For those who aren't familiar, Australia has it's own unique sport. I am a passionate Carlton supporter, and by now you will all be aware that my podcast is focuses around how my team plays each week.
I understand that many people here are completely unaware with this sport, so I will give you a short lesson on what I believe to be the greatest sport in the world.
Aussie rules football (also known as "footy") has been played for over 100 years at various levels throughout Australia. It has been well documented that the game, which is a mixture of Soccer, Gaelic Football and Rugby, was created to keep cricketers fit during winter.
The first official game of football was played in the parklands of Melbourne in the late 1850’s and has blossomed into a multi million dollar business which appeals to many people throughout the world.
The game of Aussie Rules is unique in that it allows participation at all levels and is able to be played by people of all shapes and sizes. Children (male and female) as young as six, right through to the veterans playing Super Rules (modified footy for over age players) competitions make up the thousands of players competing on a weekly basis throughout the world. Each of these players and the teams they represent have loyal supporters who attend each game and barrack for their team and abuse the umpires (in a light hearted manner).
Aussie rules is not an easy game to understand and the best way to simplify what it is all about is in point form as follows.
Made up of 22 players (this number does vary depending on the ages and competition your team plays in). There are only eighteen players on the playing field (oval) at one time. The other players are on the interchange bench and available for the coach to use when he wishes to change the team around or if a player gets injured. Each player must be able to play in a number of positions throughout the course of a game.
The eighteen players are placed into positions on the oval and they are split into 3 different groups. Six players play in the forward line and their job is to kick goals. Six players play in the centres or on the ball and their job is to win the ball and get it to the forward players. The other six players are in defence and their job is to stop the other team kicking goals. The team that has the highest score at the end of the match (game) is declared the winner.
The Australian Football League (AFL) season is made up of twenty three (23) rounds. At the end of the season, the best 8 teams will compete in the finals (also known as "playoffs" around the world).
The teams participating in finals football are competing for the title of premiership team. Finals are a knockout series where teams are eliminated when they lose, with the last two teams playing off in the grand final.
THE GRAND FINAL
This is the ultimate in footy. This single game is played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia's most famous sporting venue. 100,000 people attend this game each year and it is simple a spectacle that needs to be seen to be believed.
Please see the video above for help.
Some of the common rules to assist you to understand the game include:
Tackling - A player must always be tackled below the shoulders and above the knees.
Shepherding - A player can only shepherd (protect, screen) a teammate within 5 metres of the ball.
Bouncing - A player must bounce the ball approx every 15 metres when running with the ball
Disposal - A player must either handball or kick when disposing of the ball.
HOW TO SCORE
At each end of the ground there are 4 posts. The two middle (taller) posts are normally painted white and the two outside posts (smaller) are also white. Each team has a chosen an end to kick the ball for each quarter (This is determined prior to the game when a captain from each team will toss a coin with the winner choosing an end to kick toward). At the end of a quarter the teams will kick to the opposite end to which they started. By the games end, both sides will have kicked each way twice during the game. To score, players are to attempt to kick the ball between the two taller posts at their end.
If the ball travels or rolls between the two white posts without being touched it is 6 points (goal) to that team and the ball is taken back to the centre where the game restarts. (Remember that the ball must have been kicked) If the ball hits the white post it is a point to the team on score and the opposition has a free kick back into play.
Should the ball be handballed or knocked through by either team through any of the scoring areas, it is a single point to the team kicking towards that end. Should the ball travel between a goal post but inside the red post, it is a point scored. If the ball hits the red post it is out of bounds. A goal is worth 6 points and is scored when the ball is kicked between the white posts. A point is scored when the ball hits the goal post, travels between a goal and behind post or is handball or knocked through any scoring area.
This sport is full of action and it is almost gladiator-like.
Stay tuned to my channel where I will be posting more content about this sport for you to follow.