Footy 7s – Playing Rules

1. Playing field
A. All matches are played on American Football fields, using the field markings and goal posts.
B. There are no behind posts.

2. Teams
A. Teams shall consist of 7 players on the field and any number of reserves.
B. Interchange of players may take place at any time.
C. Teams shall consist of 2 forwards, 3 centres and 2 backs.
D. Mixed teams must have a minimum of 2 females.

3. Starting Positions
A. At the start of the game, and after each goal:
a. the forwards must start behind their 20 yard line.
b. the defenders must start behind their 20 yard line.
c. the centres must start between the two 40 yard lines.

4. Playing Time
2 x 20 minute halves.

5. Start of Play
A. The game shall be started by a ball-up between two players in the centre of the ground (i.e. the 50 yard line)
B. A player may not grab the ball at the ball-up and play on. They must knock or palm the ball (no punching is allowed) and cannot play the ball again until it has been touched by another player.
C. After a goal, the ball is taken to the centre and restarted as in (A).
D. If a shot for goal is attempted and missed, an opposition player shall kick the ball back into play. This player will line up in the endzone, between the goal posts. All other players must be behind the 10 yard line.

6. Out of Bounds
A. When the ball goes out of bounds by either foot or hand, the nearest opponent shall kick the ball in. The player may not kick for goal from an out of bounds kick in.
B. If there is doubt as to which team forced the ball out of bounds, the umpire shall throw the ball up.

7. Tackling
A. No tackling is allowed. When a player is touched by an opponent, he/she has a maximum of 3 seconds to dispose of the ball by handballing or kicking. If the player fails to dispose of the ball within this period, possession will be awarded to the other team.
B. How much time the umpire allows a player to dispose of the ball depends on the circumstances and is solely at the discretion of the umpire.
C. If a player has had prior opportunity to dispose of the ball when touched, it is holding the ball and a turnover will occur.
D. A legal touch can only occur between the shoulders and knees.

8. Contact
A. As it is a non-contact competition the following acts are not allowed and will result in an automatic free kick:

a. shoves in the back
b. going for hangers (high marks) by jumping on people
c. lifting your knee in a marking contest
d. charging or running through people
e. hard shepherds (soft shepherds by putting your arms out are OK)
f. holding or grabbing your opponent
g. diving on the ball (knocking the ball on is OK)
h. tripping

Please note it makes no difference whether contact is intentional or not.

9. Marking
A. Any player catching a ball directly from the kick of another player, no matter how small the distance, shall be awarded a mark.
B. Contested marks, involving two players going for the ball shoulder to shoulder, are permitted.
C. Punching from behind is permitted, provided no contact is made to the player in front.

10. Bouncing the Ball
A player in possession may bounce the ball only once.

11. Kicking Off the Ground
A player is not permitted to deliberately kick the ball off the ground. If accidental the umpire will call play on.

12. DOC rule
A. Male players owe a duty of care (DOC) to female players on the field.
B. If a male and female opponent are contesting a loose ball on the field, the male opponent must let her take possession of the ball before attempting to tag her.
C. The purpose of this rule is to ensure that the girls receive a fair go on the field and are actively involved.

13. Send-off Rule
A. Players will be sent off for umpire abuse and/or rough play (yellow card).
B. Any incidents of aggressive rough play will result in a player’s removal from the match (red card).

14. Scoring
A. A goal is scored by kicking the ball through the posts.
B. If the ball hits a part of the post and comes back into the field of play, it is play on.
C. 1 point is awarded for a goal.
D. In mixed games, goals scored by a female are worth 2 points (super goals).
E. Only the forward line may score for their team. These players should be identified by their position e.g. yellow bib.
F. No score will be allowed when kicked from an out of bounds free kick.
G. Whilst players are encouraged to move freely around the ground, forwards must be within the forward zone to score.
H. Goals can only be kicked from marks taken in the forward zone.
I. There are no rushed behinds.
J. A free kick in the forward zone will be awarded if the umpire believes a forward would have taken a mark but was illegally infringed against in the marking contest. The player may take a set shot for goal.

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