Spectator Behaviour- It’s Everyone’s Responsibility

Over recent months, the conversation has been debated regarding the spectator behaviour at AFL matches in 2019.

AFL Barwon matches are certainly not immune to poor spectator behaviour.  AFL Barwon has in place a range of codes and polices that all involved in local football should be reminded of, leading into junior and senior finals.

These codes and policies are designed to deal with any such behaviour which is considered unacceptable under our code of conduct.

The codes of conduct set out expectations for all:


At AFL Barwon, we respect the rights, dignity and worth of all individuals whilst a spectator at AFL Barwon matches, including refraining from any discriminatory practices on the basis of race, religion, ethnic background, or special ability/disability.

We require those attending AFL Barwon matches to refrain from having any influence on a match whilst acting as a spectator in a capacity that may affect the result, or disrupt the course of the match.

We believe that an individual, be they a player or official, should be able to participate in a match without being physically threatened or victimised and we certainly implore all spectators to respect the decisions of match officials providing a positive influence for others. We also do not condone the use violence in any form, whether it is against other spectators, officials or players.

In summary we ask that spectators conduct themselves in a manner that enhances the values of the AFL Barwon (Accountable, Progressive, Respectful).

Yes, our game is passionate, it regularly evokes strong emotions and we all have a role to play (personally and collectively) to keep these emotions in check and in line with acceptable standards of behaviour.

Players and officials alike take to the field each week to give their best for their team (players/coaches) or the game in general (umpires) and they all have a right to feel safe and respected. This particularly applies to our umpires who participate every weekend. The sporting grounds are our umpire’s workplaces and AFL Barwon demands the same respect afforded to all of us in the workplace for our match day officials, be they experienced or first year umpires.

Be aware there are consequences when our code of conduct expectations are breached and any person who does not comply may be evicted from a venue and their club charged under the following ruling:

Barrackers and Supporters

Any supporter or barracker who are known to be members of any Club, within the League who, in the opinion of the Central, Boundary or Goal Umpire, Emergency Umpire, Commissioner or AFL Barwon Officer, behave in an offensive manner by spoken remarks, or openly incite players on the field to play in a manner not conducive to the best interests of the game, or are the cause of any disturbance between onlookers, will render the Club to which they belong liable to appear before the Commission or Tribunal who will have the power after dealing with the case to impose a special fine, suspend or expel such club from the League.

Behaviour we walk past, let go and not call out is behaviour we accept – let’s not accept poor standards of behaviour at AFL Barwon matches, call it out and set strong examples by applauding good play and great decisions by opposition players and umpires alike.

AFL Barwon would like everyone’s support to ensure all matches are family friendly environments and overall behavioural standards at our games both on and off the field remain acceptable.  It is our collective responsibility to maintain these standards, each and everyone one of us.

All the best over the coming weeks and see you at the footy!

Kind Regards,

Will McGregor

Region General Manager – AFL Barwon

We would like to proudly thank our

Official AFL Barwon Partners