Please find below the official Laws of the Game, for matches played on American Football (Gridiron) Fields.
LAWS OF THE GAME
Part A: Introduction
A. This Publication
C. Nature and Object of Footy 9s
D. Purpose of Laws
Part B: General and Definitions
Part C: Administrative Provisions
A. Controlling body
B. Application of these Laws
1. Playing Field and Positions
2. The Ball
4. Player’s Equipment
5. Starting the Match
7. Kicking In
8. Marking the Ball
9. Ball Disposal
10. Ball Possession
11. Physical Contact
12. Free Kicks
13. Fifteen Yard Penalty
14. Play On
15. Jump Ball
16. Umpire Duties and Instructions
17. Reporting Players & Officials
18. Match Time
Part A: Introduction
A. This Publication
This publication contains the Laws of Footy 9s as administered and controlled by Australian Football International (AFI).
These Laws apply to bodies playing matches utilising these Laws. Controlling bodies may make appropriate modifications consistent with the spirit of these laws for under-age competitions.
C. Nature and Object of Footy 9s
Footy 9s is a game played between two teams competing in accordance with these Laws. The objective of each team playing Footy 9s is to win by scoring more points than the opposing team. The winner of a Match of Footy 9s is the team which has scored 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.
D. Purpose of Laws
These Laws explain how a Match of Footy 9s is played and seek to attain the following objectives:
(a) to ensure that the game of Footy 9s is played in a fair manner and a spirit of true sportsmanship; and
(b) to prevent injuries to Players participating in a Match so far as this objective can be reasonably achieved in circumstances where Footy 9s is a body contact sport.
Part B: General and Definitions
Unless the context requires otherwise, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
AFI: Australian Football International.
Arena: means the Playing Field and all of the area between the Playing Field and the perimeter fence, including any break in the perimeter fence.
Boundary Line: the white line drawn on the ground to identify the Playing Field.
Central Zone: the area on the Playing Field between the two 40 yard lines.
End Zone: the area on the Playing Field that is the same as the end zone on a regular American Football field.
Footy 9s: the contest played between two teams competing in accordance with these Laws.
Goal: the scoring of a point.
Handball: the act of holding the football in one hand and disposing of the football by hitting it with the clenched fist of the other hand.
Kick or Kicking: in relation to disposing of the football, means making contact with the football with any part of the Player’s leg below the knee.
Mark: the act of catching the football, provided it has been kicked a minimum of 10 yards without being touched by another player.
Playing Field: the field of play inside the Boundary Line, excluding the area between such lines and the perimeter fence.
The Mark: the position on the Playing Field where an opposition Player may stand after a Player has been awarded a Free Kick or a Mark.
Throw: shall be given its ordinary meaning, but also includes the act of propelling the football with one or both hands in a scooping motion. A Player does not throw the football if the Player hits, punches or taps the football without taking possession of the football.
AFI may from time to time change these Laws and make further Laws in its absolute discretion.
PART C: ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS
A. CONTROLLING BODY
A Controlling Body includes:
(b) any league, association or body responsible for the organisation and conduct of Matches of Footy 9s, who has determined to play such Matches in accordance with these Laws; and
(c) a league, association or body responsible for the organisation and conduct of Matches of Footy 9s and which is affiliated to AFI (“AFI Affiliates”).
B. APPLICATION OF THESE LAWS
These Laws shall apply to all Matches of Footy 9s organised and conducted by a Controlling Body.
1. PLAYING FIELD AND POSITIONS
Footy 9s has been created and designed to be played on American Football fields in the USA.
1.1 The playing field shall be rectangular in shape, between 100-110 yards in length, and between 50-60 yards in width.
1.2 The field will use the same markings as a standard American Football field.
1.3 A line known as the boundary line shall mark the boundary of the playing field.
1.4 The ball will be thrown up directly over the middle of the 50 yard line to start the match. This line is known as the center line.
