AFL Canberra Updates

Friday 19th June

Returning to play in a safe, hygienic and controlled manner is paramount to the AFL. The safety and wellbeing of our participants is our number one priority.

Following the recently revised ACT Government restrictions easing to stage 2.2 (outlined below), AFL NSW/ ACT endorse a return to club sanctioned contact training at community football level in ACT from 12:00pm Friday, June 19, provided Clubs and participants follow the relevant Government guidelines and AFL NSW/ ACT’s Return to Contact Training Protocols are implemented.

In advance of contact training recommencing, we encourage Leagues, Clubs and Volunteers to review the following Protocols, undertake an education period to formulate an education and implementation plan for their Club to prepare members for a return to contact training safely.

We will continue to work with the ACT Government to ensure alignment with their advice in the event of further easing of restrictions, with hygiene and safety protocols firmly in place.

Our primary focus is to ensure our Clubs and Leagues prepare to return to contact training in a safe environment that is a carefully managed. In order for this to be successful, it is essential that clubs and individuals work within the protocols and government restrictions and do not move ahead of the current restrictions.

AFL NSW/ACT will continue to follow any direction from government and align with the AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport, to ensure community football activity in NSW/ACT does not compromise the health of individuals or the broader community.


From 12:00pm Friday June 19, clubs within the ACT can conduct contact training for groups of up to 100 people, below are the major alterations from stage 2.1 to stage 2.2

  1. Groups have been extended to include 100 people. This means that teams are able to have groups of 100 people with this number including coaches, officials, players and volunteers.
  2. 1 parent per participant is still allowed for Junior training, parents are to remain off the field of play and adhere to social distancing requirements.
  3. Contact training can occur. This includes incidental or deliberate contact as per a normal training session. Players are still required to adhere to hygiene and social distancing requirements pre and post training.
  4. Clubs can run a canteen at training sessions with social distancing and strict hygiene protocols in place.
  5. Changerooms and indoor community facilities can now be accessed by your patrons. Clubs must asses any risk and implement strict cleaning regimes. The use of changerooms is still subject to 1 person per 4 squared metres rule with no access to showers. Clubs should aim to minimise use of change rooms and strongly encourage participants to shower / change at home where possible.

Friday 12th June 2020

Please see below the most current updates regarding AFL Canberra and COVID-19:

Dear AFL Community Clubs and local stakeholders,

AFL NSW/ACT welcomes the ACT Chief Ministers announcement today that from 10 July 2020 contact community sport competitions can restart for participants in the ACT.

To ensure players are well-prepared for competition, AFL NSW/ACT will commence a necessary contact-training and match preparation phase from 19 June (Stage 2.2) for ACT participants only and will work with AFL Canberra Clubs to begin a dynamic 2020 Community Football and NAB AFL Auskick Season, with the first bounce of official competition play for all ages planned for the weekend of 17 – 19 July 2020.

Today’s announcement enables AFL NSW/ACT to implement a staged and planned approach to returning to competition play for AFL Canberra aligned to cross-border announcements made by the NSW Government earlier this week.

We will continue to engage with Leagues, Clubs, participants, coaches, umpires and all volunteers to ensure we return to competition play in an effective and safe manner in adherence with both the NSW and ACT Public Heath Orders, Community Sport COVID-19 Safety Plan and AFL Return to Play Framework (RTP Framework).
It should be noted that, until advised otherwise, all sports are still subject to the current Public Health Orders and should be training under the AFL Return to Training Protocols.

AFL NSW/ACT will publish Return to Contact Training and Competition Play Protocols for NAB AFL Auskick, junior and senior community football in-line with Government Guidelines and the RTP Framework to inform and educate our network well in advance of official competition play.

AFL NSW/ACT are collaborating with other major sporting codes to agree on overarching season-length principles and dates to ensure a smooth handover with limited impacts to future seasons.

Today’s announcement provides much-needed certainty and confidence for community football competitions. However, we do acknowledge that additional guidance is needed as it relates to spectators and use of canteens. We plan on including guidance for canteen use and spectators in our Return to Competition Play Protocols.

AFL NSW/ACT encourages our network to visit for a comprehensive list of resources including templates, FAQ’s, education resources and regular updates.

On behalf of AFL NSW/ACT, we would like to thank all participants and volunteers in Canberra for your patience, support and understanding as we work towards a safe return for community football.

We could not have done this without the outstanding support of the entire AFL family and share your excitement for a return to footy across all ages in July.

Tiffany Robertson
Acting Chief Executive Officer – AFL NSW/ACT

Friday 29th May 2020

Please see below the most current updates regarding AFL Canberra and COVID-19:

Dear AFL Community Clubs and local stakeholders

AFL NSW/ACT has received ACT Government approval to extend training to groups of up-to 20 players plus a coach for Australian Rules Football from 11:59PM Friday, 29 May 2020 within the ACT, after having previously been allowed groups of 10 from 11:59PM Friday, 15 May 2020.

