THE BASICS www.aямВ9s.co.nz
Welcome AFL 9s enables people of all ages and ability levels to participate in male, female or mixed competitions that fit around their busy lives and provide a social and fitness outlet. Importantly, AFL 9s is easy to play, not too physically demanding and provides an environment where fun, enjoyment and safety are a priority. AFL 9s involves the fundamental skills of kicking, catching, passing and bouncing whilst participating in a team sport and is a game that everyone can play.
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. There are two formats with the non-contact (touch) version played at all midweek centres. AFL 9s also has a tackle version of the game available to participants focussed on weekend tournaments.
What are the main rules? • 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.)
A full set of AFL 9s Rules can be found on page 10. 2
Game Day WHAT TO DO ON GAME DAY Arrival Please turn up 30 minutes before the game. This will allow you ample time to sign in and warm up prior to your game starting. On game day there will be a designated staff member signing teams in. They will be visible in their AFL 9s official uniform. When signing in please tell the official your team name and how many players you will have for the game. If you have any questions please ask.
Warming up Your team will be designated both a gear storage area and a warm up area where you can get ready for the game. Within this booklet there are practice drills and stretches to help assist your warm up. Your field will have an umpire attached who will be running the games. You will be given a warning when there is 10 minutes until the game starts. In the first few weeks these umpires will also take on a coaching role helping all teams get used to the rules and tactics of AFL 9s.
Cancellations If there are to be cancellations AFLNZ will get in touch with the team leader as put down on your registration. There will also be cancellation updates on our twitter and facebook pages so make sure you like and follow us! If you have any questions on game day please do not hesitate to ask our staff, they are more than happy to help you. www.facebook.com/AFLNZ
Stretches Injury Prevention These are key exercises to do before playing AFL 9s. Some of the skills involved with AFL 9s may be new to you (especially the kicking!) so we recommend the following exercies to help prevent injury and increase your enjoyment.
Pre-game Dynamic Stretches
Post-game Static Stretches
Skills Kicking - The Drop Punt Kicking and kicking accuracy is the most important skill of AFL9s. 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.
Main teaching points 1. Line up your body with your target. Have your head slightly bent over the ball. Hold the ball over the thigh of the kicking leg. 2. Guide the ball down with one hand. 3. Point your toes at your target â€“ see the ball hit the foot. 4. Follow through straight towards the target.
The grip The fingers are spread evenly along each side of the ball, with thumbs extending to the lacing. The grip is the same for both left and right-foot kicks.
The release The ball is guided down and kicked on the bottom point, along the lower laces of the boot. It should spin in a backwards end-over-end fashion. Spin provides distance and accuracy
Practise Drill In pairs, approximately 10 metres apart, kick the ball to each other alternating right and left feet. Increase the distance as you gain accuracy.
Scan this to watch a video on how to drop punt! 5
Skills Passing - The Handball The handball is the alternate way of disposing of the ball in AFL 9s. Any throw of the ball will result in a turnover. The handball is a skill that allows for fast transfer of the ball upfield as players run from defence to attack.
Main teaching points 1. The ball must rest on the platform hand and be hit with a clenched fist. 2. Players should have their eyes on the ball. 3. The punching fist is formed by placing the thumb outside, not inside the fingers. 4. The stance is nearly side on to allow the punching arm to swing through freely. 5. Keep knees slightly bent to maintain balance. 6. For a right-handed handball, the left foot is forward, and vice versa for a left-handed handball. 7. Punching arm is also slightly bent. 8. After contact is made with the ball, the fist remains on the platform hand â€“ â€œcatch the fistâ€?.
Practise Drill Quick Fire Handball (3 players, 2 ball) Players form a triangle with 5 metres between each player. Two players take turns handballing to the other player. Each time alternate hands. Pairs on the run In pairs run side by side handball to each other over a space of about 2 metres. Change direction to alternate hands. Vary pace and distance as you improve. 6
Scan this to watch a video on how to handball!
The Bounce Where a player is moving whilst in possession of the ball he/she must bounce the ball or touch it on the ground after fifteen metres (about 10 or 12 steps), irrespective of whether such a player is running in a straight line or otherwise. A player in possession may bounce the ball only once. He/she must dispose of it by hand or foot and may not touch it again until it has been touched by another player.
Main teaching points 1. The ball is held slightly on top by the bouncing hand. 2. The ball is pushed down with one hand. 3. The ball strikes the ground at an angle of about 45 degrees. 4. The ball is bounced far enough in front so that it will bounce into the player’s hand as he runs forward. 5. The distance at which the ball is thrown out in front is directly related to the player’s speed – the faster he is running, the further out in front it must be thrown.
Wet weather bounce On wet days, the ball will skid away or fail to bounce back. In this case, it should be touched on the ground, using both hands.