1.5 Two short lines across the boundary line, 15 yards apart, shall mark the interchange area.
1.6 Two goal posts shall be placed at each end of the playing field.
1.7 The line between the goal posts i.e the cross bar, shall be called the goal line.
1.8 After an attacking team misses a shot for goal, the ball shall be brought back into play by a defending player kicking the ball from within the end zone.
1.9 At the start of a Match and after the scoring of a goal, players must line up in their respective positions, which are:
Defenders – between the goalposts and 20 yard line
Centers – between the two 40 yard lines (the central zone)
Forwards – between the goalposts and 20 yard line
If a player leaves his designated area before the ball leaves the umpire’s hand in the act of being thrown up, a free kick will be awarded to the opposition on the center of the 50 yard line.
2.1 For senior matches all footballs must be full size and of good quality.
2.2 The Home Team shall provide a minimum of two footballs to the umpire before the commencement of the Match.
2.3 Red footballs shall be used for day matches, whilst yellow footballs shall be used for night matches.
3.1 The team shall consist of 9 players on the field at any one time and up to 6 interchange players.
3.2 Prior to the commencement of play the team manager of each team shall hand to the umpire a list of names and numbers of the players comprising the team and indicating the captain and interchange players who will not take part in the match at its commencement.
3.3 At any time during the course of the match, one of the players not then taking part in the match may be interchanged with one of the participating players.
3.4 The umpire shall at the request of either captain, stop the match and call the players of the opposing team into line for the purpose of a team count. Such players shall line up in the center of the ground and remain until dismissed by the umpire.
3.5 If a team has been counted and found to have more than the permitted number of players on the field, the League shall impose a penalty by way of reverse of match result, annulment of score or part thereof, fine or censure as it shall consider proper.
4.1 No player shall be permitted to play in a match with apparel or protective equipment which may cause injury to himself or his opponents. This shall include:
4.1.1 Bootstuds or plates considered dangerous.
4.1.2 A finger ring or other jewellery.
4.1.3 Surgical applications or guards.
4.2 The umpire may inspect players’ boots, hands and guards prior to the commencement of play or at any time prior to the conclusion of the match. The umpire shall have the sole prerogative to determine whether apparel or protective equipment has the potential to cause injury.
5.1 Prior to the commencement of play, the umpire shall:
5.1.1 Consult the timekeeper as to his readiness to commence.
5.1.2 Inspect and approve the ball(s) to be used.
5.2 The umpire shall toss the coin with the captains for the choice of goal.
5.2.1 At the conclusion of each quarter, the teams shall change ends.
5.3 Prior to starting the match, the umpire shall consult the captains as to the readiness of their teams.
5.4 To commence play at the start of each quarter, the umpire shall hold the ball aloft, sound his whistle and throw the ball up in the air. Match timing shall commence on the sound of the whistle.
5.5 After a goal has been kicked, the ball shall be thrown up directly over the middle of the 50 yard line to re-start the match. This is known as the jump ball.
5.6 A maximum of three players of each team is permitted in the central zone area for the jump ball. No officials are permitted in the central zone for the jump ball. No player or official is permitted to enter the central zone from the time the umpire commences his approach to the center line until the ball leaves the umpire’s hand in the act of being thrown up.
5.7 The jump ball shall be contested only by one player of each team who shall take up a position in his team’s defensive half. Neither of these players shall enter his team’s attacking half until the ball leaves the umpire’s hand in the act of being thrown up.
5.8 In the event of a breach of this Law by a player or official, the umpire shall award a free kick to a player of the opposing side on the center of the 50 yard line.
5.9 When a goal is scored the umpire shall bring the ball back to the center as quickly as possible.
5.10 At jump balls, players may enter the central zone until the umpire commences his approach to throw the ball up.
6.1 A goal shall register one point. The team scoring the greater number of points shall win the match. If the points are equal, the match shall be drawn.
6.2 When a ball crosses the goal line, the umpire shall give the goal umpire an “All Clear” signal if there have not been any incidents in play which the umpire intends to penalise.
