarter finals, semi-finals, and final procedures

(i) Umpires for all the final rounds are to be qualified neutral umpires appointed by the host association convener or the state convener. Participating teams may be levied to cover this cost.

(ii) The venue for all the final rounds will be nominated by the state convener.

(m) Home and away games

Home and away games are determined as per NSWCHSSA Handbook "Determination of home and away games" - Section 2.8.5

4.2.2 Australian Football State Championships – boys and girls

The NSW All Schools Championship will be incorporated into the NSWCHSSA Championships and will include separate medal recognitions.

Refer NSWCHSSA Handbook "State Championships” –

(a) Age limit

No player may attain the age of 16 years during the year of the championship.

(b) Squad size

Association squads consist of twenty two players for duration of championship (nominated prior to first game)

(i) All players jumpers are to be numbered. Players are to retain the same numbered jersey for the duration of the championship (unless the 'Blood Rule' has been activated and a replacement jersey is required).

(ii) The following interchange rule will apply: four players should be indicated as interchange on the team sheet (twenty two players). The team runner may be an interchange player, the official team manager, or another person deemed appropriate by the convener.

(c) Team sheets

Team managers are requested to hand to the championship organiser prior to the commencement of the championships, a copy of their team sheet indicating name, school, position, player number, date of birth.

(d) Championship format

(i) Matches are to be played in accordance with the rules of the National Football League of Australia.

(ii) Teams are required to provide their own trainers and equipment for the pre-match preparation.

(iii) The NSWCHSSA Australian Football selectors shall have the right to organise a possible /probables game to assist in NSWCHSSA selection. This, however, is not mandatory.

(iv) Bannerettes/medallions shall be presented to the teams finishing in first and second place in both NSWCHSSA and All Schools Division.

Boys Championship Procedures

In an 8 or 10 team competition, teams shall be placed in a Pool A or Pool B based on the position they finished in the previous year's competition i.e. Pool A - 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th and Pool B - 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th and 10th.

Each team plays all the others in its pool over the first two days. The winners of each pool will play each on the last day, 2nd v 2nd and so on.

In a 9 team competition, the below format will be in place:

Three pools of 3 teams will be designated according to teams' finishing positions in the previous year's competition. Pool A shall comprise the teams that finished 1st, 4th and 8th, Pool B - 2nd, 5th and 9th and Pool C - 3rd, 6th and 7th.

Day 1: No extra time is played on day 1 matches.

Each team plays the other teams in their pool. The two highest placing teams in each group progress to Round 2. The third placed team in each pool form a new pool for the start of day 2.

If teams are level on wins in their group, they are to be ranked by points differential (points for subtract points against). If teams remain level, teams are split by the highest "points for" totals. If still level, they are split by their previous year ranking, with highest going through to the knockout stage.

Day 2: Morning: A1 plays B2 (A1 meaning first in Pool A etc), B1 plays C2 and C1 plays A2. The three winners plus the team with the narrowest losing margin progress to the semi-finals ("lucky loser").

If teams are tied on narrowest losing margin, the team with the most wins accumulated to this stage of the championship proceeds to the semi-finals. If this does not split teams, overall points differential to this stage of the championship decides who proceeds. If they are still tied, the team with the highest "points for" to this stage of the championship will progress. If two teams still cannot be split, a coin toss will be held to decide the team to proceed to the semi-finals.

Afternoon: Semi-finals. The team with the largest winning margin from the morning will play the "lucky loser" from the morning; and the other two winners play. The two winner’s progress to the final: the two losers progress to the 3 v 4 grading game. In addition, the two remaining losing teams from the morning play. The winner of this progresses to the 5 v 6 grading game, the loser to the 7, 8 9 round robin.

If a draw occurs in any of the above Day 2 matches, extra time of 5 minutes each way is to be used to successfully achieve a result. If still no result, then golden goal extra time will be played. The first team to score a goal will be the winner. A coin toss to choose ends is to be held before both extra time and golden goal extra time commences.

