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New Rules For 2019

Several months ago, the AFL announced new rule changes for 2019. Perhaps the most welcome change - for defenders at least - is the elimination of the hands in the back rule. No longer will a free kick be awarded to a player who simply places his hands on the back of his opponent. A push will still be penalized.

After a point is scored, players will now be allowed to run through the goal square and take off without having to kick the ball to themselves. They will also be allowed to handball the ball out from a behind instead of being restricted to just kicking it to themselves in the goal square or to a teammate. The opposition player standing at "the mark" in front of the goal square will be positioned 10 meters (11 yards) from the edge of the square rather than the previous five meters.

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What Is Australian Football? Video Explanations

What is Australian Football?

Would you like to learn more about Aussie rules? Learn about the rules, key features of the game, and it's history? See the best goals and marks? Below are some videos that might help. Be sure to check our other resources, at the following links:

AFL Laws - The Rules of the Game

The AFL Laws - the official rule book for the game. We recommend this only as a reference.  It is not designed to be used to learn the game but rather for officiating and governing the sport. (Would you teach someone how to understand baseball or basketball by handing them the rule book? Probably not. However, since we get many requests for this, here it is.)

From the Past: Origins of the Umpire Part 1

Where is the Umpire?

by Keith Campbell, exclusive for AFANA

In other football sports the Referees with the sin bin and send-off rule have much greater authority than the umpires in our game and their laws are not so open to interpretation.  It all began in the Melbourne Football Club rule set [1] laid down in the first season in May 1859 which listed 10 rules. There was no mention of an umpire to control the actual game.  Obviously the Captains were required to do the job. Was this planned or an oversight?   This situation was partially resolved 12 months later in May 1860, when more rule revisions [2] were introduced and Rule 11 was added, and the term "Umpire" was used for the first time in official rules: 

From The Past: Origins of the No-Offside Rule


By Keith Campbell,  special to

A notable absentee from the original 10 rule MFC set of May 1859 is the English football off-side rule.  Various football historians have written historical and sociological accounts of the reasons why it was not included.

Australian Football Table Top Guide

The file linked on this page is a Adobe PDF file which makes a "table top" guide to Australian football.  Perfect for bars, pubs, and your coffee table when you have friends over to introduce them to Aussie rules.  Free for use so long as no fee is charged.  Print it out and help others learn about Australian football!  Created by Paat Kelly for AFANA.   Updated for 2015! 

From The Past: Origins of the Laws of Australian Football


By Keith Campbell,  special to

This will be the first in an occasional series of brief articles covering the origins of the rules and later the laws of our great game of Australian rules football.  Before we get into the rules and laws it is timely to remind all of the fans of our sport about one person often overlooked in discussions about our own favorite football code. That Footballer and Cricketer person is of course:

Thomas Wentworth Wills (1835 to 1880.)

Footy FAQ

Australian Rules Football Frequently Asked Questions. What you want to know about Aussie Rules football.

AFANA Version 2.71

Last updated: September, 2021. Full Update: August, 2015 with selected updates in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019,, 2020,and 2021 seasons including AFL Women's awards.
Next full update expected for V3.0 (2022).

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