6.3 A score cannot be registered unless the umpire calls or indicates “All Clear” to the goal umpire.
6.4 A goal shall be scored when the ball is kicked through the goal posts by a player of the attacking team.
6.4.1 A goal shall be awarded if, in the act of kicking for goal, the ball strikes one of the posts and continues through the goals.
6.4.2 If the ball strikes a goal post and bounces back into the field of play, the umpire shall call “Play On” and play shall continue.
6.4.3 The fact that the ball has struck or touched a player shall not prevent the scoring of a goal.
6.5 The goal umpires shall be the sole judges of goals and their decisions are final, except when the ball has become dead by a decision of the umpire.
6.5.1 Upon receiving “All Clear”, the goal umpire shall initially indicate a goal by raising both index fingers.
6.5.2 The goal umpire shall then signal a goal by waving two flags.
6.5.3 When a score has been annulled, the goal umpire shall immediately stand in front of the goal posts in the end zone and hold both flags above his head in crossed position.
6.6 The ball shall be deemed dead when the umpire hears the first sound of the siren, but a player who has, prior to the first sound of the siren, taken a mark or been awarded a free kick shall be allowed to kick the ball. A goal obtained therefrom or from a ball which is in transit prior to the first sound of the siren shall be counted.
The umpire shall be the sole judge of whether the ball has been kicked or handled or whether a free kick has been awarded prior to the first sound of the siren.
6.7 Controlling bodies shall authorise such officials as they deem appropriate to record scores, separate from the goal umpires. In the event of the goal umpires disagreeing on the final scores, the controlling body may take the separately recorded scores into consideration in determining the result of the match.
7.1 When the attacking team attempts a shot for goal and misses, a player of the defending team shall kick the ball into the field of play from within the end zone, the ball contact being made before the ball completely crosses the line. When the ball is being kicked in, no other player shall be allowed in the area between the end zone and the 10 yard line.
7.2 If the ball is not brought into play correctly, the umpire shall throw the ball up over the center of the 10 yard line.
7.3 The ball shall not be kicked in until all other players, both attacking and defending, are behind the 10 yard line.
7.4 If an opposing player attempts to delay play by moving to or standing within 10 yards of the kick off line or prevents the player from kicking in, the umpire shall penalise the offending team by awarding a 15 yard penalty.
7.5 If a player will not kick in when directed to do so by the umpire, the umpire shall call play on.
8.1 A mark is catching the ball directly from the kick of another player, not less than 10 yards distant, the ball being held a reasonable time and not having been touched in transit from kick to catch.
8.2 A mark shall be awarded to a player who crosses the boundary line from the playing ground but controls the ball before it has passed completely over the boundary line.
8.3 A mark shall be allowed when the ball is caught and controlled on the boundary line.
8.4 When a player takes a mark or is given a free kick, an opponent is permitted to stand on the mark or spot where this occurrence took place.
8.5 Only one opponent may stand on a player’s mark.
8.6 No other player is allowed within a corridor which extends from 5 yards either side of the mark to 5 yards either side of, and a 5 yard radius behind, the player with the ball. This corridor is to be known as the 10 yard protected area.
8.7 In the event of an opponent encroaching over the mark when a player is kicking for goal and a goal is kicked, the umpire shall give the “All Clear” and the goal shall be registered. If a goal has not been kicked, the player shall be given the option of another kick, and the mark shall be advanced 15 yards.
9.1 The ball may be either kicked or handballed. It cannot be thrown.
9.2 A player shall handball the ball by holding the ball in one hand and hitting it with the clenched fist of the other hand. If the ball is not handballed correctly, a free kick shall be given to the nearest opponent.
9.3 A player may kick the ball by making contact with the ball below the knee.
9.4 A player who takes a mark or who is awarded a free kick shall play the ball from directly behind the spot where the mark or free kick was awarded. The 10 yard protected area shall apply. If the player attempts to play the ball other than in a direct line over the mark, the umpire shall call “Play On” and the ball shall immediately be in play.
