If AFL don’t and other codes do, just wait until Gil and Co put something in their contracts that ensures they get a bonus on grounds of participation growth. Than wham, 300k volunteers become participants.On 25.2.19, Tas. FFT CEO M. Bulkeley said in the Press release link below, re Tas. soccer regd. nos. "We have also set a target to grow participation to... a total of 26,000 players, VOLUNTEERS, COACHES and REFEREES (my emphases)".
This suggests that the FFA might include volunteers, coaches and referees in its national regd. no figures of 1,851,683.
IIRC, the AFL has stated recently that AF has c. 200,000 volunteers. Its 2008 Annual report stated c.100,0000 volunteers.
Given that GR soccer is played 12 months pa (especially in schools & futsal), it is far more likely to have the same player counted two or 3 times (No sports cross reference player names in their Official regd. nos.). AS AF is likely to have far more volunteers, umpires & coaches than soccer, AF might, in 2019, have more total "participants" than soccer.
In the Tas. soccer 2019 State Of Play Report below, it states "Football (sic) participation in Tasmania is bursting at the seams, with over 17,000 registered participants, making football the state's largest club-based sport".
This is a falsehood, as AFL Tas., for 2019 has claimed 44,407 "participants".
What is your view as to whether "volunteers" are included in total Official regd. nos for the :-
.Cricket Australia etc