The rules of the Castlemaine 9s Masters are essentially that of the Masters Australian Footall, except for certain modifications as listed below.
1. PLAYING GROUND
100m x 50m with a goal scoring zone 35m from goals.
2. GOAL SCORING ZONE
A line marked as an arc 35 metres from goals defines the goal scoring zone. Only kicks that originate from inside this zone and go through the goals will be registered as goals. If a goal is scored from a kick originating from outside the goal scoring zone, whether it be deemed on purpose or accidental, no score will be registered and a kick out from fullback will take place. If a kick originating from outside the goal scoring zone is touched in the goal scoring zone prior to it crossing the score line, normal AFL rules will apply.
3. THE TEAM
(a) The Team will consist of a total squad of 18 players. Changes to this squad of 18 are not allowed for the duration of the tournament.
(b) If the entered team begins with less than 18 players, they may add players during the duration of the tournament.
(c) If a player is confirmed as injured by an First Aid Officer and cannot take any more part in games, a substitute may take his place in the squad.
(d) Coaches must seek permission from Tournament Event Director (TED) if they wish to make any of the allowed changes to their squad. TED has the right to refuse this change.
(e) The Team shall consist of 9 players on the field.
(f) Interchange of players may take place at any time.
(g) The Team shall consist of three forwards, three centreline players and three backline players.
(h) Players may be replaced due to injury at any time.
(i) All players to be aged 35 years or over on 31st December of the current year. No evidence of age shall be required other than in the event that a complaint is received, the player
concerned, must be prepared to provide proof of age to TED.
4. START OF PLAY
(a) The game shall be started by a ball-up between two players in the centre of the ground.
(b) Only centre line players are allowed to be within the marked area for the ball up after goal or at the start of halves. 3 backs and 3 forwards must start within the 35m arcs.
(c) After a goal, the ball is taken to the centre and restarted as in (a).
(a) Only one player from each team to contest all ruck knocks, involvement in contest by a third player shall result in a free kick against third or subsequent player. At all times the
ball shall be thrown up and not bounced.
(b) At boundary throw ins only one player from each team is to contest the ruck, however if the boundary throw in is poor or misdirected the umpire will immediately call play on. All
players are expected to indicate the ball out of bounce by raising their hands.
(c) Centre throw ups centre line not applicable, ruckman can approach from any direction
(d) No raised knees at any ruck contest.
The player in front of the pack competing for a mark is to be given every protection and opportunity to take the mark. Any unnecessary or deliberate interference by an opponent player/s in attempting to mark or prevent the player in front of the pack from taking the mark shall result in a free kick being awarded to the player in front of the pack. The interference could take the form of a knee or boot being put into a player's body.
7. PLAYER PROTECTION
(a) All players making the ball the objective are to be given the utmost protection by the umpire. Any contact other than a legal side bump or legal tackle (between knee and shoulder) to be deemed unduly rough play and a free kick awarded.
(b) Slinging players to the ground whether the player is in possession of the ball or not is illegal and shall result in a free kick being awarded or if it happens after the ball has been disposed of a free kick shall be awarded down the field where the ball lands.
(c) Late contact, in any form, when the ball has been disposed of, will result in a relayed free kick being paid down the field.
15 metre penalties shall be awarded against the offending player for acts of crude play, arguing with umpire decisions etcetera.
9. ORDER OFF RULE
"To be applied. Please see Philosophy and Code of Conduct for the tournament."