Returning to training in a safe, hygienic and controlled manner is paramount to the AFL. The safety and wellbeing of our participants is our number one priority.

Accordingly, the AFL Return to Play Framework (Framework) has been developed to ensure we have the clear endorsement of State Government and public health officials at every phase of return to play.

The Framework has been informed by the National Principles for the Resumption of Sport and Recreation Activities and the AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport in a Post COVID-19 Environment, in consultation with health professionals and leaders in the football industry.

This first phase of the resumption of community sport in the ACT requires all participants to comply with this Framework to ensure social distancing and hygiene protocols are followed by each Community Club participating in small group training of up-to 20 persons.

Key documents have been updatedincluded for your information and compliance
• AFL NSW/ACT Return to Small Group Training up-to 20 People Protocols
• AFL NSW/ACT Return to Small Group Training up-to 20 People Club Checklist • AFL NSW/ACT Return to Small Group Training up-to 20 People FAQ’s

AFL NSW/ACT strongly recommends that Community Clubs undertake the necessary preparations
to support small group training of up-to 20 persons in a COVID-safe environment. This will allow Community Clubs to plan for, implement and communicate the required protocols to their members prior to commencing any activity.

In addition, an important part of this return to play process is the requirement of each Club to appoint a COVID Safety Officer that is responsible for ensuring these protocols are adhered to and participants can return to a prepared and safe environment.

We also strongly recommend all participants immediately download the COVID-SAFE App, to ensure we can quickly trace and manage any outbreaks in the community.

We understand this announcement will raise many questions for Club officials, players, parents and volunteers. As such we have prepared a set of FAQs that hopefully address most of these for you at this time. We will continue to update these as the situation progresses. There are a number of great resources and templates available at to assist Community Clubs.

We are excited that more Canberrans can return to their footy fields in the weeks ahead and ask that the AFL community act in a COVID-safe and compliant manner when doing so.

AFL NSW/ACT will continue to work closely with the ACT Government and provide further details regarding the resumption of contact training and competition play in due course.

Tiffany Robertson
Acting Chief Executive Officer – AFL NSW/ACT

Thursday 21st May 2020

Please see below the most current updates regarding AFL Canberra and COVID-19:

We are pleased to announce that Community Football Clubs have been given the green light to return to training in groups up-to 10 persons.

Following the revised NSW Public Health Order which came into effect Friday 15 May, AFL NSW/ACT endorse a return to club sanctioned small group training at community football level in NSW from Thursday May 21, provided Clubs and participants follow the relevant Government guidelines and AFL NSW/ACT’s Return to Small Group Training Protocols are implemented.

Similarly, the ACT Government have approved Australian Rules Football training in groups up-to 10 from May 15, under the provision that ACT Government Guidelines and AFL NSW/ACT’s Return to Small Group Training Protocols are implemented.

The safety and wellbeing of our participants is our number one priority. Returning to small group training in a safe, hygienic and well managed manner is paramount for the AFL.


The AFL Return to Play Framework (Framework) has been informed by the National Principles for the Resumption of Sport and Recreation Activities and the AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport in a Post COVID-19 Environment. The Framework has been developed in consultation with health professionals and leaders in the football industry.


Local councils are an extremely important stakeholder and must be consulted as part of your return to training preparations and the Office of Local Government FAQ has answers for our clubs regarding local NSW sporting grounds. Participants from the ACT can also reference the ACT Sport & Recreations FAQ document for any ACT Government related questions.


We have prepared a dedicated Return to Play page on the AFL NSW/ACT website which will house all the relevant and most up-to-date documentation in relation to retuning to small group training  for both NSW and ACT to ensure all Clubs return to training in a safe and educated manner.


Key information on this page includes:

  • Return to Small Group Protocols
  • Return to Small Group Training FAQs
  • Return to Small Group Training Checklist
  • Education Modules
  • Resources and Templates to assist Clubs


This page will be updated with information and resources as restrictions ease.

Tuesday 12th May 2020

Covid-19 update

Dear AFL Community,

AFL NSW/ACT is working closely with the State and Territory Governments to understand the revised Public Health Orders and impacts on community sport.

The Office of Sport and key government agencies, including the Office of Local Government, are currently developing guidelines and principles for sporting organisations to recommence activity. This includes training in groups of up-to 10 people and access to sporting grounds.

The AFL and its State and Territory bodies have created a return to training and play framework, in line with the national Australian Institute of Sport ‘Resumption of Sport and Recreation Activity Framework’.

We are well advanced in our post COVID-19 season planning and will be ready to provide guidance to our network once we receive advice specific to NSW and the ACT from the State, Territory and Local Governments.

