Published on November 22, 2019 4:02 pm

VFL announces list rules changes

The Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL has today announced list rules changes to be implemented for the 2020 season.

The rules changes have been introduced following a review into the VFL and NEAFL competitions by the AFL Football Operations department and league managers.

The review found list sizes, structure and access to additional players for AFL clubs varied greatly between the two State League competitions.

As such, the AFL Football Operations department, together with the VFL and NEAFL clubs, will work together to achieve greater consistency across the competitions over a three-year period.

Head of Talent Pathways & State League Competitions, Tristan Salter, said the rules changes will help strengthen State League competitions across the board while still allowing flexibility to meet each competition’s unique requirements.

“Our goal is to achieve a consistent set of rules and regulations, list rules and player access across State Leagues to ensure the level of competition and experience for developing players is as equal as possible,” Mr Salter said.

“These measures have been put in place to not only promote consistency across State League competitions, but maintain competitive balance within each competition.

“The changes to playing list structure also enables a closer connection to NAB League clubs to ensure a strong pathway exists for aspiring players.

“These changes also reflect the AFL’s objectives of providing greater opportunity for tier two talent to reach the elite level via the NAB AFL National, Pre-Season and Mid-Season drafts.”

Mr Salter acknowledged the commitment by clubs to improve the standard and playing opportunities within their respective competitions and was looking forward to the next phase of second-tier football.

“The VFL and NEAFL competitions play a crucial role in preparing and developing AFL-listed players for the AFL, as well as providing a clear and structured talent player pathway for aspiring draftees,” he said.

“We are confident these rule adjustments will ensure every player gets the optimal development and exposure they require.

“We thank all clubs and key stakeholders for their feedback and patience as we worked through this review.”
All rules and regulations will continue to be reviewed annually.

Summary of VFL rules changes:

  • VFL clubs will have a development list introduced, made up of 19-year-old players.
  • All clubs will be required to play 23 players per match, which will include 1 x 19-year-old development player and 1 x under-21 player (i.e traditional 23rd player).
  • List structures for 2020 will be as follows:
    • Non-AFL clubs can list up to 46 players, including 40 x primary listed players and 6 development list players.
    • AFL aligned clubs can list up to 36 players, including 30 x primary listed players and 6 x development list players.
    • AFL clubs can list up to 30 players, including 24 x primary list players and 6 x development list players.
  • An additional rookie list of two players is available to all VFL teams which will include NGA players and players who meet the AFL category B Rookie criteria.
  • A father/son rule will be introduced in 2020 which allows a club to list a player whose father played 100 games or more for the club (including AFL and AFL aligned clubs). These players will be listed on a club’s development list.
  • Aside from current finals eligibility rules, no other playing restrictions will apply in the finals series.

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