9.5 If there is no player on the mark, the ball may be played in any direction.
9.6 When a player is kicking for goal from a mark or a free kick, the kick shall be taken along a direct line through the mark to the center of the goal posts.
9.7 The ball shall be deemed to be brought into play when any portion of it is on or above the boundary line.
9.8 If a player taking his kick from outside the boundary line after having been awarded a mark or a free kick, and attempts to play on outside the boundary line, the umpire shall give the player another kick to put the ball into play.
10.1 A player may hold the ball for any length of time provided he is not held by an opponent.
10.2 If he runs with the ball he must bounce it or touch it on the ground at least once within every 10 yards from the commencement of his run, whether running in a straight line or turning and dodging.
10.3 If a player with the ball bounces it, he is deemed to be in possession of the ball.
10.4 If he runs with the ball and handballs it over an opponent’s head and catches it, he must, within 10 yards of commencing his run or striking the ball on the ground, bounce it or touch the ground with it or dispose of the ball.
10.5 A player who lies on or over the ball is deemed to be in possession of the ball.
11.1 A player may be fairly met or checked by an opponent by the use of the hip, shoulder, chest, arms or open hand provided the ball is not more than 5 yards away.
11.2 A player may be pushed in the chest or side or shepherded by an opponent provided the ball is not more than 5 yards away.
11.3 A player in possession of the ball may fend off a prospective tackler by pushing him with an open hand in the chest, shoulder or side.
11.4 A player in possession of the ball may be tackled and grasped in the area below the top of the shoulders and on or above the knee. The tackle may be from front, side or behind provided that the tackle from behind does not thrust forward the player with the ball.
11.5 Procedures for administering this law are as follows:
11.5.1 A player in possession of the ball who has had a reasonable time (prior opportunity) to dispose of the ball must, when legally held by an opponent firmly enough to retard his progress, dispose of the ball by a kick or handball within a reasonable time of being held, otherwise a free kick shall be awarded against the player for failing to dispose of the ball in a legal manner.
11.5.2 The umpire shall throw the ball up when the player with the ball has the ball held to his body by an opponent, unless the player has had a reasonable time to dispose of the ball prior to being tackled in which case a free kick shall be awarded for holding the ball.
11.5.3 A player who elects to dive on the ball and/or drag the ball under him when he is on the ground, will be penalised for holding the ball if he does not immediately hit the ball clear when held legally.
11.5.4 A player not in possession of the ball when held by an opponent, shall be awarded a free kick.
11.5.5 When a player claims a mark, the ball having been touched in transit, and retains possession when held by an opponent, the umpire shall not award a free kick but bounce the ball if he is satisfied that the player did not hear his call of “Play On”. But if the ball has been taken away from the player by another player, the umpire’s call “Play On” shall hold good.
11.5.6 The umpire shall allow play to continue if a player in the act of kicking or handball, is swung off balance and his foot or hand does not connect with the ball.
11.5.7 The umpire shall allow play to continue if a player is bumped and the ball falls from his hands.
11.5.8 The umpire shall allow play to continue when a player’s arm is knocked, causing him to drop the ball.
11.5.9 The umpire shall allow play to continue if a player has his arms pinned to his sides causing him to drop the ball.
11.5.10 The umpire shall allow play to continue if a player is pulled by one arm or swung causing the ball to fall from his hand.
12.1 The spirit of the laws relating to free kicks is:
12.1.1 The player who makes the ball his sole objective shall be given every opportunity to gain possession of the ball.
12.1.2 The player who has possession of the ball and is held by an opponent shall be given a reasonable time to kick or handball the ball.
12.1.3 The ball shall be kept in motion. The umpire shall call “Play On” even though a free kick should have been awarded but by doing so would penalise the team offended against.
12.2 All breaches of the laws shall be penalised whether the ball is dead or in play. The umpire shall sound his whistle for the awarding of a free kick. Unless otherwise specified, the player nearest to the opponent who commits a breach of the Laws shall receive a free kick.
