THE AFL is open to abolishing the rookie list and giving clubs more freedom with their selection and list management practices.  

The League is expected to meet with clubs in the coming weeks to discuss rookies, with some list bosses pushing for the AFL to introduce more flexibility with list rules.  

Evans said there were positives in getting rid of the rookie list, but protections needed to be put in place to prevent clubs hoarding talent on expanded rosters. 

"It's been put to us by some clubs that we could just have the one list," Evans told radio station 3AW.

"Our view is that we're actually open to look at it, particularly if it provides a more fluent and flexible structure.

"There are pros and cons to that and I think the benefit for the club is they could pick anyone to play on any given day according to form. That's a good bit of flexibility."

How the rookie list works

While some clubs are pushing to abolish the rookie list, others are concerned they would lose the ability to offer players one-year contracts, which is the case for rookies.

Evans said the other major benefit of the rookie list was ensuring talented rookies eventually had the opportunity to either be promoted or seek new homes, preventing teams from stocking masses of talent.  

"There is a spill effect with rookies that once you've been on the rookie list for a couple of years the club needs to make a call about you," Evans said.

"We wouldn't want to create an ability for a club to just have one big super-list and hoard talent."

The rookie list was introduced in 1997 to create opportunities for players outside the normal talent pathway.

In more recent times it has also encouraged clubs to give mature-age players from state leagues opportunities and extend the careers of veterans.

Clubs can have between four and six rookies, depending on the size of their primary list, and an additional three category B rookies. 

The second category rookies can be international players, NSW scholarship players with that club or players from other sports who have not been registered in any Australian football competition for the previous three years.   

Some clubs have pushed for a forensic assessment of list sizes before any decisions are made on the ideal amount of players a club should hold.