Please see below Return to Community Football frequently asked questions and answers. Please contact the relevant state / territory contact for more information.
What do the various Government Stages 1, 2 and 3, and the AIS Levels A, B and C mean for returning to Community Football?
Each State and Territory Government has declared a roadmap to lift restrictions. Levels 1, 2 and 3 outline the various restrictions that apply at different stages. The AFL has been working with each State Government to determine the return to play timeline for AFL at a community football level. Please refer to the latest information from your State/Territory affiliate that outlines where AFL is at on this timeline. We are not authorised to move to the next stage without endorsement from the Government.
Levels A, B, C refer to the AIS Framework which is a detailed framework that spells out protocols for sports to reboot safely. We are utilising this framework to develop our health, safety and training protocols for each Stage.
Why are our restrictions on playing / training different to other States?
The level of restrictions in each region is strictly determined by each State / Territory Government and is dependent on a range of factors in each region. Also, how restrictions are applied to Community sport may be different in each State / Territory. We are not in control of the decision-making process that sees restrictions relaxed at different times and in different ways.
I haven’t gone back to work yet but you are saying it’s OK to start playing footy? Why is that?
The Australian Government released a recommendation through the AIS Sports Framework that stepped out a clearly phased approach to returning to play community sport. Both Federal and State Governments have indicated that sport plays a vital role in the community and as such it has been a focus to return to play in a controlled and safe manner.
When do you think we will be playing and training with all players and staff in attendance?
The AFL is not the decision maker when it comes to whether and when our sport can return in full. The decision to move to the level which permits training and competition is one that is made by each State or Territory Government. Whilst some States / Territories have revealed a roadmap to return to community sport, the timing of a return depends on the status of the COVID-19 virus and other considerations in each region. Further detail around the status and timing of a return to training and playing is outlined on the website for each State / Territory football body. See further information below.
Why have other sports teams gone back, but we aren’t playing footy?
Each State or Territory Government is responsible for determining when each sport can return and some sports will return sooner than others. Understandably, there are different considerations for each sport including contact v non-contact, indoor v outdoor sports, numbers in teams etc. We are bound by the State or Territory Governments on when they decide Sports including the AFL can move from stage 1 to 2 and 3.
Why do other sports have different safety and hygiene protocols to AFL?
The AFL is following the protocols set out by the Federal Government’s AIS Framework. Each sport may take a different approach to how they adopt the protocols set out by the Federal Government’s AIS framework.
Do we have to download the COVID-SAFE app to participate?
It is the AFL’s strong recommendation that all volunteers, umpires and participants involved in Auskick and community football install the COVIDSafe app to ensure that we are able to track and trace any active cases if they come to light. This is part of our commitment to Government as a sport in our return to play strategy.
Will there be someone in my Club who is responsible for making sure our training and grounds adopt safety protocols?
Yes, the AFL is requesting that all Clubs nominate a representative (E.G. a COVID-SAFE Officer) that can be responsible for ensuring all appropriate protocols are adopted and implemented by each Club/Team at all times. It is essential we have someone in every Club that can ensure we are adhering to the AIS Framework at all times. We will work with each Club to ensure this nominated individual has access to the appropriate checklists, training and education resources and expect Clubs to also provide their nominated individuals with support in performing this important role. Whilst acting in this role the individual will be covered under the Community Football Public Liability insurance policy.
But it is also the responsibility of everyone involved in football to follow all health protocols and guidelines to ensure our game can return safely.
Will the AFL be providing education for Club staff or volunteers?
Yes, the AFL requires individuals responsible for coordinating protocol checks to undertake the COVID-19 infection control training which can be completed online here. We will also be providing education on the protocols specific for Australian Football shortly.
How do we keep track of our club officials who have completed the online education?
We have created templates for you to record who in your Club has completed the COVID-19 infection control training and the online training on the protocols specific for Australian Football. This template is available here.
How do we record who attends organised football training at our Club?
We have created a template for you to record who attends each training session and when, so you have a record if required by your State Health department. This template is available here.
Where can we get posters or signs for our Club to make sure people know the rules?
Posters for Clubs are available here to display at all training and playing venues.
My team has started training again, but I’m not feeling 100% or a family member has had/recovered from coronavirus.
It is absolutely essential that no one ever attends training or spectates if they are feeling unwell or they have been around someone who has been unwell. You must ensure you notify your Club official (E.G. COVID-SAFE Officer) if you have attended training and been unwell or have concerns about a family member or close contact.
What do we do if we are feeling unwell?
Anyone who has a fever or respiratory symptoms consistent with coronavirus, no matter how mild, is strongly recommended to attend a COVID-19 clinic, or their GP, for assessment and testing.
Monitor for symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. Other early symptoms to watch for are chills and body aches or muscle pain, a sore throat, headaches, runny nose, diarrhoea or unexplained loss of taste or smell.
If it is determined you are to undertake a test, following the test you must self-isolate by immediately going home and resting while you wait for your test result (which you should usually get within 2 days). Whilst you are waiting you must stay at home (i.e. do not attend work, school/university or training), wash your hands often with soap and water, cough and sneeze into a clean tissue or your elbow and avoid close contact with others, including members of your household.
You must also notify your club’s nominated representative (E.G. COVID-SAFE Officer) that you have undertaken a COVID-19 test and they must then notify their relevant League official who will advise on next steps.
What to do if we have a positive test?
Localised outbreaks may require football clubs to again restrict activity and clubs must be ready to respond accordingly. The detection of a positive COVID-19 case in a sporting or recreation club or organisation will result in a standard public health response, which could include quarantine of a whole team or large group, and close contacts, for the required period.
Facilities may be closed on the instruction of the local Public Health Authority or the Chief Medical Officer. Re-opening of the training facility should only occur after close consultation with the local Public Health Authority.
The AFL State Body will assist any Club if there is a detection of a positive case.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to provide any certainty around the impact on Competitions as Public Health will review each scenario on a case by case and with a State lens.