The remaining three teams from Day 1 (A3, B3, C3) play each other in a round robin. The highest placed team progresses to the 5 v 6 grading game. No extra time is to be played in these matches. If teams are level on wins, they are to be ranked by an overall points differential, then by overall "points for" if required. If this still does not split the teams, a coin toss will be held to decide which team proceeds to the 5 v 6 game.

Day 3: Match 1 – 5 v 6 grading game Match 2 – 3 v 4 grading game Match 3 – 1 v 2 final

If a draw occurs in any of the above grading matches, extra time of 5 minutes each way is to be used to successfully achieve a result. If there is still no result, then golden goal extra time will be played, where the first team to score a goal will be the winner. A coin toss to choose ends is to be held before both extra time and golden goal extra time commences. Match 4, 5, 6 – 7/8/9 round robin, consisting of two 10 minute halves per game, with no extra time if scores are level in any match. If teams are level on win/loss, they are to be split firstly by most wins for the championship, then by points differential just on the Day 3 matches, then by total points scored on just Day 3 (if required).

Girls Championship Procedures

The girls championship is to consist of a round robin format, to be played on the day preceding the boys championship, and at the same venue. The winning team is to be decided on most wins. If teams are tied, head to head results will be taken into account. If this does not rank the team, (three way tie etc) teams are to be split on total point’s differential (points for minus points against). The team with the highest differential is to be declared the championship winner.

(e) Selection panels

Composition of the selection panel shall be:-

(i) state convener

(ii) state coach.

(iii) state manager.

(iv) Up to two sub-committee members who may be elected at the pre-championship subcommittee meeting.

Should any of the officials nominated in positions (i), (ii), (iii) be absent (or fill dual roles), then their position be filled as in point (iv). A meeting of the panel shall be convened at the conclusion of each day's play.

(f) Duration of games

All games will consist of two by twenty minute halves with an eight minute break at half time. There will be no "time-on" during halves, however, the field umpire may instruct the timekeeper to add time-on when play is unduly delayed.

A siren will be sounded at the 3 minutes mark in respective breaks.

(g) Point score

(i) The following points will be awarded:

2 points for a win 1 point for a draw 0 points for a loss

(ii) That final pool placings be determined by head to head matches if sides finish on equal points. If these matches are equal, final placings will be decided on points for and against.

(h) Tribunal committee

This will comprise:

(i) The championship organiser, and

(ii) Two team managers of sides not involved in the dispute at hand and nominated by championship organiser.

(iii) Team managers of players involved may act as an advocate.

(iv) Disputes must be lodged in writing to the championship organiser by the team manager within fifteen minutes of the completion of the game.

(i) NSWCHSSA team

The state convener’s decision on all matters pertaining to the conduct of the championship, selection of the state squad and details concerning the itinerary, etc, for the NSW All Schools squad shall be final.

(j) Player of the championship

A perpetual trophy will be awarded to the player of the championship. The respective coaches and team managers will nominate players for the award and the state convener shall have the final decision on who is to receive the award. The association manager of the "player of the championship" is responsible for the return of the trophy for the next championship.

(k) Official functions

All team managers and/or coaches are expected to attend official functions arranged on their behalf.

(l) Send-off rule

(i) A player may be sent from the field of play for ten minutes of playing time and can be replaced.

The umpire need not report that player. This should be interpreted as a "cooling off" rule.

If a player is sent from the field for a second offence (during the same game), the player must be reported and will take no further part in the match. The player can be replaced.

(ii) A player, if reported, must be sent from the field for the duration of the game. The player can be replaced.

(iii) Reported player(s) is/are required to attend a tribunal convened by the championship organiser under "Australian Football" Rule 4.2.2 (h). The tribunal shall deliberate on reports submitted by an umpire at the conclusion of the day's matches.

The decision of the tribunal shall be final.

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