AFL Policies & Guidelines

To assist you improve your club operations and environment use these AFL programs, policies and guidelines:

AFL Kids First

The AFL Kids First Program is designed to support community leagues and clubs in guiding parents, so they and their children obtain maximum enjoyment from participation in football. 

Alcohol Management

Clubs have a responsibility to ensure they meet legislative requirements with regard to alcohol management within the club. This can be broken down into two areas:

  • Liquor licence requirements
  • Responsible serving of alcohol requirements

Liquor licence requirements: Your club must hold a current liquor licence that complies with the liquor licence regulations in your state.  

Coaching Accreditation Policy

The purpose of this National Coaching Accreditation Policy is to provide a fair and consistent national framework for Accreditation of Coaches of Australian rules football at all levels other than the elite football.

Implementing a national framework for Accreditation of Coaches focused on improving Coach education and Player safety at all levels of Australian football forms part of the AFL’s commitment to creating a fun and safe environment for all Members to participate in Australian football (as more broadly set out in the Member Protection Policy). 

Download the National Coaching Accreditation Policy.

Codes of Conduct

A Club Code of Conduct will provide club members with a clear guide on the club’s expectations regarding the behaviour of its members. 

Download a sample code of conduct that you can use and implement at your club.

Food Serving Premises

The Government has introduced food safety handling regulations to protect consumers and organisations. Under changes to the Food Act 1984, all clubs that operate canteens and kitchen facilities must be registered with their Local Government Authority.  

Once registered with Local Government Authority, clubs will be provided with a Certificate of Registration as a Food Premises. 

Contact your Local Government Authority for more details on Food Safety Handling Regulations and Food Premises Registration.

Heat Policy

The AFL's heat policy outlines the AFL's strategies for heat stress in match conditions and at training.

Lightning Policy

Download the AFL lightning policy/guidelines if your State body or league/association does not have its own. 

Injuries and Medical Emergencies

The AFL's guidelines on managing injuries and medical emergencies assist your club in providing minimum medical and first aid training requirements.

Member Protection

The AFL regards unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment, bullying and abuse in any form as intolerable and believes that all people have the right to work, play and socialise in an environment which is safe, inclusive and respectful.

This policy reinforces the values the AFL places upon creating the best environment for all people connected with Australian football. It clearly defines expected standards of behaviour for all people associated with our game and sets out the AFL’s approach to addressing inappropriate behaviour.

Other National Policies

Vilification and Discrimination Policy

The benefits to your club of adopting a Vilification and Discrimination Policy include:

  • Increased participation and support from people of diverse cultural backgrounds
  • Presenting a positive image of the club/league to the community. Clubs will be better placed to gain sponsorship or funding from government agencies
  • Minimising the risk of unlawful conduct and litigation and avoid damage to the club/league’s reputation
  • Providing an enjoyable, safe and healthy environment which leads to participants and supporters feeling well connected with the club and therefore more likely to stay involved

Download a sample club vilification & discrimination policy that you can use and implement at your club.

More on Racial & Religious Vilification

Respect and Responsibility

Violence against women is a violation of a woman’s right to physical and psychological integrity, to liberty, and all too often, to her right to life itself. It is any act of gender based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm to women.

Clubs are encouraged to adopt a statement of intent in relation to Respect and Responsibility to challenging the behaviours and attitudes that can cause, contribute to and condone violence against women. 

Download a sample Respect & Responsibility - Statement of intent that you can use and implement at your club.

Clubs are also encouraged to put their players (15 years or older) through the Taking the Tackle program to encourage their players to have respectful relationships with women.

More on Taking the Tackle

More on Respect & Responsibility

SmokeFree Policy

Most council owned buildings require a SmokeFree Policy as part of the lease agreements. The provision of an environment free from smoking has many benefits, including: 

  • Catering for the majority of members and supporters who do not smoke
  • Reduced risk of legal action from employees, patrons, spectators and participants, particularly with regards to passive smoking issues
  • Reduced fire risk, which may lead to lower insurance premiums for your club
  • A progressive healthy image in your community, which is beneficial for attracting community support and sponsors
  • A healthy family friendly environment that can encourage new members, particularly juniors
  • A safer and cleaner environment
  • Reduced cleaning and maintenance costs
  • Fulfilling Local Government Authority tenancy and lease requirements
  • Protecting non-smokers from the dangers of other people’s tobacco smoke 
  • Quit website

Download a sample club smokefree policy template that you can use and implement at your club.

Working With Children

Clubs must ensure compliance and record keeping with all employees and volunteers who are involved with child-related work and must comply with relevant legislation with regard to working with children.

All football clubs have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for all participants, this is particularly important for junior clubs to ensure a comprehensive approach to child protection and creating child safe environments.

Responsible football organisations must ensure:

  • All employees or volunteers undergo criminal record screening
  • All employees or volunteers undergo background checks
  • They have in place relevant policies and procedures to ensure children are protected

It is also increasingly important for senior clubs to undergo stringent screening for their volunteers, particularly in relation to colts teams which may have players under 18 years of age.

Background and criminal history screening will also assist clubs to select the right people for important committee positions such as those with cash and monies responsibilities.

  • Play By The Rules: free online training, information and resources for clubs with details on specific working with children legislation in your state

More Information:
Year of Birth
This is Our Game
2017 AFL International Cup