The rookie list is a means for Australian Football League (AFL) clubs to maintain additional players outside the 38-man primary or senior list. Rookie listed players are not eligible to play in AFL home-and-away or finals matches unless they are elevated to the senior list, either to replace a retired player or a player with a long-term injury.
There are two categories of rookie: Category A and Category B. Category A primarily represents players with a traditional Australian rules football development; Category B rookies are players from non-traditional recruiting backgrounds. Category A rookies are usually placed on the list via the rookie draft, which occurs annually during the off-season, immediately after the pre-season draft. As is the case with the AFL's other drafts, clubs are given the opportunity to select rookies in reverse ladder order, based on the previous season's results.
Several types of Category A rookies may be recruited directly by the clubs, without the need to put up for draft (although all such players are recorded against a late draft pick as a formality). This includes:
Each club is permitted to recruit up to three "Category B" rookies. Category B rookies are recruited directly rather than drafted, and represent players from non-traditional recruiting backgrounds. Players who may be recruited as Category B rookies include:
In the specific case of Irish international rookies, a club may have no more than one Irish Category B rookie at a time; but, the club is permitted to recruit other Irish players as Category A rookies, and may still recruit them directly without putting them up for draft.
Each club is allowed to maintain a list of up to six eligible Category A rookies and three Category B rookies. Up to three rookies can be retained, with the player's permission for a second or third season,with the others having to be either delisted or elevated to the primary list at the time of the National Draft. Only half of the salary paid by a club to players on the rookie list counts towards the league's salary cap.
Generally speaking, a rookie-listed player cannot be selected to play in the senior AFL competition, and must play in state-level affiliated teams, except in two circumstances:
There are usually plenty of opportunities to enact one of these rules, so rookie-listed players who are playing well enough for senior selection are seldom deprived of the opportunity by list management constraints.
The rookie list was established in 1997. It was initially aimed at providing recruitment opportunities for young players, in part filling a gap which had been left by the reduction in size of AFL lists from 52 to 42 players in 1994. At that time, rookie players must have been between the ages of 18 and 23 to qualify.In 2006, this was relaxed to allow each club to recruit a rookie older than 23 if he had never previously been on an AFL list. This has since been relaxed further, and now there no upper age or experience restrictions on Category A rookies.
In 2006, "International rookies" were identified for the first time as a separate class of rookie, covering international players from any countries except Ireland, in order to protect the AFL's relationship with the Gaelic Athletic Association.The "International rookie" category has since been expanded to the broader Category B.
The relaxing of eligibility criteria have resulted a notable semantic anomaly with the rookie list: that highly experienced players may serve on a club's rookie list, even though the word "rookie" is widely understood in most sports and professions to refer to a new or inexperienced person. For example, Carlton's Heath Scotland spent his sixteenth and final AFL season on Carlton's rookie list, mostly to free up space on the club's primary list.
Before eligibility criteria were relaxed, special dispensation was granted for Adam Ramanauskas to be played on Essendon's rookie list in 2006. Ramanauskas had played over 100 AFL games for the club, but there was uncertainty over his playing future as he underwent treatment and recovery for cancer.
In 2014, Matthew Priddis was awarded the Brownlow Medal as the AFL's best and fairest player. Polling 26 votes, Priddis became the first player to win the award having begun his career on the rookie list.
The Australian Football League Players' Association (AFLPA) has stated a desire to abolish the rookie list, in favour of an expanded 46 player roster. The AFLPA's main argument is that rookies now have the same workload as senior players – which was not necessarily true in the early days of the rookie list – but that their pay and opportunities are much lower than that of senior players.
Some of the most successful players (having played over 100 AFL games and/or kicked over 100 goals in the AFL) originally drafted into the AFL via the rookie systemare:
The Australian Football League draft is the annual draft of unsigned players, especially new nominations, by Australian rules football teams that participate in the main competition of that sport, the Australian Football League (AFL).
The AFL Players Association is the representative body for all current and past professional Australian Football League (AFL) and AFL Women's (AFLW) players.
Adam Ramanauskas is a former Australian rules footballer for the Essendon Football Club.
The father–son rule is a rule that allows clubs preferential recruiting access to the sons of players who have made a major past contribution to the team in Australian rules football, most notably the Australian Football League. The rule was first established in the late 1940s. There have been more than ten amendments, most recently the refining of the draft bidding process in 2015.
