AFL releases COVID match rescheduling guidelines

THE AFL has on Wednesday advised all AFLW clubs of Covid Match Rescheduling Guidelines to further support the competition in circumstances where there is an increased risk of COVID-19 exposure.

The guidelines are designed to minimise any risk of covid exposure and allow the AFL to reschedule matches based on the minimum availability of AFLW players.

At any one time during the season the minimum expected playing group available for a match will be:

Minimum Availability of:
AFLW Primary List Players      16 Players
AFLW Train On Players           5 Players
Total                                   21 Players

If these numbers aren’t met the AFL will review the situation on a case-by-case basis and take into consideration adherence to AFL Protocols, health and safety requirements, any relevant government regulations and any other relevant information affecting the circumstances in determining whether to:

1. Reschedule the match for another time in that round
2. Reschedule the match for another time later in the season (minimum four day break) or
3. In the most extreme consideration cancel the match, but only after the first two options have been explored and not available

Any concerns relating to the availability of essential AFLW Club staff that may impact a match day will need to be raised with the AFL Executive General Manager Football Operations, Legal & Integrity for review.

AFL General Manager Competition Management Laura Kane said the protocols have been introduced as a risk mitigation exercise and will only be implemented if the circumstances required.

"Over the last two seasons the AFL have taken a very cautious approach when dealing with the pandemic, we have planned for every possible contingency and circumstance, and it is an approach that has successfully helped us navigate both our competitions through a really uncertain time," Kane said.

"The health and safety of clubs, players and the wider community is the anchor of which all our decision making is based and that continues with these guidelines.

"In a national sport, played across many states and territories, we need to be able to adapt, and adapt quickly to the covid conditions at any one time at locations where home teams are based, or away teams are travelling to. These guidelines help us achieve this.

"Season six of the NAB AFL Women’s league is shaping up to be our best yet, and we will make all the necessary decisions to ensure we we can deliver all games and all finals for players, clubs, supporters, communities and crown a 2022 premier."