League Archive

2022 SANFL Rule Changes

Norwood's Jackson Callow stands the mark earlier this year. SANFL has announced it will introduce the AFL's ''Stand Rule'' across its competitions in 2022.


SANFL will adopt the AFL’s ”Stand Rule” for players standing the mark in its competitions, with this rule change among several adjustments ratified by the South Australian Football Commission for the 2022 season.

After spending the past 12 months monitoring the introduction of the Stand Rule at elite level, SANFL will now align with the AFL and fellow State Leagues by asking players to remain idle while standing the mark once a free kick has been paid.

SANFL General Manager Football Matt Duldig said it made sense for the League moving forward to fall in line with the AFL for this rule.

”Since its introduction, the Stand Rule has resulted in a more free-flowing style of play whilst enabling players more opportunities to kick through the centre corridor, to break lines and speed up the game,” Mr Duldig said.

”Importantly, pausing on its introduction for 12 months has allowed SANFL umpires and players to gain a better understanding of its implementation. In fact, we were already organically seeing it creep into the game in 2021 without it being formally introduced.

”Announcing its introduction now will also provide SANFL umpires opportunity to work with our players during summer training and the trial match period before the premiership season begins next year.”

The Stand Rule will be rolled out across all SANFL State League competitions, including SANFLW and under-age competitions, providing those rising through the ranks with the chance to adjust before reaching senior level.

”This will also provide our talented juniors the opportunity to play with the Stand Rule on a weekly basis which we felt was important considering it’s now in place across all national talent competitions, including the NAB AFL Championships,” Duldig said.

In 2022, SANFL will also be in unison with other State Leagues in allowing its AFL clubs the discretion to play activated Medical Substitutes in the SANFL.

Previously, players who were activated Medical Substitutes in the AFL were not permitted to play in the SANFL on the same weekend. This will now be permitted, however, AFL clubs must communicate their player’s availability to the opposition club within 60 minutes after the conclusion of the AFL match.

Adjustments also will be made to the SANFLW competition, with the length of quarters now being increased from 17 minutes to 20 minutes.

SANFLW’s anti-density law will also be amended so that four players must be in one half of the field for all stoppages and kick-ins (previously five), including one player remaining inside the 50m arc (previously two). This change is due to the reduction in on-field playing numbers from 18 to 16.

''Announcing its introduction now will provide SANFL umpires opportunity to work with our players during summer training and the trial match period before the premiership season begins next year.''

SANFL General Manager Football Matt Duldig

Further to SANFL’s 2022 rule changes, the SA Football Commission has approved adjustments to SANFL’s annual AFL Licence and Regulation review with the Adelaide and Port Adelaide Football Clubs, including:

  • Any delisted AFL player who has not played AFL or State League, or been on an AFL list for the past 12 months (previously 24 months), can be supplementary listed to play SANFL for AFC or PAFC.
  • A player who has served a minimum of 10 years on either Adelaide’s or Port Adelaide’s AFL list can be included on the supplementary (SANFL) List of the AFL club where they served the 10-year period.
  • Increasing the age range of interstate players AFL Clubs can include on their supplementary (SANFL) lists from 19 to 21 years to 19 to 23 years of age.
  • Adelaide and Port Adelaide would have access to Father-Son prospects in their 18th year, for a full season to play in their SANFL team – if they haven’t already played League with their SANFL club. In this instance, the AFL club would pay the player’s SANFL club a $5000 transfer fee.
  • Removal of a transfer fee for Next Generation Academy and Father-Son players in their 18th and 19th year, who are yet to play League Football at their SANFL club, allowing them an opportunity to play and train with their AFL-aligned SANFL club over a four-week period.
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