Damien Peverill is a former Australian rules footballer who played for the Essendon Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). Peverill was known as a hard-working player whose no-nonsense approach to football, along with his consistency and ability to win plenty of the ball, were the hallmarks of his game.
Ian Prendergast is an Australian rules footballer who played senior professional football with the Carlton Football Club in the Australian Football League, and currently serves as the club's Chief Commercial Officer and General Counsel.
Danyle Pearce is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Port Adelaide Football Club and Fremantle Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). He played for the Port Adelaide between 2005 and 2012 and Fremantle between 2013 and 2018.
Matthew Harley Priddis is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the West Coast Eagles in the Australian Football League (AFL).
The 2008 AFL draft consisted of four opportunities for player acquisitions during the 2008/09 Australian Football League off-season. These were trade week, the national draft, the pre-season draft and the rookie draft. It was considered to be the last uncompromised draft before the draft concessions given to the Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney expansion teams restrict the existing AFL clubs' access to the best young players in the future years drafts.
Jordie McKenzie is an Australian Cricketer with Brighton District Cricket Club and former Australian rules footballer who played for the Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). In November 2015, he signed with the North Adelaide Football Club in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL).
The West Coast Eagles are an Australian rules football team based in Perth, Western Australia. Their 2011 season was their 25th season in the Australian Football League (AFL), their tenth season under premiership coach John Worsfold, and the fourth season with Darren Glass as captain. In the previous season, West Coast finished last on the ladder to receive their first wooden spoon. West Coast began their 2011 season with a four-point win over North Melbourne on 27 March. At the conclusion of round ten, West Coast had won five of their nine games and lost four, but over the remainder of the season won 12 of their 13 games to finish fourth at the end of the regular season. In the finals series, the club lost their qualifying final to Collingwood by 20 points. They defeated Carlton in a home semi-final, but lost to Geelong, the eventual premiers in a preliminary final at the MCG the following week.
The 2011 AFL draft consisted of five opportunities for player acquisitions during the 2011/12 Australian Football League off-season.
Kane Mitchell is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Port Adelaide Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL).
The 2014 season was the West Coast Eagles' 28th season in the Australian Football League (AFL), the premier Australian rules football competition. The 2014 season also marks the first season of the club's reserves affiliation with the East Perth Football Club in the West Australian Football League (WAFL). West Coast finished thirteenth in the previous season, despite having made the finals in the two preceding seasons. At the end of the 2013 season, previous coach John Worsfold retired, after twelve seasons in the position, and was replaced by Adam Simpson, who had not coached previously at AFL level. Darren Glass was retained as captain for a seventh season, with Josh Kennedy and Scott Selwood as vice-captains. However, Glass retired from football after round 12, and was replaced by five acting co-captains: Shannon Hurn, Kennedy, Eric Mackenzie, Matt Priddis, and Selwood. Undefeated in the 2014 pre-season competition, West Coast started its season against the Western Bulldogs on 23 March. The club failed to qualify for the 2014 finals series, finishing its season in ninth place, with 11 wins and 11 losses. Priddis won the highest individual award, the Brownlow Medal, Beau Waters won the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award, and Mackenzie was the club champion winning the John Worsfold Medal. No players from West Coast were selected on the All-Australian team.
The 2014 AFL draft consists of the various periods where the 18 clubs in the Australian Football League (AFL) can trade and recruit players following the completion of the 2014 AFL season. Additions to each club's playing list are not allowed at any other time during the year. This was the last year in which any team passed on a selection in the national draft.
The 2017 AFL Women's draft consisted of the various periods when the eight clubs in the AFL Women's competition could recruit players prior to the competition's 2018 season.
The 2018 AFL season is the 122nd season in the Australian Football League contested by the Carlton Football Club. In one of the club's worst ever seasons, the club finished in last place with a 2–20 win-loss record, the worst in club history. The club's women's team contested its second season of the AFL Women's competition, also finishing last in the competition. The club fielded a team in the VFL Women's competition for the first time.
The 2018 AFL Women's (AFLW) draft consisted of the various periods when the ten clubs in the Australian rules football women's competition could recruit players prior to the competition's 2019 season.
The 2019 AFL season is the 123rd season in the Australian Football League contested by the Carlton Football Club. It was also the third AFL Women's season contested by its senior women's team.