2015 Laws of the Game

This publication contains the Laws of Australian Football as administered and controlled by the AFL.

These Laws apply to bodies affiliated to the AFL and to bodies affiliated to AFL Affiliates. Controlling bodies may make appropriate modifications consistent with the spirit of these laws for under-age competitions.

Australian Football is a game played between two teams competing in accordance with these Laws. The objective of each team playing Australian Football is to win by scoring more points than the opposing team.

The winner of a match of Australian Football is the team which has scored, in accordance with these Laws, the greater number of points at the conclusion of the match. A match is drawn when each team has the same number of points at the conclusion of the match.

These Laws explain how a match of Australian Football is played and seek to attain the following objectives:

  • To ensure that the game of Australian Football is played in a fair manner and a spirit of true sportsmanship
  • To prevent injuries to players participating in a match so far as this objective can be reasonably achieved in circumstances where Australian Football is a body contact sport

Spirit of the Laws

Photo of AFL umpire in action

In an effort to achieve consistency in decision-making, there is an emphasis on understanding the 'spirit of the laws' (i.e. the philosophies underlying the laws) and officiating according to the spirit of the laws.

Download the Spirit of the Laws brochure

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