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Australian Football

Version control: Original 1990 / Updated 1999 / Updated 2003 / Updated 2010 / Updated 2015/ Updated February 2023/

Updated March 2023




You must refer to the Requirements for All Sport and Physical Activity (PDF 466KB) to understand your overall compliance responsibilities

Where it is appropriate, for example inclusion in a school sport program, parents must be informed of full details of the location, supervision to be provided and activities to be undertaken when seeking their written permission.

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Teacher/Instructor qualifications and experience

The teacher/instructor must have appropriate expertise and/or training in the teaching/coaching of Australian Football. Coach accreditation is mandatory for all teacher/instructors involved in school Australian Football programs.

The AFL offer the following appropriate accreditation courses:

Specific sport support for Australian Football is provided in the Teacher resource hub. 

A teacher must be present who has recognised current training in emergency care.

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If an adult other than a teacher is engaged as a coach, a teacher must be present to take overall responsibility.

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Mouthguards must be worn in the following circumstances:

  • Selection trials and games organised for any occasion by the school, the local school sport zone, regional and / or state school sport associations
  • Games and competitions organised by external organisations that are school endorsed activities
  • Training sessions where skills training requires physical contact between participants.

Player equipment including footwear and other protective items must comply with age or standard levels appropriate to the laws of the game. Boots must be inspected prior to the commencement of any game to ensure that studs do not have sharp edges or are excessively worn.

A well-equipped medical kit must be readily available.

Principals and teachers are advised that when conducting individual activity based ‘training sessions’ and or skill sessions the use of safety equipment (e.g. shin guards, mouthguards, headgear, shoulder pads) may be optional after considering the level of risk involved and assessing any possible risk as minimal.

Students involved in “opposition based drills and contact games” must wear the specified safety equipment.

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The surface must be level and free of obstructions and loose objects. A space of three (3) metres should surround the marked playing area. Hydrated lime must not be used to mark fields.

Non turf cricket pitches must be adequately covered prior to the use of the ground.

Goal posts must be fitted with appropriate padding for intra and inter-school fixtures. If the school does not possess safety padding, the local junior club or association may be of assistance in providing this equipment.

Padding should be no less than two and a half (2.5) metres in length, no less than 35 mm high density foam covered with an appropriate material (canvas) and sufficiently wide to cover the circumference of the posts.

Spectators must be positioned at an appropriate distance from the field of play during play.

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Students should be selected on the basis of ability and suitability for the position they are to play.

Where injury to a student occurs during the game, the student must be excluded wherever there is any doubt as to the extent of injury or fitness to continue.

Teachers and coaches must exclude students from returning to playing after injury until it is clear that the student is fit to resume.

Students must remove jewellery and other ornaments likely to cause injury.

All players should ensure that they remain hydrated during the game by drinking water during the game breaks.

Should an injury occur involving bleeding these procedures should be followed

  • All clothing, equipment and surfaces contaminated by blood must be viewed as potentially infectious and treated accordingly
  • Participants who are bleeding must have the wound dressed and securely covered
  • Any blood covered body area (and surface area where appropriate), must be cleaned thoroughly and any blood covered clothing and equipment cleaned or removed prior to the participant recommencing the activity.

Where possible, ice should be available for the treatment of injuries.

Students are to be instructed to use adequate sun protection, e.g. an SPF50+, broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen reapplied regularly.

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The modified forms of Australian Football including AFL, Auskick, and AFL Junior Programs are encouraged for young students as a means of developing good skills and technique. Match program structures and guidelines for various age groups are provided within Australian Football Match Policy.

Each school should have a coaching program based on conditioning and progressive skill-training methods. Players should develop football skills and good technique before playing in competitive situations.

Students should be made aware of the rules relating to marking, tackling and dangerous and illegal play.

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