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Junior Football Year 5 - Year 6 Competition Rules


All competitions managed by the West Australian Football Commission are played as per the AFL Laws of Australian Football. The below modifications have been made to the Year 5 – Year 6 age group to assist junior players with skill development and an understanding of the game. Coaches must endeavour to coach players within the spirit that these rules were intended (refer to WAFC Junior & Youth Rules & Regulations, Rule 1 – Spirit of Junior Football.)

Please note that where mixed age group competitions are played, the competition rules of the lower age group shall be applied.


A summary of the key rule changes from Year 3 - Year 4 competitions to Year 5 – Year 6 competitions have been outlined below;

  • 1c. - Number of Players in all Male competitions are 15-a-side.
  • 2f. - Stricter interpretation on marking with a 10m minimum distance from a kick.
  • 3a. - Players may take their opponent to ground by dropping their weight however, slinging and aggressively bringing an opponent to ground is still strictly prohibited.
  • 3b. - Bumping is permitted as per AFL Laws of Australian Football
  • 3c. - Smothering is permitted
  • 3d. - Shepherding is permitted



1a. Ground Size

As per WAFC POL.15A – Ground Preparation, ground sizes for Year 5 – Year 6 competitions should be 90m – 110m (L) x 70m – 85m (W)

1b. Football

Male Year 5: Size 2 leather football

Female Year 5: Size 2 synthetic football

Male Year 6: Size 3 leather football

Female Year 6: Size 2 synthetic football

1c. Number of Players

Male: 15-a-side

Female: 12-a-side

The below rules apply to both Male and Female 12 and 15-a-side formats:

  1. No ruck or rovers
  2. Unlimited reserves
  3. Numbers on the field should always be even

1d. Match Length

4x 15-minute quarters.


2a. Start of Play

  1. Ball-up in the centre of the ground between 2 players, approximately of equal size.
  2. Players are not permitted to take full possession out of a ruck contest.
  3. Maximum of 3 players from each team permitted within 20 metres of ball up.
  4. Maximum of 2 players from each team permitted within 20 metres of ball for 12-a-side matches

2b. Positions

Soft zone resets at each stoppage:

12-a-side: 3 lines of 4 (i.e. 4 forwards, 4 midfielders & 4 defenders). 2 midfielders from each side must set up on the wing as per 2a iv. 

15-a-side: 5 lines of 3 (i.e. FF, HF, C, HB, FB)

2c. After a Goal

After a goal a ball-up should occur in the centre of the ground as per 2a.

The umpire shall select different players to contest the centre ball-up each time.

2d. Out of Bounds

Last Possession Rule:

  1. From a kick or handball, a free kick is to be awarded to the nearest opponent.
  2. If a player runs the ball over the boundary line, a free kick is to be awarded to the nearest opponent.
  3. If the ball is off hands or a player’s body, a ball-up is to occur 10 metres in from the boundary line.
  4. If there is any doubt as to who’s free kick it is, a ball-up is to occur 10 metres in from the boundary line.

2e. Scrimmage

Umpire to stop play before throwing the ball up. Coaches should instruct players to get into position as per 2b to teach players the positions and reduce congestion.

2f. Marking

A mark is to be awarded for any kick that travels a minimum of 10 metres

2g. Bouncing

Players are only permitted to bounce (or touch the ball on the ground) once before disposing of the ball.

2h. Kicking off the Ground

Players are not permitted to deliberately kick the ball off the ground or use feet to control the ball whilst it is on the ground. Whereby the foot makes accidental contact to the ball, the umpire will call play on.

2i. Protected Area

The protected area at this level is 5 metres.

2j. 50m Penalties

Due to the reduced size of the playing field, umpires may award a 25-metre penalty.

2k. Order-off Rule

To be applied as per the Red & Yellow card system.


3a. Tackling

Modified Wrap Tackle Rule:

  1. Player may wrap both arms around an opponent.
  2. Players may take their opponent by dropping their weight.
  3. Strictly no slinging or bringing the opposition player to ground in an aggressive manor.
  4. Once tackled legally, players have 3 seconds to dispose of the ball, or a free kick for ‘holding the ball’ will be awarded.

3b. Bumping

Bumping is permitted as per AFL Laws of Australian Football.

3c. Smothering

Stealing or smothering the football whilst the opponent is in the process of kicking or has possession in general play is permitted.

3d. Shepherding

A player is permitted to block opponents and bump within 5 metres of the ball as per 3b.


4a. Team Nominations

In addition to the general Team Nomination requirements in WAFC POL.10A,

If a club enters more than one team in a single division in any Year 5 - Year

6 age group or has multiple teams in an age group, then the following is to


  1. Players are not permitted to move from one team to another team in the same Club and age group after Round One of that season. If this occurs, they will be judged as an ineligible player. Team lists are to remain constant unless the team is instructed by WAFC to re-allocate players.
  2. Each team is to be treated as a separate entity.

4b. Competition

  1. No match results
  2. No premiership points
  3. No ladders
  4. No finals

4c. Awards

No awards (Best & Fairest etc) at this level.




5a. Field Umpires

The umpires’ coach shall oversee a panel of umpires from which he will appoint a trained umpire(s) to officiate at each match played under the control of the WAFC. All umpires must comply with the AFL Laws of Australian Football, WAFC Junior & Youth Rules & Regulations and any Competition variations adopted by the governing bodies.

