The 2022 rebel VFLW season is set to begin on Saturday February 12, 2022, as announced by the AFL this morning.
The start of the VFLW season will see state league women’s footy return to Victoria, with a full talent pathway program for elite women in the NAB League Girls, VFLW and AFLW competitions being played at the same time.
Entering its sixth season, the rebel VFLW competition has been the pathway for elite women in Victoria and seen some of the stars of the AFLW competition progress through.
Essendon and Hawthorn have joined Port Melbourne under the AFLW-aligned club classification due to their pending entry into the 2023 AFLW competition, leaving Darebin and Williamstown as the only two remaining VFLW standalone teams.
The VFLW’s 12 teams will again play 14 home-and-away matches with the fixture likely to be released shortly.
The season will again be split into two phases for list management purposes, with VFLW standalone clubs allowed to sign 40 players and AFLW clubs permitted to have 30 non-AFLW listees during the AFLW home-and-away season.
All 12 teams will be allowed to add up to 15 AFLW players to their lists once that competition’s home-and-away fixture is complete.
While clubs will still select 21 players for a match, AFLW-aligned teams must now only select five under-22 development players each week (down from six), while the standalone requirement remains at three.
Indigenous players who have yet to make their VFL debuts can now also be signed as Category B development players alongside NAB Leaguers and Next Generation Academy members.
The AFL will continue to review all arrangements including return-to-play protocols and the return of fans to matches in consultation with clubs, the various State Governments and respective Health Officers to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in this competition remains the priority.
2022 VFLW Clubs
Standalone VFLW Clubs: Darebin, Williamstown
Standalone AFLW Clubs: Carlton, Collingwood, Geelong, North Melbourne, Western Bulldogs
Aligned Clubs: Port Melbourne, Essendon, Hawthorn, Casey, Southern Saints