Game Rules of AFL Changing Over the Past Decades

Game Rules of AFL Changing Over the Past Decades



  • Introduction of free against a team whose team official interferes with the play


  • When reported for an offence a fifty-metre penalty automatically imposed on the player




  • Second goal umpiring behind the flag introduced which was placed on the same post as the goal flags




  • The minimum distance of ball travel for a mark increased from 10 metres to 15




  • if a player unnecessarily delays disposal after a mark or free, play-on is called by the umpire


  • Playing on from a kick-in after the registering of a behind permitted provided that the ball is kicked clear of hand and foot within the goal-square


  • Shepherding at centre bounce ruck contests outlawed


  • Advantage free from a centre square infringement was eliminated


  • If a ball is deliberately tapped out-of-bounds on the full in a ruck contest then a penalty is issued


  • If a player catches the ball from the centre or the field bounce or throw-in to be deemed to have had prior opportunity to dispose of it

AFL Game



  • The size of the centre square increased from 45m to 50m




  • Ruckmen must be positioned at centre bounces where an outer circle is introduced of the diameter of 10m




  • The regulation for a player kicking in after the scoring of a behind to wait until the goal umpire completes waving the flag was removed. The kick-in will occur as soon as the goal umpire signals the score as a behind


  • Shot at goal from a mark or free awarded within the goal-square must be taken from directly in front


  • Automatic time-on was introduced to note the time from when a field umpire crosses his arms until a ball-up




  • Automatic free-kick to a player with his head over the ball or if any high contact made in any way was introduced into the official laws of the game. It also became an automatic reportable offence




  • Introduced in the mid-season was the interchange rule violation penalised with a free-kick against the offending team, 50 metres forward of the centre circle


  • Four-boundary umpire system was introduced




  • Umpires have the power to recall an errant bounce at a stoppage and replace it with a throw-up


  • Penalty for interchange rule violation became a free-kick, plus a 50-metre penalty from wherever the play is stopped


  • If a player engaged in any form of misconduct a free-kick is paid against that player


  • The scoreline to be aligned with the back of the goalpost padding


  • when the play is stopped for stretcher usage, the who possess the ball can retain it when the game restarts


  • Play to be stopped and the mark to be re-set to avoid a disadvantage of an umpire impeding a player when setting the mark for a shot at goal


  • When an infringement against the defending team occurs and an all-clear is given before the play restarts, the free kick can be taken to the advantage of that team from 50 metres from the kick-off line or where the infringement occurred

AFL Game



  • Introduction of three interchange players and one substitute. These three interchange players will rotate off the bench instead of four. The substitute player can go on at any time to replace a player who cannot come back into the game


  • The infringed player is given the power to determine the advantage rule


  • A player who bumps in any situation will become liable if he makes forceful contact with the head, unless: the player was contesting the ball and did not have another optimal way to contest the ball, or the contact was caused by circumstances outside the control of the player which could not be reasonably foreseen


  • Emergency field umpire has the power to award prohibited contact-free kicks from the interchange bench


  • The stricter interpretation placed on deliberate out of bounds rules to focus on less benefit of the doubt for the player who has the ball and walks over the boundary line




  • Goal-line technology introduced to assist goal umpiring decisions




  • A free-kick shall be awarded against any player who makes forceful contact below the knees of an opponent


  • For all field stoppages during the game the umpire must throw the ball up, bounces will continue to be used at the start of each quarter and after goals


  • No contact permitted for ruckmen until the ball has left the umpire, Ruckmen are held at stoppages




  • Law 5.1 will be modified such that each team will have 16 players on the Playing Surface and 6 interchange players


  • Instead of a size 5, a size 4 football will be utilised for the competition


  • A variation of Law 10.1 and AFL Regulations where the timing of AFLW matches will be 15 minutes plus time on for goals and other major injuries


  • Another variation of AFL Regulations is that there will be no interchange cap for the AFLW competition


  • Variation of AFL Regulations includes contact from a Reportable Offence such as either body or high/groin/chest


  • For low-level Reportable Offences, AFLW players will not be punished by fines but will instead receive Reprimands, where two Reprimands within a single AFLW season will equate to a 1 match suspension




  • According to the Last Disposal Out of Bounds Rule, a player will be penalised with a free-kick if they kick or handball the ball over the boundary line without it being touched by an opposition player


  • Interchange players is reduced from 6 to 5


  • Time-on for all match stoppages will be implemented in the last two minutes of each quarter



  • The Last Disposal Out of Bounds Rule will now only operate between the 50m arcs


  • The boundary umpires will bring the ball in 10m for throw-ins


  • According to the variation of the 2019 AFL Regulation change, runners will be permitted to continue their duties on-field during a match


Get Customized Jersey of your favourite AFL Player or Customize Jersey for your team Inspired from the pros.

Reach Us: Colourup Uniforms