Resource FAQs: Rules, Regulations and Resources for Player Movements in the AFL

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Lore

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Dec 14, 2015
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This thread will contain information about all the rules of drafting, trading and free agency that are relevant to the AFL.

We will also link to relevant resources both on bigfooty and around the web for your convenience.

Index

Club List Management

Salary Cap & Salaries
Trading Picks and Players
Drafts
Father-son and Academy players
Free Agency

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RussellEbertHandball

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Thanks mate, I don't think I will add that just cos it doesn't really interest me/can't be bothered. That info is a testament though to the quality of the recruiters leading up to a flag.
No worries. Some time after the Olympics i will probably gather the data and put it into a post in here.
 
Composition of Past Premiership Teams

Swanks McSwankserton

Senior List
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Thanks guys, I got the format exactly how I wanted it, much easier to compare than I originally imagined! Very fun.


Picks used in the national draft to build premiership teams (last 20 years):



Composition of premiership teams (last 20 years):



I am most interested in the rounded averages at the end, and a sort of historical premiership winning team template:
  • 1x Pre-Season Draftee
  • 3x Rookie Draftees
  • 18x National Draft Picks
    • 7x 1st (1-18) Rounders (4 of which are top 10 == Only need to spend 4-6 years of a rebuild out of finals? Or instead play finals the whole time and trade up for those picks, but double the rebuild length?)
    • 5x 2nd (19-36) Rounders
    • 4x 3rd (37-54) Rounders
    • 2x 4th+ (>55)
    • All to be divided between ~14 players drafted yourself and ~4 players traded in from other clubs to fill any remaining holes.
Also cool to learn a couple of interesting things I didn't know:
  • 2011 Geelong had 20 players they drafted themselves in the national draft! Them and 2010 Collingwood and 2008 Hawthorn each drafted 21/22 of their players, only trading in 1 each!
  • 2012 Sydney best use of low draft picks! Moneyball? They traded in 6 players (2 of which were AAs w/ them that year) in return for 0 first rounders and 2 second rounders. ik there's COLA but they were the only premiership team in the last 21 years (at least) with no players from Expansion/Foundation Zones, Priority Picks, Father-Son Selections, Free Agency or any miscellaneous compensation picks. Not that any of those things are wrong; the AFL uses those things as their toolkit to keep the playing field level, but still.
  • 2008 Hawthorn conversely best use of high draft picks! It's funny to reflect how often high pick players don't pan out or were poor selections, and how a lot of high picks don't translate to success e.g. GC, Carlton and to a lesser extent GWS.
  • The building of a premiership team seems to be at least 10 years in the making (I suppose any team selected at any given time has a player at least 10 years into a career in it), with the older players being the talented ones. It's just freaky how long the process of list turnover is and how easy to screw up over that journey.
 
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Lore

Moderator ❀
Dec 14, 2015
36,482
53,559
AFL Club
Essendon
Thanks guys, I got the format exactly how I wanted it, much easier to compare than I originally imagined! Very fun.




I am most interested in the rounded averages at the end, and a sort of historical premiership winning team template:
  • 1x Pre-Season Draftee
  • 3x Rookie Draftees
  • 18x National Draft Picks
    • 7x 1st (1-18) Rounders (4 of which are top 10 == Only need to spend 4-6 years of a rebuild out of finals? Or instead play finals the whole time and trade up for those picks, but double the rebuild length?)
    • 5x 2nd (19-36) Rounders
    • 4x 3rd (37-54) Rounders
    • 2x 4th+ (>55)
    • All to be divided between ~14 players drafted yourself and ~4 players traded in from other clubs to fill any remaining holes.
Also cool to learn a couple of interesting things I didn't know:
  • 2011 Geelong had 20 players they drafted themselves in the national draft! Them and 2010 Collingwood and 2008 Hawthorn each drafted 21/22 of their players, only trading in 1 each!
  • 2012 Sydney best use of low draft picks! Moneyball? They traded in 6 players (2 of which were AAs w/ them that year) in return for 0 first rounders and 2 second rounders. ik there's COLA but they were the only premiership team in the last 21 years (at least) with no players from Expansion/Foundation Zones, Priority Picks, Father-Son Selections, Free Agency or any miscellaneous compensation picks. Not that any of those things are wrong; the AFL uses those things as their toolkit to keep the playing field level, but still.
  • 2008 Hawthorn conversely best use of high draft picks! It's funny to reflect how often high pick players don't pan out or were poor selections, and how a lot of high picks don't translate to success e.g. GC, Carlton and to a lesser extent GWS.
  • The building of a premiership team seems to be at least 10 years in the making (I suppose any team selected at any given time has a player at least 10 years into a career in it), with the older players being the talented ones. It's just freaky how long the process of list turnover is and how easy to screw up over that journey.

