AFL 9s – The game for everyone


AFL 9s has been developed as a modified version of the traditional rules of AFL. The format allows all to participate, regardless of age or ability.

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What does it look like? | What are the main rules? | AFL 9s Schools Program | 

What does it look like?

The game is played between two teams of nine (9) with unlimited interchange players. The field has a maximum length of 100 metres (which can be modified depending on the age and ability level of participants) and is divided into three zones: a mid zone, a defensive zone and a scoring zone for each team.

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What are the main rules?

There are two formats with the non-contact (touch) version played at all Play AFL Clubs.

Teams score by kicking or hand passing the football into their attacking scoring zone to designated forwards who are the only players permitted to score. A score results from the ball travelling through four posts erected in your scoring zone.

If the ball is caught on the full from a kick, irrespective of the distance the ball has travelled, the catcher is awarded a free kick or hand pass for your team unimpeded by the opposition.

Turnovers are created by intercepting opposition foot and hand passes or by touching your opponent whilst in possession followed by their failure to dispose of the ball within two seconds.

Whilst in possession you are permitted to run with the ball but must bounce the ball or touch the ball on the ground every 15 metres.

A player who has not secured possession from a catch and has had prior opportunity to dispose of the ball, will be penalised by an immediate turn over if touched whilst in possession. (eg. touched whilst dodging.)

AFL 9s also has tackle versions, though these are not used at Play AFL Clubs.

Full set of rules

AFL 9s Schools Program

AFL 9s is the perfect game to play at School. The modified rules enables teachers to set up safe, fun competitions for both boys and girls.

Non-tackle versions limit physical contact, making AFL 9s ideal for children to learn motor and coordination skills while participating in a team sport. See AFL House Rules

The contact skills of tackling, bumping and shepherding can be added to assist with advanced competitions. See Hawks Cup

Contact AFL New Zealand for information on how to set up an AFL 9s competition in your region or school. Email Mick Coultard or call 09 213 3251.