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National Carnival Overview


The first National Carnival was held in July 1983 and is a major event in the AFL Masters calendar, with the annual National Carnival held in a different state each year. In 1982 an age group for over 45 year olds was established. In later years the Carnival added age groups for 35s, 40s, 45s, 50s, 55s, 60s and 65s. In 2016 women joined the Carnival with an over 30s age group. An over 40s division was also included in 2017 with a Non-Contact division joining the Carnival in 2024. The current women’s groups include 35s, 45s and Non-Contact.

With all states and territories competing for honours in multiple age groups, the Carnival is not only footy at its best, but a family event like no other. Players, families, supporters and officials enjoy magnificent locations, accommodation and social events spread out over 10 days in late September/early October. With three games over 10 days culminating in a gala presentation night, the National Carnival is open to all registered male players in the AFL Masters competition, and all female players wishing to participate.

The major rule modifications are listed here. You can be assured that the AFL Masters umpires will inform you of any infringements you may have made on the field. The rule modifications are there purely to take into account our ages (35-70!), our families and our futures (and the fact most of our players have work to go to the next day!).

The behavioural changes are in place to ensure the National Carnival is an enjoyable, friendly, family and community based event.