The playing surface is oval in shape, 135m to 185m long and 110m to 155m wide. The preferred senior oval size is 165m x 135m as this provides the greatest flexibility to cater for all standards of play.
A white line called the boundary line is drawn in the shape of an arc from the behind post at one end of the playing surface to the behind post at the other end of the playing surface.
The playing field boundary line should ensure adequate run‑off from any perimeter fencing or potential obstacles. The preferred minimum distance for existing facilities is 5m for state league, 4m for regional and 3m for local level facilities, however where new ovals are to be constructed it is encouraged that the higher run‑off distance of 5m be provided where possible.
The following areas are marked on the playing surface:
- The centre square, is located at the centre of the playing surface and is 50m long and 50m wide.
- A centre circle, 3m in diameter, and an outer circle, 10m in diameter are located in the middle the centre square and are divided by two semi‑circles, drawing a straight line parallel with each goal line.
- An interchange area 15m wide.
- A goal square at each end of the playing surface. This is marked by drawing lines at right angles to the goal lines, 9m from each goal post and connected at the outer end by a line called the kick‑off line.
- A goal line and a behind line.
- A 50m arc at each end of the playing surface.
Goal and behind posts
Two posts, called goal posts, a minimum height of 6m, are placed at each end of the playing surface 6.4m apart. This measurement is taken from the inside point of the goal post at ground level.
A further two posts, called behind posts, a minimum height of 3m, are placed at a distance of 6.4m on each side of the goal posts so that a straight line can be drawn on the ground to join each post.
The padding attached around each goal and behind post is:
- Minimum of 35mm thick foam, covered in canvas or painted.
- Minimum height of 2.5m from the bottom of each goal and behind post.
- Suitable width to allow the padding to be securely fixed around each goal and behind post.
Two coaches boxes are to be provided (home and away team) on the side of the ground, looking away from the sun and positioned adjacent to the centre wing position.
The interchange area is 15m wide. Two interchange benches are provided (home and away team). For local and regional competitions they are 4.8m long and 1.2m wide.
It is recommended that the oval fencing is approximately 900mm high with a mesh infill or similar, and allows a 5m run‑off distance from the playing field boundary. Adequate gates and access for maintenance and emergency vehicles, players and officials is required.
Junior Australian Rules
Junior Australian Rules football has been developed to provide an environment where young players can play the game, develop their skills through conditions commensurate with their stage of learning and level of ability. This includes a reduced playing area, playing time and suitably modified equipment to suit the younger players.
This philosophy is delivered through the AFL Auskick program and a junior football match program. Below are the guidelines for playing fields for junior football.
The required run‑off for all junior football is a minimum of 3m.
Auskick Under 8
The maximum size of the playing field is 80m long and 60m wide and divided into three equal zones (thirds). These are identified by markers or lines on a ground.
Backs must stay in the back zones, centres in the centre zone and forwards in the forward zone.
The minimum number of players per side is 6 and the maximum is 12. This can be modified to ensure all players participate.
- Six a side can be 2 forwards, 2 centres, 2 back plus reserves.
- Nine a side is 3 forwards, 3 centres and 3 backs plus reserves.
- Twelve a side means 4 forwards, 4 centres, 4 backs plus reserves.
Under 9’s and Under 10’s
The maximum size of the playing field is 100m long and 80m wide and divided into three equal zones (thirds). These are identified by markers or lines on a ground.
Backs must stay in the back zones, centres in the centre zone and forwards in the forward zone. The minimum number of players per side is 12 and the maximum is 15. This can be modified to ensure all players participate.
- Twelve a side can be 4 forwards, 4 centres, 4 backs plus reserves.
- Fifteen a side is 5 forwards, 5 centres and 5 backs plus reserves.
Under 11's and Under 12's
A full size field is allowed unless the dimensions are clearly unsuitable for the number and skill level of the players involved.
The minimum number of players is 15 and the maximum number is 18. There are not any zones.
Laws of Australian Football 2015. Australian Football League (AFL). Melbourne Vic.
Junior Football Match Guide. This is Our Game.
AFL Preferred Facility Guidelines for State, Regional and Local Facilities August 2012. Coffey Sport and Leisure, Southbank, Vic.
AFL 9s Rules and Regulations The Game for Everyone. http://afl9s.com.au/rules/
The information in this guide is general in nature and cannot be relied upon as professional advice concerning the design of, or marking out for, sporting facilities and playing areas. No assurance is given as to the accuracy of any information contained in this guide and readers should not rely on its accuracy. Readers should obtain their own independent and professional advice in relation to their proposed sporting activity.