Worksafe VCFL Player Equalisation


To provide football for grades, other than the Senior grade, where insufficient numbers exist prior to a match commencing

Spirit of the Policy

  • To have a game played
  • To maximise player involvement

AFL Laws of the Game state:

  • Minimum playing numbers is 14
  • Maximum playing numbers on the field at any one time is 18 per team
  • Maximum playing numbers per team is 22 (leagues may have a different by-law which allows for greater numbers per team that has been approved by the Area Manager ie. increased number of interchange players)

Procedures (not in any specific order)

  • Even playing numbers on the field at the beginning of the match (by agreement of both teams)
  • If one team has less than 18 players then both teams must have the same number of players on the ground
  • In the above scenario the team with less than 18 players cannot have players on the interchange
  • Field umpires in control of the match to be made aware of the agreement (does it need to be documented – form provided)
  • Excess players (above the agreed starting number) will form an extended interchange bench
  • If team unable to field 14 players, and is unable to borrow players from the opposition the match is declared a forfeit, although a match is encouraged to take place with even numbers taking the field
  • Clubs are encouraged to liaise with each other with respect to team numbers should (1) or both teams have trouble fielding 18 players on the field
  • On loan players must appear on the teamsheet of the team they represent on the day and be indicated as "on loan players"
  • Loaned players are unable to change teams mid match
  • Players may be loaned to even up the numbers and give more players game time with less players on the bench
  • Additional players above (22) can be provided for (extended interchange bench) only after agreement by both teams, Field Umpires and respective WorkSafe VCFL Area Manager
  • Once a game commences, if the numbers of either team are reduced due to injury or "order-off" rule the game is to proceed
  • Underage players cannot take the field for the Reserve team if they have previously played in a 3rds or 4ths match on the same day, in situations where an Equalisation Policy is applied
  • If playing numbers are reduced below 16 a side, match could be reduced in game time (2x15 min quarters)
  • Equalisation Policy does not apply in finals

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