AFL Rules


Players:  18 per side plus 5 inter change  (no rucks)    Maximum of 25 players per team.
Match Duration:  4 x 15 minute quarters, where possible.  Will depend on bus travel.
Umpires:  Divide the field in half and umpire the entire game or umpire a quarter alternately,  by negotiation between staff.
Equipment:  Schools supply one  football size:  12 -13 y.o.   Synthetic balls preferred, better in the wet
                      Padding for (4x) posts
                      Mouthguards are highly recommended (SSV), schools may elect to make them compulsory.


The game is started by a BALL-UP in the centre

A BALL-UP is conducted between one player of equivalent height from each team.  The player may not grab the ball at a ball-up.  The ball must be knocked, palmed, or punched from the ball-up

BDS has elected to adopt the new (2019) kick in rule, after the opposition has scored a behind.
The player who takes the kick can now choose to play on without kicking the ball to themselves.
Their opponent must stand 5 metres further back than they previously did.

Players are not permitted to DELIBERATELY KICK the ball off the ground.  Should the kick be deemed accidental, no advantage may be made from the kick.   Penalty:  Free kick to opposition

OUT OF BOUNDS Where the ball is kicked out of bounds without being touched, a free kick will be awarded to the nearest opponent.  Where the ball is touched out of bounds, play will be restarted by a ball-up 5 metres away from the boundary.

The ball must travel a minimum of 10 metres before a MARK is awarded


A player is permitted ONE BOUNCE ONLY  (10m run) and then must attempt to kick or handpass the ball to another player.


BUMPING is permitted from the side only.

FENDING, contact must be mader & remain below the shoulder


TACKLING is permitted.  No sling or lift action is permitted.  No high tackles will be allowed.

NO RUCK  Umpire selects one playerof similar height from each team


Players can be INTERCHANGED through the Umpire and any break in the play.  Any number of `exchanges' can be made during the game. 


CROWDED  PLAY:  The field umpire should sent children back to their respective playing positions at an appropriate stoppage in play

Coaching messages cannot be sent onto the field via `RUNNERS'.

The BLOOD  RULE  shall apply.  Open wounds must be covered.  Bloodied clothes should also be removed.  Children sent off under the `Blood Rule' can be replaced and exchanged back onto the field immediately when ready.

ORDER  OFF  RULE,  as per School Sport Victoria applies. Depending on the nature of the issue, a warning may or may not be given. 

SAFETY -  POST  PADDING  (2008)  It is expected that all BDPSSA schools will share responsibility for providing padding for footy posts.
Each school will supply 1x set = 4x.

Failure to supply padding will result in cancellation of the game and school who failed to supply the necessary padding shall forfeit all points

The `MERCY RULE' shall apply after a team has established a lead of 6 goals (36pts).  The trailing team may add one player to the field.  Note:  The extra player may not enter the centre square until after the ball is bounced.  If the leading team establishes a lead of 60 or more points they must remove one player (no replacement).  The player to be removed, shall be nominated by the opposition coach (adult).  The player removed may resume playing when the lead is reduced below the 60 point difference.  If at half-time, there is a 60+ point differential, the game is over.  Teams mixed together and a social game played for the remaining time.  Results are double half-time score for both teams.


Refer to School Sport Victoria site for examples of team sheet, playing positions and score sheets



FOOTBALL  TEAM  LIST -  Attached below