The AFL has announced new guidelines for the AFLW 2018 season and upcoming sign-and-trade period:
- Clubs will have a primary list size of 27 players for the 2018 NAB AFL Women’s Competition, with a further three rookie list spots available.
- Clubs will be able to re-sign up to 22 players for their 2018 list during the sign/trade Period, which will operate from May 15-26 (2017 lists were 27 players, meaning a minimum of five players per club will be delisted).
- During the May 15-26 sign/trade period to build their 2018 List, clubs can re-sign players from their 2017 list (with the player’s agreement) and/or trade for players from other AFLW club 2017 lists.
- Trades may only occur with the consent of the AFL and all players and clubs involved in that trade.
- Trades are not restricted to 1-1 player swaps and can involve multiple players for one player, and can also involve multiple clubs within a trade.
- Draft picks for the 2018 NAB AFLW Draft can be traded however future NAB AFLW Primary Draft selections in the 2019 Draft may NOT be traded.
- Any player involved in a trade to another AFLW club must be signed by that club to its primary list for the 2018 season. A player may not be on-traded.
- Once a player has signed with a club, that player cannot be traded to another club for the 2018 season.
- If a player elects to leave a club and that club is unable to secure a trade for that player, the AFL will have the discretion to determine if compensation selection(s) would be required at the 2018 NAB AFL Women's Primary Draft.
- Contracts for all re-signed players must be lodged with the AFL by May 25.
- The 2018 NAB AFL Women's Draft will be held in mid-October, to finalise lists for next season with the remaining spots available for all clubs up to their final primary list size of 27 players.
- The free agency period for the NAB AFL Women’s competition will run from May 29 – June 1. Any player from a club’s 2017 list not offered a place for 2018 will be an unrestricted free agent. Any player from a club’s 2017 list offered a place for 2018 at a lower payment tier will be a restricted free agent.
- Clubs may nominate up to two rookies who come from other sports for their rookie list, with the agreement of those rookie players, from May 15 onwards.
- Father/daughter rule – a player may be nominated by an AFLW club to be a father/daughter selection if their father played at least one AFL game for that club.