12.2.1 If the umpire has sounded his whistle for a free kick, he may cancel such a free kick by calling “Play On, Advantage” if the side offended against will be penalised by enforcing the free kick.
12.2.2 Should the umpire cancel a free kick he may reverse the decision if it is obvious that it is not to the advantage of the team concerned.
12.2.3 A player awarded a free kick must go back to the spot where the breach occurred before being allowed to kick or play the ball. If such player kicks or plays the ball without complying with this law, the umpire shall stop play and enforce compliance.
12.2.4 A free kick shall be awarded against a player who throws or hands the ball to another player while the ball is in play.
12.2.5 When a player who has taken a mark or been awarded a free kick is, in the opinion of the umpire, unable to dispose of the ball through accident or the deliberate action of an opponent, the umpire shall award a free kick to the nearest player of the same team at the time the incident occurred. The kick shall be taken at the spot nearest to where the incident occurred.
12.2.6 If a player has been awarded a free kick or a mark, and before the kick is taken a further breach of the laws is made by a player on the same side as the first offender, the umpire shall sound his whistle and direct the free kick to be taken by a teammate at the spot where the subsequent breach took place, if doing so will penalise the offending team. Where a subsequent breach is committed by a teammate of the player taking the kick, a free kick shall be given to the nearest opponent at the spot of the original free kick, if doing so will penalise the offending team.
12.2.7 If a breach of the laws is committed, regardless of the position on the field, the free kick is to be taken at the spot where the infringement occurred, or where the ball is at the time, whichever would be the greater penalty for the offending team.
12.2.8 A free kick shall be given if a player infringes any of the laws between the time the umpire sounds his whistle and throws the ball up.
Free Kicks – Throwing the Ball Up
12.3 Free kicks for infringements concerning the umpire throwing the ball up will be awarded against the player who:
12.3.1 Crosses the 50 yard line when the umpire is in the act of throwing the ball up at the start of the match, the start of each quarter, and after a goal has been scored.
12.3.2 Interferes with an opponent from the time the ball has been thrown up in the central zone until the ball subsequently makes contact with a player or the ground.
12.3.3 Unduly interferes with the throwing up of the ball by the umpire or deliberately interferes with an umpire during the progress of the match.
Free Kicks – Interfering with Opponents
12.4 A free kick will be awarded against a player who interferes with an opponent in the following manner:
12.4.1 Interferes with an opponent from the time the ball goes out of bounds, until the ball, after being kicked in by a player, makes contact with a player or the ground.
12.4.2 When a goal is kicked by a player, and while the ball is being kicked or is in transit a breach of the laws is made by an opponent, the umpire shall give the “All Clear” signal and the goal shall be registered.
12.4.3 After the ball has been kicked and an infringement occurs, and the ball does not score a goal, the option of another kick shall be given to the player who originally kicked the ball at the spot from where the kick originated.
12.4.4 If a breach of the Laws is made by a player of the attacking side, the umpire shall not signal “All Clear” but must award a free kick, to the nearest player of the defending team.
12.4.5 If a player is fouled immediately after scoring a goal and after the umpire has given the “All Clear”, the umpire shall award such player a free kick at the spot where the offence took place. Another score may then be registered without the ball having been thrown up in the central zone or kicked in.
12.4.6 If a breach of the laws is committed against a player who has disposed of the ball, and this occurs after the ball has been kicked or handballed, a penalty free kick (“Downfield”) shall be awarded to a player of the team offended against at the spot where the ball first touched the ground, a player, was marked or went out of bounds. If the awarding of such a free kick will penalise the team offended against, the free kick shall be given to the player who originally kicked the ball.
12.4.7 Trips or kicks, attempts to trip or kick or slings an opponent, or when not in possession of the ball, kicks in a manner likely to cause injury to an opponent, or strikes or attempts to strike an opponent with either hand or arm or deliberately with the knee.
Free Kicks – Out of Bounds
12.5 A free kick shall be awarded against a player who kicks, handballs or forces the ball out of bounds, whether deliberate or not.
