Return to Community Football - General FAQs

Please see below Return to Community Football frequently asked questions and answers. Please contact your relevant state / territory or visit their website for more information.

Leagues and Clubs need to understand and implement a range of protocols to ensure training and playing games is done in a safe, hygienic and well controlled manner.

To help ensure training and games are conducted in a safe, hygienic and well controlled manner it is important you follow the requirements in your State / Territory.

What are some practical ways to ensure football returns in a COVID-safe manner?

  1. Water bottles / food – ensure everyone has their own bottle – no sharing food or drinks
  2. If unwell, stay home – if you, or your child is sick or feeling unwell, please stay at home
  3. Safe hygiene – remind participants about safe hygiene practices including washing their hands regularly, using hand sanitiser, covering your mouth (with your elbow) when coughing sneezing
  4. Social distancing – encourage spectators to maintain a social distance of 1.5m between themselves and others.
  5. Cleaning / disinfecting – clean, wash and disinfect all changerooms or function rooms and all footy training gear after each session including mouthguards and wiping footballs
  6. Limit access to rooms – only players and essential staff should use the changerooms and where possible encourage showering at home
  7. Education – use signage, ground announcements, club newsletters and social media to promote social distancing and hygiene measures.  Signage should be provided for QR codes (if applicable) and to advise maximum capacities in certain areas

Should our club have someone responsible for COVID safety?

Most clubs have already appointed COVID safety officers, however we encourage having a ‘whole-of-club’ approach to share the responsibility.  

Each club must have at least one representative present at all training and matches who has completed the Australian Government’s Infection Control Training and who can be the key contact point in relation to COVID protocols.

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.

What are the different compliance requirements for my State / Territory?

State / Territory requirements may differ on some aspects, but it is important to know the requirements for your State / Territory on the following:

  1. Spectator limit – a cap on patrons attending matches and gathering limits (e.g., clubrooms)

  2. Record keeping – electronic / manual record keeping of attendees

  3. Density requirements – meeting density requirements (e.g. 1 person per 2 square metres)

  4. Masks – wearing of face masks (indoors or outdoors)

  5. COVID-SAFE plans – incl. distancing and hygiene measures implemented, action taken to ensure masks are worn (if applicable) and record keeping process

  6. Each State / Territory has different requirements which must be adhered to and these are regularly being updated. To stay up-to-date on the latest protocols you should access the return to play section of your AFL State / Territory website.

Return to Community Football – Match Day & Training FAQs

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. A manual template is available here, or your club may wish to employ an electronic system / QR Code.

Each State / Territory has different requirements which must be adhered to and these are regularly being updated. To stay up-to-date on the latest protocols you should access the return to play section of your AFL State / Territory website

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.

What are some strategies to limit time and person-to-person contact during training:

  • Arrive dressed and ready to train
  • Minimise use of change rooms, bathrooms and communal areas
  • Where possible, community sport members showering at home instead of at training venues
  • Community sport members should eat off site
  • Between training efforts, maintain at least 1.5m apart (e.g. in the gym, pool, between sets or efforts)
  • Any tasks that can be done at home, should be done at home (e.g. recovery sessions, online meetings).

Our team normally shares the load with fruit and snacks? Can we still do this?

No. At no time can players share any food, snacks, fruit or lollies for example. Similarly, there is strictly no sharing of water bottles.

Can we access our change room and facilities for training?

The AIS Framework recommends change rooms facilities be limited to toilet use only.

Change rooms should remain closed for training except to access toilets if there are no
alternative toilet facilities available. Senior teams may also access their medical facilities on a
strictly limited basis. Strict social distancing measures must be applied with access to toilets or medical facilities.

I’m a coach/trainer – do we need to wear Gloves or PPE Equipment?

It is not a mandatory requirement that team coaches or staff wear protective equipment. If you have a personal preference to do so, you are welcome to.

How often do we have to clean our equipment?

We understand the challenges around maintaining strict levels of hygiene amongst a football group. However, it is essential we implement the highest quality of hygiene at all times for the safety and comfort of our participants and their families. The AIS Framework specifies that we ensure “hospital grade disinfectant is used”. We ask that before and after training or equipment use that balls, mats, cones etc. are all thoroughly disinfected with hospital grade cleaning products and stored safely until next use.