Practise Drill Players take turn running out around a cone bouncing the ball every few steps. Handball to the next player on the way back.
Scan this to watch a video on how to bounce! 7
Skills Catching - The Mark A Mark or catch is awarded by the umpire if, in the opinion of the umpire, a player catches or takes control of the football after it has been kicked by another player irrespective of the distance travelled This entitles the catcher to a possession unimpeded by the opposition or a free kick or hand pass. Remember in AFL 9s the person in front has right of way to take the mark/catch.
Main teaching points 1. Eyes must be focused on the ball all the way from the playerâ€™s boot to your hands. 2. Position your body in line with the flight of the ball. 3. Move forward to meet the ball; never wait for it to come to you. 4. Skilful players should take the ball in both hands with fingers spread and thumbs close together forming a W. Beginners should use the chest mark.
Practise Drill In pairs approximately 10 metres apart, kick the ball to each other practising the chest and hand mark. Progress to one person running towards their partner and marking the ball, starting about 15 metres apart. Lengthen the distance as the drill progresses and form two teams. One team runs in to take the mark then kick for the approaching player and run through to the other end. 8
Scan this to watch a video on how to mark!
Arm or chest mark 1. Keep your eyes on the ball and line up the body with the flight of the ball. 2. The fingers and hands are extended – palms up. 3. Tuck the elbows in to the side. 4. The ball is taken on the hands and arms and guided to the chest. 5. The ball is hugged tightly to the chest. This is an important marking style if the ball is wet or muddy.
Hand mark Players should practise taking the ball in the hands at all times, in preference to letting it hit the chest. This will help quick disposal. 1. Eyes must be on the flight of the ball. 2. The fingers should be outstretched, pointing towards the ball. The thumbs are positioned behind the ball. 3. The arms must be extended – ‘long arms’. 4. The ball is firmly gripped in the fingers. 5. Ensure your body is behind the flight of the ball.
Overhead mark 1. Keep your eyes on the ball. Line up your body with the flight of the ball. 2. Jump off one foot and swing the other knee up to gain maximum height. 3. Keep eyes on the ball, fingers outstretched and thumbs almost together. 4. The ball is met slightly in front of the head with arms extended – ‘long arms’. It should be firmly gripped in the fingers. 9
• Max field size recommended 100x50m –Rugby or soccer pitch is perfect • The field is split in 3 zones and are advised to be set at 30m/40m/30m
• Nine (9) players to take the field at any one time with unlimited interchange players • Interchange of players may take place at any time, and be unlimited in number
• The field umpire will be the sole judge of whether the kick for goal was successful
Disposal of the Ball
• The ball must be disposed of by a handball or kick • Players are not permitted to throw or hand the ball to another player or a free kick will be awarded to the opposing player
• A Mark or catch is awarded by the umpire if, in the opinion of the umpire, a player catches or takes control of the football after • Teams consist of three forwards, it has been kicked by another three centres and three backs with player irrespective of the distance forwards distinguished by either travelled bibs, wristbands or arm bands • Players must be in their zones at • This entitles the catcher to a possession unimpeded by the the start of the match and a after opposition or a free kick or hand a goal has been scored. Once the pass game is in progress, Players can move freely across all 3 zones
• In all cases, only forwards can score
• The game will consist of 2 x 20minute halves or 4 x 10minute quarters with no time outs
• There are four vertical posts at either end of the field utilised for scoring • 6 points is awarded for a ball kicked between the goal posts/ taller posts without being touched • 1 point is awarded if the ball hits the goal post or is touched/ knocked/tapped/run between the goal posts • 1 point is awarded if the ball is kicked/touched/knocked/tapped/ run between the goal posts and the shorter outside point post • Only designated forward players can shoot for goal within his/her scoring zone
• The player taking the mark will have a reasonable opportunity to dispose of the ball or play on. If he/she delays, the umpire will place a five-second count for play to resume • It is not a mark if the ball touches the ground or has been touched by another player during the period when the ball was kicked until it was caught or controlled by the player
Bouncing the ball
• Where a player is moving whilst in possession of the ball he/she must bounce the ball or touch it on the ground after fifteen metres, irrespective of whether such a player is running in a straight line or otherwise • A player in possession may bounce the ball only once. He/she must dispose of it by hand or foot and may not touch it again until it has been touched (tackled) by another player
Gaining possession of the ball
Possession of the ball is achieved by: • Picking the ball up off the ground • Catching the ball from a kick on the full • Through a turnover or free disposal awarded for an penalty applied to the opposition for incorrect disposal • When a point is scored or the ball goes out of play • When a player in possession of the ball is touched (or tackled) by an opposing player, and has had no prior opportunity to dispose of the ball they must dispose of the ball by hand or foot within two seconds
