THE AFL will revert to under-16 and under-18 formats next year after one year of its under-17s and under-19s talent programs.

The League last year decided on a range of changes to its talent pathway for this season, including lifting the age groups for its national championships from under-16s to under-17s and from under-18s to under-19s.

However clubs have been informed next year the AFL will go back to its standard age groups, although the NAB League, which produces more than half of the draft pool every year, will remain open to 19-year-olds.

Players who have been overlooked for the draft and turn 19 next year will still be given opportunities to play in the championships as well, however AFL recruiters have pushed to see more chances given to talented bottom-age players as has been the case in the previous system.

The changes will apply across the girls and boys programs, with NAB League pre-season trainings to commence for both groups in November.

Western Australia players celebrate a win in the NAB AFL Draft Under-19 Challenge match against South Australia on October 10, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Although largely ruined by COVID-19 outbreaks this year, the AFL had scheduled to start its boys NAB AFL Under-19 Championships mid-season and then run a series of the biggest games at the end of the AFL season in late September.

However that model will also be changed in 2021, with the carnival to be staged largely in the middle of the season again with games in June and July.

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Clubs were also told that the League was working through its plans for draft night, with Victoria planning to ease further restrictions on November 24, the first day of the two-night draft.

Last year's event was largely conducted virtually out of the AFL's Review Centre, with players and clubs spread out across the country.