Sixth version of COVID-19 protocol for local footy released

March 4, 2021 BY

The AFL Victoria protocol advises limiting players coming together in tight huddles during training and quarter breaks - as seen here during a VFL game in Torquay in 2018. Photo: PETER MARSHALL

AFL VICTORIA has made a slight adjustment to the rules local footy clubs must follow as they prepare for the 2021 season.

The state’s governing body for the sport issued the sixth version of the Return to Training and Games Protocol on Wednesday last week.

The nine-page document relates specifically to senior and junior community football across Victoria.

The only significant change to the protocol, compared to the fifth version that was released in early February, is a loosening of the density quotient in pavilions (changerooms and the like) when briefings are taking place.

The density quotient for activities such as team meetings and briefings, coaches’ meetings, team selections, committee meetings, social functions, and canteens and kiosks has been doubled from one person per four square metres to one person per two square metres, providing electronic record-keeping is being used. If not, it remains at one person per four square metres.

The density quotient of one person per four square metres remains for when physical activity is taking place, including warm-ups, exercise (such as gym sessions) and ice baths.

The patron cap of 1,000 people at games has not changed, nor have the several protocols that apply to spectators, including:

Any attendance at community football training, games and programs by spectators must be strictly compliant with state government directions and restrictions, including wearing face masks where social distancing cannot be achieved

Spectators must keep at least 1.5 metres from others

Face masks must be worn in indoor settings unless there is a lawful exception

Where venues allow for vehicle access surrounding the oval, spectators are encouraged to remain in their vehicle (subject to state government advice regarding risk for spectators viewing from vehicles, e.g. cohabiting family/household members only), and

No spectators on grounds during breaks or after the match.

To read the full protocol, head to

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