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Footy 7s Rules
Footy 7s Rules

Before stepping onto the field, get your head around the game.

Updated over a week ago

1. Field Of Play

1.1 Footy 7s is divided into three zones – Forward, Midfield & Defence.

1.2 The player positions are as follows:

  • 2 x Forwards

  • 3 x Midfielders (one of who can be nominated as the 'Scoring Forward')

  • 2 x Backs

1.3 The standard size of a Footy 7s field is approximately 75m (Length) x 35m (Width)

2. Match Format

2.1 Matches consist of 2 x 16-minute halves.

2.2 There will be a one minute break at half-time.

2.3 A match is started and finished by the umpire’s whistle

3. Teams

3.1 A maximum of 7 players are permitted on the field at any one time.

3.4 A team must have a minimum number of 4 players to start the game.

3.2 A team consists of 2 forwards, 3 midfielders (one of whom can score) and 2 backs. 

3.3 Mixed teams must have a minimum of 3 females on the field at any one time. In the case of 6 or less players a team must have a minimum of 2 females.

3.4 A team is permitted to have an unlimited number of players on the interchange bench. Interchange of players is permitted at any time during the game.

3.5 Players are permitted to play across multiple teams per night in the following situations:

A team can borrow players from another team as long as they start the game with a minimum of their own 4 registered players.

Individual players can play for another team as long as they are in the same or lower division. Eg. Division 1 players cannot play in a division 2 league.

Individual players can play in both a men's team and a mixed team on the same night. This is permitted due to both competitions being appropriately separate.

3.6 Teams found to be playing ineligible players relating to rule 3.5 may lose match points.

3.7 For all Footy 7s senior competitions, players must be a minimum of 15 years of age to participate. It is the responsibility of each team to ensure this rule is enforced at all times.

4. Starting the Game

4.1 The game is commenced with a ball up in the midfield zone between two centre players standing toe to toe. This occurs at the start of each half and after a goal has been scored.

4.2 The centre players contesting the ball up must tap or palm the ball backwards, when the ball is on the way down. Punching and taking possession of the ball are not permitted.

4.3 The remaining centre players stand a minimum of 2 metres away from the ruck contest on the defensive side of the ball up.

4.4 The player who wins possession from the ruck contest has a maximum of 2 seconds to dispose of the ball.

4.5 Players must start in their designated zone after a goal has been scored.

4.6 A kick in between the goal posts occurs after a behind has been scored. The opposition player must be a minimum 5 metres back from the player kicking in. The player kicking in is permitted to play on from the kick-in.

5. Possession Of The Ball

5.1 The ball must be disposed of correctly by handball or kick in each zone for a goal scoring opportunity to occur.

5.2 The kick in after a behind is only permitted to enter the middle and defensive third.

5.3 The minimum distance for a mark to occur is a 5-metre kick. If it is under 5 metres, a call of ‘play on’ occurs.

5.4 A player is only permitted to bounce the ball once while they are in possession of the ball. The ball must be bounced once after 15 metres.

5.5 If the ball is kicked or handballed over two-thirds, a free kick will be awarded to the appropriate team on their defensive third line.  

6. Gaining Possession Of The Ball

6.1 A turnover occurs in the following instances:

  • When the ball goes out of bounds

  • When a player is deemed to be ‘holding the ball’

  • When the ball touches the ground due to a poor kick, handball or dropped mark

The only time the ball can touch the ground is from a ball up contest or when a forward is shooting for goal. *

6.2 If a turnover occurs, the opposing team takes possession of the ball where the ball first touched the ground, went out of bounds or where the player was caught in possession.

6.3 The nearest player to where the turnover occurs must take possession of the ball. They can dispose by hand or foot if the turnover occurred on field. For out-of-bounds, the ball must be disposed by kick only.

6.4 The ball must be kicked in from out of bounds. A shot for goal is not permitted.

6.5 A ball up occurs if there is any doubt as to which team caused the turnover.

7. Dispossession Of The Ball

7.1 A player must be caught 'holding the ball' by the 'two handed touch' method. No tackling, bumping or barging is permitted.

7.2 If a player is deemed to have had prior opportunity to dispose of the ball, this is considered 'holding the ball' and a turnover occurs.

7.3 If a player is considered to have had no prior opportunity to dispose of the ball the umpire calls ‘Touch’ and the player has 2 seconds to dispose of the ball. If the player is unsuccessful in disposing of the ball after this opportunity, a free kick will be awarded.

8. Marking

8.1 A ‘mark’ is awarded if a player controls the ball after it has been kicked a minimum 5 metres without getting touched by another player or hitting the ground.

8.2 There is no type of physical contact permitted in a marking contest. The player in front has every chance to mark the ball. A free kick is awarded against any player initiating contact.

8.3 An opposition player may stand on ‘the mark’. This is the place where a mark or free kick has been awarded.

8.4 The umpire will call ‘play on’ if it is deemed the player has had reasonable opportunity to dispose of the ball.

9. Playing On & Advantage

9.1 The umpire calls ‘play on’ in the following instances:

  • When a player who has taken a mark or possession of the ball from a turnover has run over or around ‘the mark’

  • When the ball has been touched from a kick still yet to hit the ground

9.2 The umpire is permitted to call ‘advantage’ if the player in possession of the ball initiates the advantage.

10. Scoring

10.1 The Footy 7’s scoring system is as follows:

Goal - 6 points

Behind - 1 point

Super Goal - 9 points (goals kicked by female scoring players in Mixed games)

10.2 The two designated forwards and scoring midfielder are the only players able to score. These players are identified by wearing a coloured sash. A score can only occur through taking a mark, receiving a kick or hand-pass or when they are awarded a free kick.