Can’t see the sheets ^

You will need to go into the settings on your Google sheet and set up ‘publishing’ on the document
 

Lore

Moderator ❀
Dec 14, 2015
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I believe everything in this thread is now up-to-date with reference to the AFL Rules and CBA documents which have been updated for 2021:


The most notable differences are the list sizes and rookie list changes as previously discussed in the media, but which are now formalised in these documents. Everything else is pretty much the same and I've simply updated the links.
 

Lore

Moderator ❀
Dec 14, 2015
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Rule tweaks and updates that will affect the 2021 off-season;
  • List sizes stay the same.
  • Rookies can spend a fourth year on the Cat A/Cat B rookie lists in 2022 due to the pandemic effectively robbing them of a year of development in 2020.
  • A player who is contracted for 2022 can be moved from the senior list to the rookie list after the national draft, but before the rookie draft.
 

smurfin

Club Legend
Apr 1, 2016
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Hi Lore,
Love your work. Avatar is also mesmerising.
Just a query on live pick trading on draft night.

Given that clubs can only bring the number of picks they have list spaces for:

Does this therefore not allow a club to trade 2 lower picks for a higher pick on the night? Otherwise one club is getting more picks than they can use?
Do pick swaps basically have to be one-for-one with future picks having to be involved to create the balance?

A club like Richmond, which currently has 6 picks in the first 3 rounds. If we don't free up 6 list spots or trade out picks before the draft, are some of those picks just forfeited?
We are not allowed to bring them along ( with no intention of using them for point matching) to use as trades for futures on the draft night?

To me, the whole can't bring excess picks to the draft puts a limit on live-pick trading.
 

Lore

Moderator ❀
Dec 14, 2015
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53,559
AFL Club
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Hi Lore,
Love your work. Avatar is also mesmerising.
Just a query on live pick trading on draft night.

Given that clubs can only bring the number of picks they have list spaces for:

Does this therefore not allow a club to trade 2 lower picks for a higher pick on the night? Otherwise one club is getting more picks than they can use?
Do pick swaps basically have to be one-for-one with future picks having to be involved to create the balance?

A club like Richmond, which currently has 6 picks in the first 3 rounds. If we don't free up 6 list spots or trade out picks before the draft, are some of those picks just forfeited?
We are not allowed to bring them along ( with no intention of using them for point matching) to use as trades for futures on the draft night?

To me, the whole can't bring excess picks to the draft puts a limit on live-pick trading.
No they can trade 2 for 1. There are invisible picks that are removed from the order when list sizes are finalised before the draft (list lodgement day) and they will just reappear if needed to ensure everyone has enough picks to fill their lists.

So if you decided on draft night to trade all five picks into the 2022 draft then you’d end up with five picks mostly at the end of the draft instead.

It’s a bit messy as I don’t think the AFL has actually written it down anywhere but I usually record them in the draft order spreadsheets on draft night and that’s how it appears to work from observation.
 

smurfin

Club Legend
Apr 1, 2016
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No they can trade 2 for 1. There are invisible picks that are removed from the order when list sizes are finalised before the draft (list lodgement day) and they will just reappear if needed to ensure everyone has enough picks to fill their lists.

So if you decided on draft night to trade all five picks into the 2022 draft then you’d end up with five picks mostly at the end of the draft instead.

It’s a bit messy as I don’t think the AFL has actually written it down anywhere but I usually record them in the draft order spreadsheets on draft night and that’s how it appears to work from observation.
Thanks.
But if we only have 4 list spots we can't bring along our 5th and 6th picks on the night and then use them if any of our earlier picks get traded for futures?

I feel it would actually be a great strategy. See how the night is going and if satisfied that there are plenty of later options, could trade out some reasonably earlier picks for futures, especially to clubs like Bulldogs of Pies who would have little in that range after matching early bids.
But if those extra picks aren't allowed, then would need to trade them for future picks or upgrades before we get to draft night.
Could still use the same strategy on draft night of downgrading live picks while upgrading future picks, but makes it a bit more limited.
 

Lore

Moderator ❀
Dec 14, 2015
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Thanks.
But if we only have 4 list spots we can't bring along our 5th and 6th picks on the night and then use them if any of our earlier picks get traded for futures?

I feel it would actually be a great strategy. See how the night is going and if satisfied that there are plenty of later options, could trade out some reasonably earlier picks for futures, especially to clubs like Bulldogs of Pies who would have little in that range after matching early bids.
But if those extra picks aren't allowed, then would need to trade them for future picks or upgrades before we get to draft night.
Could still use the same strategy on draft night of downgrading live picks while upgrading future picks, but makes it a bit more limited.
You get I think as many picks as spots +2 under normal circumstances.