12.5.1 The free kick shall be taken at the spot where the ball went out of bounds across the boundary line or adjacent to the goal posts.
12.5.2 When kicking in from the end zone, if the ball is kicked out of bounds without it having been touched by any player, a free kick shall be given at the spot where the ball went out of bounds.
12.5.3 This rule applies whether the ball has been forced out of bounds either along the ground or out on the full.
Free Kicks – Illegal Contact
12.6 A free kick shall be awarded against the player who checks or tackles an opponent in the following manner:
12.6.1 Catches hold of an opponent below the knee or by the neck or head, which includes the top of the shoulder.
12.6.2 Charges an opponent.
12.6.3 Pushes an opponent from behind in any way, except when legitimately going for a mark, a player may interfere with an opponent from behind.
12.6.4 Pushes, bumps or shepherds an opponent in the face, head, neck or in the shoulder.
12.6.5 Pushes, bumps or shepherds an opponent who is in the air for a mark.
12.6.6 Shepherds an opponent when the ball is more than 5 yards away or is out of play.
12.6.7 Deliberately holds back or throws an opponent after that opponent has kicked or handballed the ball. No free kick shall be given if the player, unable to release his hold at once, throws the opponent down.
Free Kicks – Interference with Play
12.7 A free kick shall be awarded against a player who interferes with play as follows:
12.7.1 If the ball is in transit towards goal from a free kick, mark or field kick and an opponent shakes the goal post, the umpire shall give the player the option of another kick if in the umpire’s opinion, the opponent’s action could have affected the result.
12.7.2 If a teammate shakes the goal post, the umpire shall award a free kick to the nearest opponent at the spot from where the ball was kicked.
12.8 A free kick shall be awarded against a player who wilfully wastes time by not allowing the ball to be brought into play prior to, or when directed to do so, by the umpire.
12.9 A free kick shall be awarded against the team as follows:
12.9.1 Any team official who interferes with the ball, the play or a player of the opposing team during the course of the game shall cause the umpire to award a free kick to the nearest player of the team offended against at the spot of the infringement, or where the ball is at the time, whichever would be a greater penalty to the offending team.
12.9.2 A free kick shall be awarded against a player who uses abusive, insulting or obscene language to an umpire or behaves in an abusive, insulting or obscene manner towards an umpire.
13.1 A 15 yard penalty will be applied in instances where the actions of a player encroach over the mark, waste time and/or delay the play or where a player uses abusive, insulting or obscene language to an umpire or behaves in an abusive, insulting or obscene manner towards an umpire where an opposition player has been awarded a mark or free kick.
13.2 When the umpire applies a 15 yard penalty, the player receiving the penalty shall not be permitted to play on. The mark shall then be advanced 15 yards in a direct line with the center of the goal. The player receiving the penalty shall be given free access to take up a position behind the advanced mark. When the umpire is satisfied the player has taken up a correct position, he will instruct the player he is free to play the ball, irrespective of whether an opponent is standing on the mark.
13.3 A 15 yard penalty shall have the same implication as a free kick.
13.4 If a free kick or mark has been awarded and a player of the opposing team runs through the 10 yard protected area, unless accompanying or following an opponent within five yards, a 15 yard penalty shall be awarded.
13.5 Where a 15 yard penalty advances the mark to the center of the goal line, the kick shall be taken from directly in front of the advanced mark.
13.6 Where a free kick is awarded for intentionally tripping, a 15 yard shall automatically apply.
The umpire shall call and indicate “Play On” and the ball shall immediately remain in play in any of the following circumstances:
14.1 When an umpire, or any other authorized official or player, is struck by the ball while it is in play.
14.2 When the ball, having been kicked, is touched while still in transit.
14.3 When the ball is caught directly from a kick of another player less than 10 yards distant.
14.4 When the umpire cancels a free kick.
14.5 When a player who has taken a mark or been awarded a free kick, attempts to run, handball or kick otherwise than over his mark.
