A copy of the Auckland AFL Competition Rules can be downloaded here.

AAFL matches are played using the official AFL Laws of the Game. The AFL Info Sheet on the Laws can be found here. The Info Sheet outlines the recent changes and provides a link to a full set of the Laws. Click Here

The laws of Australian Football constantly evolve to meet the needs of the modern game and athlete. The essential principle however, that sets the Australian game apart from other codes remains unchanged – free flowing with no “off side” rule.

Essential skills are kicking, marking and handball. Umpires ensure that the transfer of the ball by the use of these skills occurs fairly and in accordance with the laws of the game.


18 players on the ground and four on the interchange bench. Players can be interchanged on and off the bench at any time as long as they comply with the stipulated procedure.

a goal is scored when the football is kicked between the two goal posts, by a player of the attacking team, without having been touched by any other player. It registers six points. A behind is scored when the football is kicked, punched by hand or forced, by a player of either team between a goal post and a behind post, or hits or passes over a goal post. It registers one point.

Starting the match: unless a free kick has been awarded, at the start of each quarter the field umpire shall hold the ball aloft, sound his whistle and bounce the ball in the centre circle. A maximum of four players from each team is permitted inside the 50 metre square where the centre bounce takes place.

Ball disposal: the ball may be kicked or handballed. . Kick: contact must be below the knee. Handball: a player must hold the ball in one hand and hit it with the clenched fist of the other hand. If the ball is not handballed correctly, a free kick shall be given to the nearest opponent.

Ball possession: a player may hold the ball for any length of time provided he is not held by an opponent. If he runs with the ball, he must bounce it or touch it on the ground at least once every 15 metres from the start of his run, whether running in a straight line or turning and dodging.

a mark is catching the ball directly from the kick of another player, not less than 15 metres distant, the ball being held a reasonable time and not having been touched in transit from kick to catch

Kicking off after a behind: unless a subsequent free kick has been paid, a player of the defending team shall kick the ball into play from within the kick-off lines. The contact must be made before the ball completely crosses the line.

the spirit of the laws is to keep the football in motion. The player who makes the football his sole objective shall be given every opportunity to gain possession of the ball. The player who has possession of the ball and is held by an opponent shall be given a reasonable time to kick or handball the ball. The field umpire shall call play on’ if by awarding a free kick, he would have penalised the team offended against. The main free kicks (penalties) are awarded for: Holding the ball: if a player is caught with the ball after having an opportunity to dispose of it, or if he pulls the ball underneath him, the umpire will pay holding the ball. Holding the man: player held when not in possession of the football. Around the neck: a tackle above the shoulder. Out on the full: kicking the ball over the boundary line without it touching the ground or being touched by another player. In the back: when a player is pushed in the back. Deliberately out of bounds: when a player deliberately forces the ball out of bounds.

The AFL umpiring department issues interpretations of existing laws to AFL clubs and community football bodies. These interpretations are very important in determining how the provisions of the laws of Australian Football apply in practice on the day of a match. Laws of Australian Football Committee:
the AFL’s Laws Committee maintains an ongoing review of the Laws and provides recommendations to the AFL Commision, the ultimate governing body. The Laws Committee considers submissions from AFL clubs, State Football bodies, the Umpiring Department and members of the public. It also receives in depth independent technical reports and advice. The Committee is comprised of nine members with a wide range of experience in playing, coaching, umpiring and administration.