Adjusted rules for local footy

Adjusted rules for local footy

Laws of the Game adjustments 2021 – Community Football

Please find attached the 2021 Laws of the Game online edition and AFL Barwon Practice Match Booking forms!

There are lots of “amendments” listed at the start of the book, but majority of those are just updating terminology and not changing any existing laws. The two laws that have been adjusted are the kick in from behind and standing the mark explanations (rule 17 and 20 amendments).

Feel free to distribute to your fellow administrators, coaches and players.

Law adjustments for 2021                                                                             

Standing the Mark:

  • Detailed at Law 20

The defending player will only be permitted minimal lateral movement on The Mark. If the defending player moves off in any direction prior to “Play On” being called by the field umpire, a 50m penalty will apply. The defensive team is unable to substitute the player on The Mark.

For clarity;

  • The player “Standing the Mark” is permitted to stand still, wave arms or jump up and down vertically, they are not permitted to move forwards, backwards or sideways in any of the actions.
  • The “Mark is “set” when the field umpires says “STAND”, this is when the protected area is locked, the protected area is now 5m behind the “mark” and 10m to the side of the mark as per the diagram below.
  • Once the umpire says “Stand” that will now be The Mark irrespective if the defending player is on the actual spot of The Mark, but within the protected area – where the player is or elects to stand is now the mark and the player has to stand still with no movement sideways, forwards or backwards. Jumping vertically up and down is permitted.
  • Set shot on goal -the field umpire will direct the defending player to stand on the Mark, then say “Stand” indicating that the defending player can now only stand still or jump up and down vertically
  • 19.5 AFL Barwon retains 50m penalties, AFL Barwon Junior Match Guide may specify a lesser penalty in some grades, and in all open laws matches 50m applies.
  • There may be some minor tweaks as the AFL move through the preseason period, we think that these would mainly be around the management of the mark by umpires. We will all work through these together as we practice and learn.

Location of the Mark at Kick Ins

  • Detailed at Law 17

The “Mark†shall be set at 15m from the centre of the kick off line towards the centre of the ground at kick ins. This was previously set at 10m

Standing the Mark law applies here also.

If possible We would like clubs to mark a spot at the 15m when doing ground marking, this would assist players and umpires for kick ins from behinds.

Protected area for kick ins now extend to 15m around from the post to the spot of the mark as set by the umpire.

Attacking players are permitted to lead into the protected area and if a defending player is within 2m of the attacking player can follow and defend the ball.

See diagram below

From this week we will start educating community umpires in the implementation and interpretation of these changes, the adjustments will be implemented in practice matches and umpire coaches/senior umpires may be able to attend training sessions pending availability or to meet with your coaches.

These adjustments need to be communicated to U13 and above football coaches for Men’s and women’s football.

I have blind copied all listed Football managers, coaches Senior through to U19, Club presidents, secretaries, Junior coordinators

Please also note the AFL Barwon Last Possession rule for all Reserves, Female and Junior grades remain as is.

(Senior Men’s and Boys U19 are excluded.)

*We are currently tracking a 50% shortage of Boundary Umpires that may impact Senior Football, if you have any one wanting to become an umpire please get them in touch with us and we can get them started.

We begin Boundary Umpires in U19 grade.

We are also looking for Field Umpires for Sunday football (Juniors), this could be an opportunity for U19 or senior players to play one day umpire the next, so please if you could put the question out there to your player group, families and friends.

Any questions please email me and to arrange any club visits.

We will also be announcing this week that the Umpire Associations in Colac and Geelong have agreed to supply available umpires at no charge to clubs for this seasons practice matches, this is a very generous offer from the umpires Associations and in doing so will save clubs in excess of 25k regionally, to assist in cost saving within their football departments.

Practice Matches must be conducted as a home and away match with team sheets – paperwork (digital or written) and report pads, stretcher and strict COVID Safe practices followed, clubs can add grounds to their COVID safe Management plans if playing away from your regular venue, the club booking the game will be responsible for that grounds COVID Plan.


Jock Hillgrove

Regional Director of Umpiring

AFL Barwon

Ph: (03) 5241 6774

Mobile: 0402 201 316

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