• When a player is awarded a Mark • The umpire will count out aloud or Free Kick an opposing player so that the player in possession may stand at the position on the is aware of the time allocated to playing surface where the mark or dispose of the ball free kick was awarded known as • If a player in possession has had “the mark” prior opportunity to dispose of the • No opposition player (except for ball and is touched, a tu rnover the player on the mark) maybe will be awarded closer than 5 metres away in any • Players may attempt to intercept direction the ball in flight, however must not • There is to be absolutely no make contact with an opposing contact in a marking contest. The player player in the front position has every opportunity to mark the ball Maintaining Possession A player may stay in possession
of the ball for a maximum distance of 15 metres involving one bounce unless: • the player is tackled an adjudged holding the ball (tackle) • the player is touched (tackled) • directed to dispose of the football by the umpire
“Play on” is a call utilised by the umpire to inform participants that the ball is live and the opportunity exists to dispossess the ball carrier The umpire shall call “Play On” in the following circumstances: • When a player after taking a mark runs around or over the spot “the mark” where he/she caught the ball
off the ground at once. In this case an umpire will affect a ball up
Start of Play
• The game shall be started by a ball up between two centreline players in the centre of the ground; players must stand shoulder to shoulder when the umpire commences by throwing the ball up
team’s scoring zone, it must be possessed by a player in the mid zone. Failure for this to occur will see a free kick awarded to the opposition team at the point in which the ball entered the scoring zone
Playing the Advantage
• The field umpire instead of awarding a free kick may allow play to continue by calling • The two competing players in the “Advantage Play On” in the ball up cannot grab the ball or case that the individual player in take possession of it until it has possession of the ball initiates the been touched by one of the centre advantage players not involved in the ball up • The centre players not involved in the ball up may play the ball if the ball hits the ground, however in touch versions, contact is not permitted and right of way will be adjudicated by the umpire
Kicking off the ground
• A player is not permitted to deliberately kick the ball off the ground
Diving on the Ball
• When a player after a turnover • Players are not permitted to dive has occurred runs around or over Restart of play on the ball; a free kick will be the spot “the mark “where the ball • After every major score (6), play is awarded against the player diving made contact with the ground due on the ball restarted in the centre of the field to the turn over via a ball up Away from the ball • The ball after being kicked has • After a minor score (1 point) the • An opposing player is not been touched in transit ball is required to be kicked back permitted to touch a player (touch) into play from between the goals unless the player is in possession Contact by a defender of the ball There is to be no contact or spoiling, players cannot: Out of Bounds Fifteen Metre Penalty • Hold an opponent with their hands • When the ball goes out of bounds (ball completely over the line) • Knock the ball out of an by hand or foot, the nearest opponent’s hands opponent shall kick the ball back • Push the player in the side into play • Steal the ball from another player • If there is any doubt as to which • Deliberately bump another player • Smother an opponent’s kick by trying to block the kicking motion at the point of impact. • Barge, fend off or shepherd opponents • Touch the ball while another player has possession Note: It should be accepted that it is very difficult to limit incidental contact whereby two or more players attempt to pick up the ball
team last touched the ball before it went out of bounds, the umpire shall call a ball-up five metres in from the boundary line
Field Bounces/Ball Ups
A fifteen metre penalty may be awarded when a player: • Over steps the Mark • Engages in time wasting
• Uses abusive, insulting, threatening or obscene language or behaviour towards an umpire • Enters the protected 5 metre area around a player which has been awarded a mark or free kick
• The ball shall be thrown up when the umpire is unsure which team touched the ball before it went out of bounds
• Has not returned the football directly and on the full to the player awarded the Free Kick or Mark
• Engages in any other conduct for which a Free Kick would originally be awarded
• When the ball is in transition from the back zone to the
Code of Conduct This Code of Conduct applies to all Players. • Play for enjoyment. • Play hard but fair. • Play by the laws of the game. • Be committed to your team. Attend all practices and matches. • Never argue with the referee. Control your temper at all times. • Work equally hard for yourself and your team. • Be a good sport. Applaud all good play whether by your team or your opponent. • The goals of the game are to have fun, improve your skills and feel good. • Remember to have FUN!
AFL 9s is played at Community Centres around New Zealand Play AFL Community Centres also deliver the highly successful AFL KiwiKick programme to 5-12 year olds. For more information on AFL 9s, AFL KiwiKick as well as AFL New Zealand’s other programmes and the sport of AFL in New Zealand go to www.aﬂnz.co.nz
PH 09 448 0305 AFL New Zealand, PO Box 300 633 Albany, New Zealand
www.aﬂnz.co.nz Special thanks to Jun Tanlayco for his photography juntanlaycosports.com