THE UPCOMING AFLW Draft will be the first time prospective players can choose to nominate for a national pool or their home state.
In previous years, players have been restricted to nominating solely for a state of their choosing, given the part-time nature of the competition and to protect players from having to move away from their jobs or study.
Crucially, the move to "home state only" (as opposed to any state of their choosing) closes the loophole that saw successive No.1 picks in Charlie Rowbottom and Montana Ham move from Victoria and nominate Queensland and New South Wales respectively.
Tasmanian players have the option of nominating North Melbourne (given the club's alliance with the state), any state of their choosing, or the national pool.
Players who are based in the Northern Territory have the option of nominating for a specific state of their choice, or the national pool.
The upcoming draft will be for mature-age players only (those born in 2004 or earlier), after the majority of top-line 2004-born talent was already selected in the bonus draft before the second AFLW season for the year.
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It is yet to be confirmed if the same rule (opting to choose national or state) will be in place for the following draft ahead of the 2024 season, upon which the draft will reopen to 18-year-old prospects.
Clubs had previously been able to sign interstate potential draftees only if they had been overlooked in their nominated state and were happy to make the move (e.g. Melbourne signing West Australian Sabreena Duffy last year).
It's the first step towards a fully national draft, seen as a vital tool in equalisation and crucial in helping states that don't necessarily have the depth of talent of others.
Clubs do not have to make a minimum number of list changes ahead of the draft, as in years past (previously a minimum of three).
Delisted free agency will still be in play this trade period, despite the likely high percentage of former AFLW players receiving second chances through the draft.