  1. Should a field umpire not be available to officiate at any match the opposing coaches or team officials may agree to appoint any person to act in that capacity. In such case the appointed umpire shall have the same responsibilities and authority as any umpire appointed by the Umpires Coach, including the awarding of Fairest and Best votes. An umpire appointed under this By-Law shall be named on match documents and shall receive normal match payments.
  2. All field umpires shall be suitably attired for the match as approved by the WAFC.
  3. The field umpire will report all stretcher callouts as per WAFC POL.15I – Stretcher Policy.
  4. The collection of umpire related match documents is at the discretion of the WAFC.
  5. Any officially appointed emergency umpire will have the same powers as the central umpires.

5b. Boundary Umpires

Boundary Umpires are not required in Year 5 – Year 6 matches as the Last Possession Rule is applied as per 2d. Out of Bounds.

5c. Goal Umpires

Each competing team shall supply a goal umpire who should be of sufficient knowledge and competency to carry out all responsibilities of the position, as defined in the Laws of the Game. 

  1. The Goal Umpires will wear the approved attire and have a minimum of two signalling flags.
  2. The goal umpires will endeavour to keep the area immediately behind the goal line clear of spectators and other obstructions (refer to WAFC POL.15)
  3. The goal umpire is not permitted to coach or encourage players.

5d. Timekeeper

The home team shall supply a Timekeeper for each game. The Timekeeper will have a means of keeping time and of indicating the end of each quarter to the field umpire, and be deemed to be the official time keeper


6a. Coaches


  1. A team for any match shall have a coach who is subject to the same investigations and penalties as a player, including suspensions, sanctions and fines.
  2. Coaches must play all eligible and able players up to the maximum allowed in all home and away matches.
  3. Coaches must adhere to the Equal Opportunity Policy for all players in all games (refer to WAFC POL.04 Equal Opportunity).



  1. Only accredited coaches will be able to be selected on a team sheet.
  2. All head coaches must at minimum be accredited as an age appropriate Foundation Coach via CoachAFL prior to coaching their first fixtured match.
  3. If a coach is not a CoachAFL member and does not hold at minimum, an age appropriate Foundation Coach accreditation, they will not be permitted to coach.
  4. All assistant coaches must be accredited as an age appropriate Foundation Coach prior to coaching their first fixtured match.


Coaches Box

  1. All coaching staff must remain within the Coaches Box. Only listed coaching staff can remain in the Coaches Box. Coaching staff may only exit the Coaches Box at authorised quarter changes, half time and at the conclusion of the match.
  2. Each team is permitted to have a maximum of three coaches inside the Coaches Box (1 head coach & 2 assistant coaches). 

6b. Team Manager


  1. Each team is required to have a team manager who will act as the primary point of contact for umpires, between competing teams and match officials.
  2. The Home Team Manager is responsible for the welfare of the umpires on match day.

Coaches Box

  1. Team managers are permitted inside the coaches box.

6c. Runners


  1. Teams are only permitted to have one runner.
  2. Team runners shall be clearly identified by wearing an approved WAFC uniform.
  3. Runners are not permitted to carry water.
  4. Team runners are not permitted to remain on the playing surface. Team runners are to deliver one message from the coach to a player and return immediately to the Coaches Box via the interchange area.
  5. Team runners are not permitted to ‘coach’ whilst on the ground.
  6. Team runners must enter and exit the playing surface through the interchange area at all times.
  7. Team runners should be an adult.
  8. Team runners are not to carry out any other team official duties during a match.

Coaches Box

  1. The team runner is permitted inside the coaches box.

6d. Water Carriers

  1. No more than one Water Carrier is permitted per team, per match. Additional water carriers can be applied for at the discretion of the WAFC.
  2. Water carriers shall be clearly identified by wearing approved WAFC uniform.
  3. Water carriers are not to become involved in any capacity in on field coaching. They are to deliver water promptly and exit the field immediately.
  4. Water carriers should be an adult.

Coaches Box

  1. Water carriers are not permitted inside the coaches box.

6e. Medical Officer/Trainer

  1. Each team shall provide a team medical officer/sports trainer with a current Provide First Aid – 1 Day Accreditation (previously known as Senior First Aid/Apply First Aid).
  2. The team medical officer/sports trainer shall be clearly identified by wearing approved WAFC uniform.
  3. The team medical officer/sports trainer must be able to prove, upon request by league officials, suitable proof of qualifications to assess and remove injured players on a stretcher.
  4. Should a team fail to provide a qualified medical officer/sports trainer, then the opposing teams suitably trained medical officer/sports trainer may assume control of injured players for both teams.


Coaches Box

  1. Only one Medical Officer/Trainer is permitted inside the coaches box.

6f. General

  1. A team official under suspension for a breach of the Laws of the Game or the WAFC Rules & Regulations may not play or officiate in any game of Australian Football during the period of suspension. This includes any affiliated senior, junior, WAFL, Country, School or Interstate competition.
  2. Team Officials are not permitted to make intentional contact with opposition players under any circumstances.


AFL Laws of Australian Football

WAFC Junior & Youth Rules & Regulations

WAFC POL.04 – Equal Opportunity

WAFC POL.15A – Ground Preparation

WAFC POL.15I – Stretcher Policy

You can download a copy of these rules by clicking the link below:

WAFC Competition Rules Year 5 - Year 6

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