The umpire shall throw the ball up (also known as a jump ball) in the following circumstances:
15.1. At the start of the match, at the start of each quarter and after each goal has been kicked.
15.2 When in doubt as to which player has taken a mark.
15.3 When a defending player, in kicking in from within the end zone, fails to correctly bring the ball into play, the ball to be thrown up over the center of the 10 yard line.
15.4 In a scrimmage where players are struggling for possession of the ball.
15.5 When a player claims a mark, the ball having been touched, and retains possession of the ball when held by an opponent, the umpire will throw the ball up if he is satisfied the player did not hear his call of “Play On”.
16. UMPIRE DUTIES AND INSTRUCTIONS
Appointment of Umpires
16.1 The controlling body shall appoint for each match a field umpire (known as the umpire) and two goal umpires. There are no boundary umpires. The umpire shall have full control of play and shall award free kicks in accordance with the laws.
Replacement of Umpires
16.2 When any umpire, before or during the progress of the game, becomes incapable through sickness, injury or accident in performing his duties, a substitute shall be chosen according to arrangements made by the controlling body.
Inspection of Players Equipment
16.3 Prior to the commencement of play the umpire may inspect the boots, hands and guards of players. The umpire may similarly inspect the players’ equipment at any time during the game.
16.4 The umpire shall indicate to the timekeeper when “Time On” is to be added due to a major delay in play, and shall indicate that “Time On” has ended when satisfied that play is ready to recommence.
Out of Bounds
16.5 The umpire shall be the sole judge of when the ball is out of bounds.
16.6 To be out of bounds, the ball must be completely outside the boundary line. If any portion of it is on or above the boundary line, the ball is still in play.
16.7 When the ball has completely crossed the boundary line, whether along the ground or out of bounds on the full, the umpire shall sound his whistle and award a free kick to the nearest opposition player at the spot where it crossed the line.
16.8 Goal umpires shall keep a record of all goals scored in a match.
16.9 Goal umpires shall signal and record a goal upon receiving the “all clear” from the umpire.
16.10 The goal umpire must watch the play closely, but if he is unable to decide if the ball has been kicked the ball through the goal posts, he may consult the field umpire before making a decision.
17. REPORTING PLAYERS AND OFFICIALS
17.1.1 Umpires may report any player or official who during the progress of the match commits a reportable offence.
17.1.2 Umpires may report an offending player without taking into consideration whether the offending player received provocation or not.
17.1.3 Umpires may caution a player but must not at any time threaten a player.
17.2 A player or official who commits the following offences may be reported:
17.2.1 Unduly interferes with, or assaults, or uses threatening language to an umpire or behaves in a threatening manner towards an umpire.
17.2.2 Assaults another player or official.
17.2.3 Intentionally kicks or attempts to kick an opponent or official.
17.2.4 Commits an act of misconduct.
17.2.5 Wilfully wastes time.
17.2.6 Unduly interferes with a player whilst such player is kicking for goal.
17.2.7 Disputes the decision of an umpire.
17.2.8 Uses abusive, insulting or obscene language to an umpire or behaves in an abusive, insulting or obscene manner towards an umpire.
17.2.9 Uses abusive, threatening or insulting language.
17.2.10 If when a player is preparing to kick for goal after being awarded a mark or free kick, or if the ball is in transit, a player shakes the goal post.
17.2.11 Throws an opponent after that player has taken a mark, or after the ball is otherwise out of play.
17.2.12 Violently pushes an opponent after that player has disposed of the ball.
17.2.13 Intentionally trips or attempts to trip an opponent by foot or leg.
17.2.14 Strikes or attempts to strike a player or official with his hand or arm.
17.2.15 Charges an opponent.
17.2.16 Engages in unduly rough play by committing a breach of the Laws against an opponent in a deliberate and violent manner.
17.2.17 Remains on the playing ground not wearing proper uniform after being warned by the umpire.
17.2.18 Wears unacceptable equipment – boot studs, rings, jewellery, surgical appliances or guards.
17.3.1 When an umpire intends to make a charge against a player, he shall notify the player concerned as soon as reasonably possible after the incident. If such a charge relates to an incident arising in the first three quarters the umpire shall notify the player not later than the commencement of the next quarter.
