Darwin 9s logo

This page has been created as a Tournament FAQ for players and officials participating in the 2023 Darwin 9s.

What is the date of the Darwin 9s?
Sunday 13 August, 2023

Where is the venue?
Matches will be played at Skyring Rugby Park, Marrara with matches taking place on Field 1 and Field 2.

What are the teams?
We have 12 teams confirmed for the 2023 Darwin 9s:

Women’s Division

  • Larrakia
  • Nightcliff
  • Palmerston
  • United Nations

Men’s Division 1

  • Greece
  • Larrakia
  • Timor-Leste Crocs
  • Island Chiefs

Men’s Division 2

  • US Marines
  • United Nations
  • NT Masters
  • Philippines

Where do I find the fixture?
The official fixture for the Darwin 9s can be found here.

How many players can we have in our team?
You can have a maximum of 15 people in your team. The format is 9 players on the field – 3 forwards, 3 midfielders and 3 backs. As it is a fast-paced format, we suggest you have a minimum of 4 players on your bench.

Is there an age limit?
Women’s Division – must be a minimum of 15 years of age.
Men’s Division – must be a minimum of 16 years of age.

What are the timings?
The tournament will kick off at 9.20am, with each team playing a minimum of 3 matches.
Matches will commence every 40 minutes to facilitate a carnival type atmosphere.
Each match consists of 2 x 15 minute halves, plus 3 minutes for half-time.
The two top teams in each Division will progress through to the Grand Finals, which will start at 3.20pm.

3.20pm – Women’s Grand Final & Presentations
4.10pm – Division 2 Grand Final & Presentations
5.00pm – Division 1 Grand Final & Presentations

No More Cup
Each Division will play for the No More Cup. The winning teams will also be awarded individual medals, plus a Best on Ground in each Grand Final will be awarded.

Team lists
Please send us the full name and jumper number for each of your players prior to the event.

What are the playing rules?
The playing rules for the Darwin 9s can be found at https://aflinternational.com/darwin9s/match-rules
The umpires will go over the rules before your first match. They rules are very easy to pick up and you will love playing this format of our great game!

Tackling Rules
Please note the tackling rules for the Darwin 9s:
9.4 If, in the opinion of the umpire, a tackle is deemed excessive, a free kick will be awarded against the tackler. A player may also be sent from the field.
9.5 At all times the focus of tackling shall be to win the ball, not deliberately injure an opponent.

One of the major aims of the Darwin 9s is that all players have a great time and enjoy the day. Of course, all players will expect to be tackled, as that is a fundamental part of the game. Let’s all work together to make sure that all games are played in the right spirit i.e. tackles are made to win the ball, not injure an opponent.

Are the grand finals being filmed?
The grand finals will be filmed and uploaded to Youtube and social media. We will also have professional photographers taking photos throughout the day on both fields.

Is there parking?
There is plenty of parking at the venue, and parking is free.

I’m Bringing 3, including Me!
As you know, it is going to be a much better experience if we play in front of a decent crowd at the Darwin 9s. We are asking each player and official to bring not only yourself, but 2 other people to the 9s. They can be your parents, partner, kids, mates etc. Remember, it’s free entry to the event as well. Thanks very much, appreciate your help in making sure we have a great crowd (and great atmosphere) on the day!

Ball boys/girls
All teams are required to provide 1 ball boy/girl for each of their matches, so we don’t lose any valuable game time.

What is the weather forecast?
As the Darwin 9s approaches, you can keep an eye on the weather here.

Is there food & drink on sale?
Yes, Rugby Park will be selling food & drinks, including a canteen and BBQ. The rugby people have bent over backwards to support the event, so please support them throughout the day.

What can I not bring?
Please do not bring any alcohol. Rugby Park has a liquor license and you can purchase drinks from the bar.

If you are taking photos and posting on Instagram on the day, it would be great if you could include the hashtags #aflinternational and #darwin9s. Thank you!

What do I do after my last match?
There will be some great grand finals to watch on Field 1, and you can purchase a cold beer from the bar, sit in the grandstand, and watch some great footy!