The AFL has today written to all clubs to reinforce AFL Regulation 4.6 (j) following an incident during last night’s match between Collingwood and the Sydney Swans, played at the Gabba.

In its note to Clubs, AFL General Manager Football Operations Steve Hocking said that football boots with any form of exposed metal studs or stops are not permitted to be worn as per the 2020 AFL Regulations.
“The health and safety of everyone in our game, both on and off the field, is always our highest priority,” Mr Hocking said.
“Football boots with exposed metal studs have the potential to cause injuries and have no place across any level of our game.
“There are players in the competition who have been wearing boots direct from manufacturers that feature screw-in studs that have a hybrid soleplate, which includes both plastic and aluminium stops, and these are not compliant with AFL Regulations.
“It is the responsibility of clubs and players to work with manufacturers to ensure football boots worn by all players are compliant with AFL Regulations and ensure a duty of care to themselves, their teammates and opposition players.
“Where we can make our game safer for everyone involved, we will.”
AFL Regulation 4.6 (Other Apparel) states:
4.6 Other Apparel 

(j) Metal stops on boots are not permitted to be worn during a Match.
AFL Clubs and Players therefore have an obligation to ensure that all boots worn during AFL matches do not constitute a danger or increase the risk of injury to other Players competing in the Match, which includes, but is not limited to a strict obligation:

  • Not to wear boots that have exposed metal stops (i.e. stops may internally contain metal or be metal at the end which screws into the boot, but no exposed surface of the stop that may potentially come into contact with the turf or other player may be metal);
  • Not to wear boots with stops that are plastic or any other material that have sharp or pointed edges.

A breach of this Regulation can be liable to a sanction of up to $40,000 to the Club pursuant to AFL Regulation 4.8, which states:
4.8 Payment for Breach 

  • Save where otherwise stated in this Regulation, where a Player contravenes or fails to comply with any provisions contained in Regulation 4, the Player’s Club shall be liable to a sanction.  
  • Sanction: Up to 40 Units for each such breach