It’s been changed a couple of times in the last couple of years though due to the list size reductions from Covid, I think they increased it so that the “list spots” for the purposes of the number of picks you had available for bid matching was based on the 38-40 list sizes.

Originally they capped it so you couldn’t match a first round academy kid with ten 4th round picks. So if you’re trying to rort it that way then wouldn’t bother.

You can trade them for future picks in advance and then trade back into the 2021 draft on the night if you wanted to, and if another club is willing to trade.

Not many clubs are going to have a lot of picks more than spots that are worth anything though, as after pick 73 they have no points value.
 

Johnny Bananas

Brownlow Medallist
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I didn't see this in the section on trading in the index:

Is there a rule against trading currently listed players during the draft? This happens in the NBA, but then players in the NBA can be traded without their consent also.
 

Lore

Moderator ❀
Dec 14, 2015
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I didn't see this in the section on trading in the index:

Is there a rule against trading currently listed players during the draft? This happens in the NBA, but then players in the NBA can be traded without their consent also.
Players cannot be traded during the draft, only in the trade period as specified by the AFL. Under 'trading > timing' in the index, which gives us rule 9.1

 

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Lore

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I suppose it makes sense that mids, rucks and KPFs and KPDs are more likely to become All Australians than true wingers and flankers :drunk:
 

the Ziebull

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They’re allowed
Jade Rawlings and pick 43 for pick 46

we’ll take in Macpherson 500k salary but get a good deal for it
 

Lore

Moderator ❀
Dec 14, 2015
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It’s allowed when a player or future pick is involved, because neither have an explicit value.

Pick only trades from the current year draft have to be within 200 points of equal value, to stop academy clubs vacuuming up points (which they do anyway).

The AFL sometimes signs it off regardless though because they’re the AFL and they do what they want.
 

slugger01

Club Legend
Sep 7, 2015
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Lore , one question. At the draft, can a team use picks it has to elevate it’s rookies to the main list, or do the rookies need to nominate for the draft (thereby exposing them to other teams that may select them) ?

Looking at Collingwood, who need to delist about 6 players to take 6 draft spots into the draft for matching F/S.
Those picks will all go to one player. So then, VERY late picks won’t get good players, so can they then promote their rookies, and then later, select new rookies (or possibly select their delisted players in the rookie draft if they nominate for that?)
 

Lore

Moderator ❀
Dec 14, 2015
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Lore , one question. At the draft, can a team use picks it has to elevate it’s rookies to the main list, or do the rookies need to nominate for the draft (thereby exposing them to other teams that may select them) ?

Looking at Collingwood, who need to delist about 6 players to take 6 draft spots into the draft for matching F/S.
Those picks will all go to one player. So then, VERY late picks won’t get good players, so can they then promote their rookies, and then later, select new rookies (or possibly select their delisted players in the rookie draft if they nominate for that?)
Rookies to be upgraded to the senior list are automatically counted against your last pick/s without actually being formally called out on draft night. They’re not available to be drafted to other clubs, but count as your “must use three picks in the draft”.

Players to be moved from the senior list to the rookie list have to nominate for the draft and are available to anyone - except this year they can move automatically between the national draft and the rookie draft.

Players to be re-drafted as a rookie have to nominate for the draft and are available to anyone, but for this year only, rookie can stay on the list for four seasons without being re-drafted due to effectively missing a year of development with the pandemic.
 

slugger01

Club Legend
Sep 7, 2015
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Rookies to be upgraded to the senior list are automatically counted against your last pick/s without actually being formally called out on draft night. They’re not available to be drafted to other clubs, but count as your “must use three picks in the draft”.

Players to be moved from the senior list to the rookie list have to nominate for the draft and are available to anyone - except this year they can move automatically between the national draft and the rookie draft.

Players to be re-drafted as a rookie have to nominate for the draft and are available to anyone, but for this year only, rookie can stay on the list for four seasons without being re-drafted due to effectively missing a year of development with the pandemic.
Brilliant.
Thanks. So Collingwood can Rookie Cox, Lynch, Thomas, even Pendles if they wish automatically this year. Sounds like a great loophole.
Pies delist 8 players to use picks on draft night to match a bids. They use all those picks to match a bid. They then use another 6 picks (picks 90 and over) to promote 6 rookies to their senior list.
After the draft, rookie the 6 players they delisted (not including Pendles:p:p:p:oops::oops:).
Effectively match a bid on pick 1 without risk??
 

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