AFL drops white shorts for female players to tackle ‘rules stigma’

The AFL removed white shorts from on-field uniforms in the AFLW and other women’s competitions, hoping to eliminate performance anxiety experienced by female players during their menstrual cycles.

The league’s decision follows consultation with AFLW clubs and players.

Research by the AFL shows that players – especially young girls – are less likely to participate in the sport if they feel uncomfortable in their uniform.

The AFL will work with AFLW clubs to make the adjustments in time for the 2023 season.

Similar measures have been rolled out in tennis (Wimbledon), cricket (Test matches) and football across the world.

“The ripple effect for community sport for women and girls is immense – we want to remove all barriers that prevent women and girls from participating in Australian rules football,” said the women’s football chief executive. ‘AFLW, Nicole Livingstone, in a statement.

All 18 AFLW clubs will continue to have colored home game shorts and can wear them to any game throughout the season.

However, clubs will also have an alternate set of colored shorts to wear in the event of a uniform clash.

“Priorizing the health and wellbeing of our players and helping everyone play Australian rules football is essential in everything we do at the AFL,” the head of mental health and wellbeing said. -being of the league, Kate Hall.

“This policy aims to ensure that women and girls can confidently play and enjoy Australian rules football, without the impact of period stigma.”



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