The AFL has given free rein to clubs to organise scratch matches between themselves from next week. 

Teams will have the option to hold these games as curtain-raisers or curtain-closers to senior fixtures, and they must be played at AFL-approved venues.

League football operations manager Steve Hocking informed the 18 clubs on Wednesday of the conditions for interclub match practice between rounds two and five.

The motivation behind this was to keep non-selected players engaged, with AFL footballers banned from competing in second-tier leagues, because of the strict medical protocols in place to ward against the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The footballers involved won't be subject to typical tribunal guidelines and can't be suspended, a policy that will rely on good faith between the competing clubs. 

Club officials will need to lodge their game request with the AFL at least one week before the scheduled hitout, and they can only face teams based in the same state.

The length of quarters and number of players on each team can be mutually agreed upon between the two parties on a weekly basis. 

This is important, given the likelihood of uneven playing numbers from club to club, because of injuries and other factors.

As with AFL games, the practice matches will be closed to the public.