The AFL today wrote to all Clubs and the AFLPA to advise the AFL Commission had approved recommendations presented to it at its meeting in Melbourne on Monday. 

The Commission had considered recommendations to the AFL and AFL Women’s Match Review and Tribunal process following an in-depth review of each system, which included canvassing the views of all stakeholders and industry groups and the endorsement of the AFL and AFLW Competition Committees. 

Separately, the Commission also approved changes to the AFL Regulations relating to Regulation 2.8 (Tie in Finals Series Matches), whereby extra Additional Time periods will now be played as required, until a result is determined. 

AFL & AFLW Match Review / Tribunal:

The Commission approved recommendations relating to the Match Review and Tribunal process to ensure the systems, guidelines and interpretations continue to evolve with the trends of the game. 

The changes will see:

  • The Chairperson communicate Tribunal outcomes with a verbal explanation outlining the reasons for the decision, developed in conjunction with the Jury;
  • Tribunal proceedings to be simplified for challenges to financial sanctions, where a single legally trained Jury member adjudicates the matter on the basis of written submissions only;
  • The MRO to classify intentional off-ball high strikes one grade higher, to adequately punish offenders;
  • A 24-hour turnaround to be implemented across all AFL matches in 2020 (not applicable for AFLW);
  • Strengthened guidelines in relation to repeat offenders being directly referred to the Tribunal to disincentivise further offences;
  • Guidelines in relation to upgrading impact based on the potential to cause serious injury clarified, including when the victim player should not reasonably be expecting / is prepared for contact; 
  • A stricter adjudication of melees for third and subsequent players who contribute to their escalation, particularly at quarter breaks;
  • ‘Tripping’ added as a Fixed-Financial Offence to allow the MRO to charge intentional trips with negligible impact. 

These changes will come into effect for the 2020 AFL and AFLW Premiership Seasons. 

Amendment to Regulation 2.8 (Tie in Finals Series Matches):

In 2015, it was determined that for any drawn match during the Finals Series, including the Grand Final, teams would play two five-minute halves of extra time, changing ends during a break in play between the two halves. Only one period of extra time would be played. If scores remained level at the end of the second half of extra time, the siren would not sound and play would continue until the next score by either team. The siren would then sound directly after the score is confirmed, signalling the end of the match.  

The Commission on Monday agreed to amend the process of dealing with a drawn Finals Series Match. 

The Commission determined that should a tie occur in any AFL or AFLW Finals Series Match, including the Grand Final, an Additional Time period of 2 x 3 minutes (plus time-on) will be played as required, until a result is determined. 

In the event of a tied Finals Series Match, the following procedure shall apply: 

  1. Goal umpires confirm scores are identical;
  2. There is a six minute break (six minutes and thirty seconds for AFLW matches);
  3. Teams change ends;
  4. Three minutes of Additional Time shall be played, plus time-on;
  5. At the end of the first Additional Time period, the siren will sound and teams will immediately change ends without a break;
  6. The ball will be bounced (or thrown up) in the centre and a further three minutes of play (plus time-on) will commence;
  7. At the conclusion of this period, the siren will sound and the team with the highest score is declared the winner;
  8. If scores are still tied, steps 3 – 8 are repeated until a result is determined.

The following shall also apply: 

Starting positions

Any Starting Position (6-6-6) warnings are reset for each period of Additional Time.

Interchange cap

Clubs shall receive 10 interchanges for each 2 x 3 minute period (not applicable in AFLW where there is no interchange cap). Any leftover interchanges from each period of Additional Time would not carry over into a subsequent period.

These changes to Regulation 2.8 will come into effect for the 2020 AFL and AFLW Premiership Seasons.