Players compete for the ball during the 2019 NAB League Grand Final. Picture: AFL Photos

THE WAIT is almost over for grassroots footballers, who can resume training in small groups from Monday.


Based on Victorian state government advice, community football clubs are permitted to train in groups of up to 10 people, with two such groups on one oval at any time. 


Other government and AFL Victoria Return to Small Outdoor Group Training guidelines include social distancing, no contact, footballs but no other equipment, and no access to changerooms.

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Any training return is option and at the discretion of each community club. 

AFL Head of Community Football Victoria Stephen O'Donohue said the focus was for training to resume in a safe environment where clubs were well prepared and educated.

Returning to train in a safe, hygienic and controlled manner is paramount to AFL Victoria, and the safety and wellbeing of all participants remains our No.1 priority

- AFL Head of Community Football Victoria Stephen O'Donohue

"This is a significant step for community football in Victoria and we are pleased clubs can return to small outdoor group training next week," O'Donohue said.

"Returning to train in a safe, hygienic and controlled manner is paramount to AFL Victoria, and the safety and wellbeing of all participants remains our No.1 priority.

"We encourage all Victorian leagues, clubs and volunteers to familiarise themselves with the training guide and to formulate an education and implementation plan to prepare their respective clubs to return to train safely."

AFL Victoria will explore the potential for a full return to train and play plan for community, talent and second-tier football in the state if there is a further easing of restrictions.

In the meantime, Victorian State Government advice and the AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport in Australia will guide AFL Victoria's next moves. 


The following guide was established to support teams in the 'Returning to Small Outdoor Group Training' phase, under the current Victorian Government COVID-19 restrictions. Community clubs and teams have an obligation to strictly adhere to these protocols at every training session. The key principle for training must be 'Get in, Train, Get out'.

Small Outdoor Group Training of up to 10 People

Clubs can undertake training in groups no larger than 10 people. The group of 10 does not include a coach / support staff who are reasonably required to manage the activity. Two groups of 10 can utilise the same oval provided they do not operate closely together, and the oval is split into two zones. No more than two small training groups per oval at any one time with groups not permitted to interact.

1.5m Social Distancing and Strictly No Contact

All training must strictly observe social distancing requirements of 1.5m and must be non-contact (i.e. no tackling, no bumping, no marking contests, etc.).

Footballs Allowed, but no Other Equipment

Footballs can be used for small outdoor group training, however only limited additional equipment is permitted (i.e. field marking cones are permitted).

No Access to Changerooms

All club rooms, changerooms and wet areas are not to be used as part of the return to small outdoor group training. 

Hygiene Protocols in Place

Clubs to implement hygiene protocols as per the Victorian State Government guidelines (i.e. washing hands, avoiding facial touching, staying at home if sick, covering mouth and elbow to cough or sneeze etc).

At Least One Covid Safe Officer

Clubs to nominate an official(s) to undertake the Australian Government online COVID-19 Infection Control Training prior to recommencement of club activity.

A Register of Participants

Club to implement a log, or register, to keep a track of which participants are in attendance at all training sessions.


The club to encourage all players, volunteers and families to download the COVIDSafe App to help in tracing the spread of COVID-19. 

Local Government Approval

The club has received approval from the Local Government to access the oval for small outdoor group training.

Follow Directions

The club and training groups understand that they must follow the direction and advice of local and state authorities at all times.