The Next Generation Australian Football Match Policy covers how to conduct the game for players aged 5-18 years so that junior participants and their families get the best Australian Football experience. The policy is divided into the:
- AFL Junior Policy (5-12 year olds)
- AFL Youth Policy (13-18 year olds)
with supporting policies and procedures.
The policy aims to:
- Provide clear direction to leagues and clubs for the provision of appropriate pathways for all boys and girls in safe, enjoyable and accountable environments.
- Ensure that junior football is delivered in a uniform manner across all States and Territories.
- Maximise the recruitment and retention of players and umpires through programs and match rules appropriate to each age level (and meets the needs of children - they are not little adults).
The policy was developed in 2008 by the Australian Football League in collaboration with State football bodies and the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and is considered a significant and critical step in supporting Australian Football at this level.
AFL Junior Policy
Young people grow and mature at different rates. The junior policy takes into account the differences in growth and maturity and provides an appropriate and sequential range of programs and match rules to cater for the varying levels of participating children.
Modifications to ground sizes, team numbers and the laws of the game are introduced as boys and girls progress through the player pathway – it is important to remember that children are not little adults.
The emphasis is not on winning but the development of FUNdamental movement skills, basic game specific skills and maximum participation in a fun and safe environment.
AFL Youth Policy
The spirit and intention of the youth policy is to ensure that all games are played in a competitive and fair manner in an environment that:
- permits a player whose sole objective is to contest and gain possession of the ball, to do so in a safe and fair manner
- rewards and acknowledges commitment and loyalty to the team, club and or school
- allows all players to feel an essential part of the team while enabling each individual to develop self-efficacy, self-worth and an identity within the community (team/club/school)
- engenders and reinforces community values and social responsibility
The policy has been developed in consultation with the ASC and is based on the ASC’s Junior Sports Framework. The ASC developed the framework to assist sports with the development of their sport specific policies. The Junior Sports Framework is informed by contemporary research both nationally and internationally. This research has been invaluable in the development of the rules and procedures contained in the next Generation Australian Football Match Policy, together continual research, refinements and evaluation from within the Australian Football industry over many years.
For the majority of affiliated leagues and clubs across the country the policy does not present a significant shift in the match rules and procedures that are currently being delivered. The AFL through our State football bodies looks forward to working in collaboration and consultation with all affiliate leagues to ensure the policies complete rollout.
The AFL understands that in some circumstances it may take time and would encourage leagues to work through any issues with their relevant State football body.
Next Generation Australian Football Match Policy
- Intro & why do we need a policy
- Stages of development & participation and talent pathways
- Age policy
- Female & providing for children with disabilities
AFL Junior Policy 5-12 years
- Underpinning principles of the AFL Junior Policy
- AFL Junior Match Program 5-8 years
- AFL Junior Match Program 9-10 years
- AFL Junior Match Program 11-12 years
- Junior Girls 11-12 years
AFL Youth Policy 13-18 years
- AFL Youth Match Program 13-14 years
- Youth Girls 13-15 years
- AFL Youth Match Program 15-18 years
- Youth Girls 16-18 years
- Recreational Football
Roles & Responsibilities
Keeping Junior Football Safe
Junior Match Program for Children Aged 5-12 Years DVD