We look forward to providing further information to our community stakeholders on the resumption of AFL as soon as possible.

Enthusiasm is certainly building as we start to see restrictions easing, and we thank you for your continued support and leadership during this return to training and play period.


Tiffany Robertson

Acting Chief Executive Officer AFL NSW/ACT


Monday 27th April 2020

Return to Play update

To Our Football Community,

Recently we provided an update about the work underway to determine a roadmap for a return to community footy.

Our intention was to provide a more detailed outline at the end of this month, following the release of a roadmap for the elite game.

Whilst we all want clarity around when the game will return to our fields, this area of work is constantly changing. The announcement by the Prime Minister yesterday that the National Cabinet will develop a guiding set of principles for sport at all levels, reinforces the extensive work we have been doing to refine our protocols and processes on how and when our respective seasons will commence.

Federal, State and Territory Governments have also indicated the possibility of easing some restrictions around mid-May, should the current low trend of infection and transmission continue. We understand the National Cabinet will review restrictions at a meeting on May 10, provided the curve is still flattening and testing rates remain high.

As a result of these developments and reviews, the timetable we will now work to has been revised.

In the week beginning May 11, there will be an announcement regarding the elite game with a proposed date for a resumption of training and return to play.  An update around timings for a resumption of activities at Community level, will be provided once the roadmap for the elite competition has been announced.

Pleasingly, Governments of all levels across Australia understand the critical role and benefits of community sport, and the importance of local sport restarting and reconnecting those vital support networks that are currently stretched or not operating.

We are focused on being aligned with the advice of the New South Wales and ACT Governments and the relevant medical authorities to ensure everything we do protects the health and safety of our participants and the broader community.

We thank you for your patience, understanding and ongoing efforts as the planning continues to evolve, and we look forward to being able to provide a more definitive update to you following the planned elite game announcement in the second week of May.

Yours sincerely

Tiffany Robertson


Friday 17th April 2020

Return to Play update 

To our Valued Football Community,

I hope that you and your family had a safe and happy Easter at home this year, as we all play our part in supporting the Australian community and health system.

Without football on our fields, we have embraced the important role that football can still play in our lives. With the power of social media and technology, we have seen an overwhelming celebration of football on our small screens – from trick kicks, skills and drills, family footy at home and some ingenious training techniques in isolation.

We thank you for playing your part in flattening the curve, and we are optimistic that we will get our game underway at some stage, in some format later this year. Rest assured, the AFL and its State / Territory affiliates have a dedicated team of people working diligently to explore what this might look like for our clubs and communities.

Understandably, we are still uncertain about the exact date of commencement for our game, but we want to provide you with some certainty about the actions and next steps we are taking from a national AFL approach.

We are

–  Constantly reviewing the situation and the different levels of advice being provided by State, Territory and Federal Government as well as relevant medical authorities.

– Developing key principles of decision making for a return to football around Government policies and restrictions, guidance for schools, workplaces and medical recommendations.

– Paying close attention to international benchmarks and behaviours, and how other countries are treating their return to sport.

– Working closely with Government, medical advisors and the AFL’s Chief Medical Officer to ensure we have the very latest advice and insight around when we may be able to kick off our game.

– Exploring modified formats in our endeavours to get a season underway in 2020.

– Preparing a series of protocols that will provide guidance for when football does return.

– Constantly engaging with as many of our Leagues and Clubs as possible, to understand your concerns and considerations.

– Importantly, we have not given up on this season. We are hopeful that we will be back on the field as soon as it is safe to do so and you can be confident that you will have our full support to ensure this return is as safe and well prepared as possible.

We are aiming to provide a more detailed update at the end of April, post the announcement of an expected roadmap for the elite game.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this uncertain and unprecedented time and recommend that all Leagues delay any announcement around 2020 season commencement dates or season cancellations until we provide further information at the end of the month.

In the meantime, we ask you continue the fantastic work and to keep footy alive in your households and communities.

Kind regards,

Tiffany Robertson
Acting Chief Executive Officer – AFL NSW/ACT


Thursday 26th March 2020

Staff Stand Down 

The last week has been a difficult one for the AFL Canberra team with the AFL, and by extension AFL NSW/ACT, announcing the temporary stand down of many of its staff from Monday, 30 March 2020 until Sunday, 31 May 2020. As detailed by our acting CEO Tiffany Robertson, these significant actions are needed at this time to ensure the viability of our game at all levels as we manage the impact of COVID-19 on our industry.

We wish to advise that during this period Luke Martin, Game Development Manager – ACT, will be the contact for AFL Canberra Clubs, Schools & Partners. The rest of our AFL Canberra staff are being stood down for the temporary period.

