The North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) has today
announced list rules changes to be implemented for the 2020 season.
The rules changes have been introduced following a review into the NEAFL and VFL competitions by the AFL Football Operations department and league managers.
The review found list sizes, structure and access to additional players for AFL clubs varied greatly between the two State League competitions.
As such, the AFL Football Operations department, together with the NEAFL and VFL clubs, will work together to achieve greater consistency across the competitions over a three-year period.
Head of Talent Pathways & State League Competitions, Tristan Salter, said the rules changes will help strengthen State League competitions across the board while still allowing flexibility to meet each competition’s unique requirements.
“Our goal is to achieve a consistent set of rules and regulations, list rules and player access across State Leagues to ensure the level of competition and experience for developing players is as equal as possible,” Mr Salter said.
“These measures have been put in place to not only promote consistency across State League competitions, but also maintain competitive balance within each league.
“The changes to playing list structure also enables a better connection between AFL and non-AFL clubs as well as ensuring increased opportunities for mature-age talent.
"These changes also reflect the AFL's objective of providing greater opportunity for tier two talent to reach the elite level via the NAB AFL National, Pre-Season and Mid-Season Drafts."
Mr Salter acknowledged the commitment by clubs to improve the standard and playing opportunities within their respective competitions and was looking forward to the next phase of second-tier football.
“The NEAFL and VFL competitions play a crucial role in preparing and developing AFL-listed players for the AFL, as well as providing a clear and structured talent player pathway for aspiring draftees," he said.
“We are confident these rule adjustments will ensure every player gets the optimal development and exposure they require.
“We thank all clubs and key stakeholders for their feedback and patience as we worked through this review.”
All rules and regulations will continue to be reviewed annually.
Summary of NEAFL rule changes:
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