10.3 A scoring player is able to score if they are awarded a 15 metre penalty which takes them into the scoring zone.

10.4 A goal or behind can still be awarded if the ball touches the ground directly from a shot at goal by a scoring player. If the ball is touched following the shot at goal, a standard turnover occurs from where the ball was touched. If the ball is touched as a kick is made at goal, a point will be awarded opposed to a turnover if the ball crosses the goal-line.

10.5 A team is not able to score directly from out of bounds or from a turnover.

10.6 A team is only able to score inside the forward zone.

11. Game Time

11.1 Teams are to be on the field at the scheduled game time

11.2 Games are started by the umpire's whistle at the scheduled time

11.3 The clock will not be stopped unless injury

11.4 Teams are to have a minimum of 5 players in order for a game to commence 

11.5 The following penalties apply for team lateness:

  • 1>3 minutes: 1 goal 

  • 3>5 minutes: 2 goals 

  • 5>8 minutes: 3 goals 

  • 8>12 minutes: 5 goals 

  • 12+ minutes: Forfeit loss

11.6 A forfeit will result in a 60-0 win awarded to the opposition. Please note, multiple forfeits may result in removal from the competition.

12. Interchange

12.1 Players may interchange at any time without notifying the umpire. A player must leave the field before the substitution may replace them. 

12.2 There is no limit to the amount of substitutions a team can make during a game

12.3 In the case of a player being sent-off, the player is not permitted to return for the remainder of the game. After two minutes of the player being sent-off, the team may then replace them with another player.

13. Points System 

13.1 Teams will be awarded 4 points for a win

13.2 Teams will be awarded 2 points for a draw

13.3 In the case of a forfeit, a team will receive 4 points for a win and a 60-0 result

13.4 In the case of a game being abandoned, the result of the game will be decided on a fault basis:

  • One team at fault: opposition awarded a 60-0 win

  • Both teams at fault: no result and no points awarded 

14. Finals 

14.1 All finals fixtures will be advised to participating teams and posted online

14.2 Teams participating in finals must ensure they are available for all possible game times

14.3 Finals format will consist of the top 2 teams playing off in the grand final with all other teams playing placing playoff games to ensure every team gets a game on finals night.

14.4 Final ladder positions are determined by total game points. In the case of teams having equal points, higher percentage will take precedence. If still equal, higher points for will take precedence. 

14.5 In the case of a team being unable to play a finals game, the next highest ranked team will qualify

14.6 In the case of divisions with uneven bye allocation, points will be averaged to determine final ladder positions. (i.e. A team with 1 bye and 30 points from 15 matches (2 points per match) will finish higher than a team with 2 byes and 31 points from 16 matches (1.94 points per match). 

14.7 If teams are tied at end of a finals match, extra-time will consist of 2 x 3 minute halves. If scores are tied after extra-time, the first team to kick a goal (Golden Goal) will be deemed victorious  

14.8 Players must have played a minimum of 3 games in the regular season to be eligible to play in finals

15. Physical Contact

15.1 Footy 7’s is strictly a non-contact sport. The following actions (intentional or unintentional) are not permitted:

  • Holding or grabbing an opponent

  • Any form of pushing

  • Spoiling with contact

  • Bumping

  • Barging or shepherding

  • Touching the ball while another player has possession

  • Tripping

15.2 Any physical contact will result in a free kick awarded to the relevant team.

16. Discipline

16.1 A 15 metre penalty will be awarded when a player engages in the following:

  • Oversteps the mark

  • Time-wasting

  • Uses abusive language towards the umpire

  • Abusive language in general play 

  • Threatening behaviour

  • Does not return the football directly to the opposition or umpire on request

  • Rough play

16.2 In the case of a yellow card offence, a player is sent off for 2 minutes. The player can be replaced immediately. A 2nd yellow card offence in a game is an automatic 1 match suspension.

16.3 In the case of a red card offence, a player is sent off for the rest of the game and receives a minimum 1 match suspension. The player can be replaced after 2 minutes.

Wet Weather 

17.1  It is assumed games will go ahead in all weather conditions unless decided otherwise by the Venue Manager on the night.
In the rare case of a full night cancellation, a message will be sent to all teams prior to the night commencing.

17.2  In the event of a full night cancellation due to weather, all games will be recorded as a 30-30 draw.    

17.3  In the case of an in-game cancellation, a result will stand if more than 50% of the game has been played. If less than 50% of the game is played, a 30-30 draw will be recorded.  

Code Of Conduct

The Code of Conduct is in place to ensure that all participants are able to be involved in an enjoyable and safe environment. As a condition of participation, all teams must agree to the following standards.

- Players must demonstrate respect for umpires, other players, spectators and staff.

- The team contact is responsible for the actions of their team.

- The team contact is responsible for communicating all matters regarding participation.

Any breach of the above standards will result in an official warning or immediate dismissal from the competition. Anti-social behavior, both on and off field, will not be tolerated.

Please note that banned players are not permitted to play for any team or enter the venue during competition.

Two or more players from any one team involved in a breach of the Code of Conduct will result in the team and all individual players facing removal from the competition.

Social Sport has the right to take any action deemed necessary in the best interests of all participants.

Suspension of Players

The following information relates to the suspension of players:

  • When a player is involved in a discipline issue, Social Sport will decide the length of suspension. 

  • In the case of a serious incident, a player may receive an extended suspension or be banned from the competition.

  • The Competition Manager will confirm suspension details (including additional weeks) to the team contact prior to the next round of the competition.

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