Luke will be working in a reduced capacity (3 days per week) during this time. We will have the support of a small team of AFL NSW/ACT state and national AFL staff in addition; and ask for your patience and understanding during this period as we navigate our reduced work arrangements.

Club Training Requirements

We would again like to reiterate that as a result of the May 31 Community Football postponement for all AFL managed leagues (which includes AFL Canberra), it is the AFL’s position that club training should not be taking place up until this time (unless advised otherwise by the AFL). Clubs should not be arranging for players to come together in small groups to complete AFL training as this is not in line with the AFL’s position and it also goes against the government’s social distancing requirements that are currently in place. In addition, all clubs should be sending the same message to their members to encourage them to follow government advice and play their role in limited the spread of COVID-19. We understand that clubs want to keep their players engaged and training in anticipation for when the season may re-commence, however given the current status of COVID-19, players should only be completing their own individual training in environments that are in line with the government mandated social distancing expectations.

Furthermore, we have recently received advice that clubs are at risk of not being covered for Public Liability Insurance in the case of the virus being spread at club training sessions, while the Personal Accident policy does not cover sickness or illness. We believe this would also apply to clubs arranging for players to come together in small groups for the purposes of social interactions.

We understand this is a really challenging time for all Australians and keeping connected during a time like this is so important, but again making formal arrangements for players to physically come together goes against the AFL’s position of no club events taking place, does not support the government’s expectations in regards to social distancing, and potentially puts your club and its members at risk.


Thursday 19th March 2020

SportsTG and Online Transfers

Online National Transfers have been closed on SportsTG until further notice.

Player registrations and re-registrations are still able to be complete, but club to club player movements cannot.


Wednesday 18th March 2020

Meetings and Events

We will be postponing a number of planned events/meetings. We consider it the appropriate decision to make at this time, until we know a little more regarding the steps forward. Included below is a summary of the most immediate events/meetings, and the status update for each of these. We will remove these from your calendars for the time being – and when suitable, send through updated dates/times, as well as teleconference details (as required), noting some of these may be held sooner – which we will advise in due course!

  • Wednesday 18th March: Junior Umpire Information Session – Postponed – New Date TBA
  • Monday 23th March: Community Pre Season Meeting – Postponed – will be rescheduled with a teleconference
  • Wednesday 25th March: Umpire Season Launch – Postponed – New Date TBA
  • Monday 30th March: Senior Pre Season Meeting – Postponed – will be rescheduled with a teleconference
  • Wednesday 1st April: Senior and Community Season Launch – Postponed – New Date TBA
  • Wednesday 8th April: Junior Pre Season Meeting – Postponed – will be rescheduled with a teleconference

Frequently Asked Questions

The AFL has created an online portal for Frequently Asked Questions regarding this situation, which can be access here: This portal will be regularly updated with information, so we encourage you to review this when possible, as it will continue to be added to as the situation evolves. Locally, we would like to ask that all clubs who have any initial questions (that cannot be answered via this link) to send these through, in one consolidated email/document from your club.

The questions that come through from clubs, will be consolidated with questions from across the other leagues and competitions for NSW/ACT as well as Nationally, as there will be a number of common questions and themes. Therefore we will not, at this time, respond with answers to these, but instead work with the Community Football Department to address these, consistent with the national direction, and then work toward local solutions, as required/relevant.

We appreciate there are a number unknowns, and plenty of different questions/scenarios specific to each club – so as per the above please consolidate these into a single communication from your club, via email, and we’ll work through them. We’d like to be able to streamline the communication process as best as possible at this time. We acknowledge that your members will have plenty of questions for, just as you do for us – so let’s work collectively to best achieve a smooth process at this time.

Trial Games and Training

All currently scheduled Trial Games are to be postponed/cancelled – as per the communication released yesterday, all Football relevant activities are to be postponed until May 31st, 2020. This includes trial games, match play, club training, school events and Auskick. Updated information will be shared regarding any allowances regarding when available. It is anticipated that club training may be able to commence from mid-May (as per however please be aware a formal notification will be provided to clubs when a definitive date has been determined for this.

AFL Canberra Staff

All AFL Staff have been advised: if we are not required to work from the office, we are strongly encourage you to work from home. If you are still able to deliver on your role whilst utilising the appropriate technology to stay connected with your team/stakeholders. This considered most of our AFL Canberra Team will not be in the office, regularly, for the foreseeable future, we will however be available via email and phone, as per normal business, unless on leave. Our intent is to minimise the effect this current situation has on our workflow and engagement with our stakeholders.

As you would be aware, we have been working through a number of staffing changes in recent weeks, by way of an update, we have placed a hold on all new hires until further notice, this includes: Regional Manager, Football Operations Manager and the Partnerships and Communications Coordinator. We will provide further information on these openings when we are in a position to do so.


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