17.3.2 Where a charge is laid in the final quarter, if the umpire is unable to notify the player during the course of the match, notification on the official report sheet handed to team officials at the conclusion of the match will suffice.
17.3.3 Umpires shall make themselves thoroughly familiar with the offences which must be reported and report all offending players.
17.3.4 After reporting a player or players, umpires must not at anytime enter into any conversation with club officials or players relating to any incident of the match or any charges made against a player.
17.4.1 The controlling body shall provide umpires with report sheets on which they shall enter particulars of any charge or charges they make against players or officials. This shall be completed during or immediately after the termination of a match.
17.4.2 The controlling body shall adopt By-Laws to determine the procedures for lodgement, notification and processing of such reports.
17.5.1 The controlling body may disqualify for any term, players or officials who have been reported for and found guilty of breaches of the laws.
17.5.2 The controlling body may delegate this power to any person or body or persons duly constituted in accordance with its rules for the purpose of investigating any report of a player made in accordance with these laws.
17.5.3 Any player disqualified for committing an offence against these Laws shall not be permitted to play in any match under the control of AFI.
17.6.1 A player who is reported by the umpire under laws 17.2.1 – 17.2.4 shall be ordered from the field for the remainder of the match.
17.6.2 A player reported by the umpire for a second offence under Laws 17.2.5 – 17.2.18 shall be ordered from the field for the remainder of the match.
17.6.3 The controlling body shall determine the period of time, if any, to elapse before a player ordered off may be replaced.
17.6.4 The controlling body may authorise the umpire to order a player from the field, for a period of time, for a first offence under Laws 17.2.5 – 17.2.18.
17.6.5 The umpire shall signal that a player has been ordered off, by pointing to the interchange area with an outstretched arm. The player shall leave the ground immediately.
17.6.6 In the event of a player failing or refusing to leave the ground when ordered off, he shall be reported for misconduct, the match shall terminate and his team shall forfeit.
Duration of the Game, Quarters & Intervals
18.1.1 All matches shall be of four quarters each of 20 minutes playing time.
18.1.2 The time allowed between the end of the first quarter and the start of the second quarter shall be sufficient to permit teams to change ends, but shall not exceed 5 minutes. At half time the players may leave the playing ground for not more than 15 minutes, the match must recommence not later than 20 minutes after the conclusion of the second quarter. At the conclusion of the 20 minute period, the timekeeper shall notify the umpire by sounding the siren. Between the end of the third quarter and the start of the last quarter, there shall be an interval of not more than 5 minutes.
18.1.3 The timekeeper shall indicate the end of each quarter by sounding the siren and the ball shall be deemed dead and play shall cease when the umpire hears the first sound of the siren. The umpire shall signify that the siren has been heard by blowing his whistle and holding up both hands. When a player has been awarded a mark or free kick prior to the first sound of a siren, the player will be permitted to take his kick.
18.1.4 The duration of games and intervals may be varied for under age competitions.
18.2.1 The controlling body shall appoint a timekeeper, or in the absence of such arrangements, each team shall appoint a time keeper, whose duties shall be:
18.2.2 To sound a siren at the start and finish of each quarter, and to keep sounding it until the umpire notifies him that he has heard it.
18.2.3 To add time on to the playing time of the quarter as required under these Laws.
18.3.1 The timekeeper shall add “time on” when directed to do so by the umpire when there is undue delay in play, such as a serious injury or lost ball.
18.3.2 The timekeeper shall stop adding time on when instructed by the umpire, or when the ball is obviously in play.
18.3.3 The umpire shall adopt the following procedure for indicating “Time On” to the timekeeper.
18.3.4 To indicate the commencement of the time added period, the umpire shall blow his whistle and raise one arm above his head.
18.3.5 To indicate that the time added period has elapsed, the umpire shall again blow his whistle and raise one arm above his head.