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AFL 2020: Players return to training, coronavirus protocols, leaked AFL memo, stay home, testing, quarter break length

A leaked AFL memo, running over 40 pages, details the extensive protocols players must adhere to in order to get the 2020 season up and running.

Seven News reports players will be given a “detailed tutorial” on Monday, when they return to training (non-contact, in groups of eight), explaining what they can and can’t do. Full contact training resumes on May 25.

In a move likely to be seen across the AFL, Fremantle has revealed players will be split into seven groups (likely of seven, with one coach) for the first week of training.

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Players can only interact with those in their group, identified by a certain bib, and those groups can only change when every player has delivered another negative COVID-19 test.




Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir addresses his players. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir addresses his players. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

In the leaked memo, players are told they must stay home unless “absolutely necessary” in rules similar to what all Australians had to live under before restrictions were loosened in recent weeks.

The only reasons to leave home – other than to go to training or games – are to buy food, care and compassion (dropping kids off, visiting partners), exercise (walking or running only) or for other essential needs.

Family and friends will be allowed to visit players under the guise of welfare, and daily reports will have to be delivered to the AFL to ensure compliance.

Players in the two southeast Queensland hubs will essentially be treated the same as those staying at home, though they may be permitted to play golf on the resorts they’re based at.

LISTEN TO GERARD HEALY, DAVID KING AND TOM MORRIS OUTLINE THE AFL’S RETURN TO PLAY PLAN BELOW, OR TAP HERE TO SUBSCRIBE ON ITUNES OR SPOTIFY

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All players will be tested twice a week, including 24 hours before travelling to games, but players not selected can’t enter stadiums. Clubs can only bring 26 staff, with six allowed in the coaches’ box.

On the field, the rules will remain the same as in Round 1 with one exception.

Quarter and three-quarter-time will last eight minutes each, up from six, and quarters will stay at 16 minutes plus time on, however there will now be 60 seconds between a goal and play restarting, instead of 45.

Players must stay 1.5 metres apart on the bench and are not permitted to deliver high fives or handshakes. Social distancing for the club song after wins will be enforced.



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