Team players cut for women's AFL
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The inaugural women's AFL competition will be 16-a-side after the AFL Commission approved the rule change.
The AFL on Wednesday announced the rule, which was trialled in an exhibition match in September.
The women's AFL league, which will kick off early next year , will also be played over 15 minute quarters (down from 20) plus time on after goals or major injuries.
The women will use size 4 footballs, which are five centimetres smaller in both side and length circumference than the full size used in the men's AFL.
AFL general manager of game and market development Simon Lethlean said the rule change was expected to enhance the women's game.
"Independent studies by Deakin University and RMIT have helped form the view that the women's game will be enhanced by reducing the number of players on the field as well as the size of the football," Lethlean said.
"Both these initiatives were trialled in the recent All Stars match ... analysis of that match showed a significant reduction in stoppages while increasing disposal efficiency and scoring.
"We want to ensure this is a great game to play and exciting to watch."
An interchange cap is still be considered.