CLUBS have been banned from interviewing draftees indefinitely as the AFL allows the prospects to focus on their education.
With the majority of draft hopefuls around the country still completing year 12 studies, the League is mindful that many will be doing so from home as Australia combats the coronavirus spread.
The AFL is aware that recruiting and list management teams have been stood down across the competition during the game's shutdown period and that interviews were unlikely to have been taking place anyway.
However it wrote to clubs last week to say that the stop it had put on clubs contacting players for official interviews, even via technological and online means, for March had been extended for the foreseeable future.
Clubs have been banned from interviewing draft prospects for the next couple of weeks. They were planning to do interviews via Skype, Zoom etc but AFL has blocked that for now. More in @AFLcomau's rolling blog. https://t.co/Dy1py0P6bK— Callum Twomey (@CalTwomey) March 22, 2020
Recruiters contacted by AFL.com.au were accepting of the rule, with some pointing out it will leave clubs to restart on a level playing field once games resume and restrictions are gradually opened.
Many scouts are still using their time on stand down scouring vision of this year's draft class from previous years and practice games earlier this season.
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AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said last week he was "very confident" there will be a NAB AFL Draft this year, even if the format is unclear and clubs have to select players based on performances before 2020.
Changing the draft age has also been all but ruled out despite several senior coaching advocating for it to be raised.
Senior list managers Scott Clayton (North Melbourne), Kinnear Beatson (Sydney) and Stephen Wells (Geelong) have all voiced opposition to changes.
There are still hopes that a condensed version of the under-18 championships can be played later in the season to allow the best prospects face off against each other.
This year's crop looks likely to be headlined by key position trio Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, Riley Thilthorpe and Denver Grainger-Barras, while forward/midfielder Elijah Hollands was also a No.1 pick contender before his knee reconstruction in March.
Will Phillips, Finlay Macrae, Nathan O'Driscoll and Archie Perkins are among the group of highly-rated midfielders available to clubs.