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Aussie Rules Football: Australia’s National Game Explained

Australian Rules Football, or “Footy,” is one of the most widely followed sports in Australia and is so popular that even some online casinos in Australia have slot games based on this sport.  Australian Rules Football is the country’s national sport and although there is a growing interest in the game around the world, Australia is the only country that actively plays this sport at a professional level. If you’re unfamiliar with the game’s rules, this article will provide insights into its history and key regulations. Explore the world of Australian Rules Football and deepen your understanding of this unique sport.

Footy Rules

The general rules of Aussie Rules are straightforward to understand, as both competing teams will feature 18 players. The contact sport is often played on a modified layout of a cricket field, with points scored after the ball is kicked between the central goalposts, earning six points. Meanwhile, four points are awarded for kicking the ball between the outer and central points, which is known in the sport as a behind.

Any body part can be used in the sport, but the most prominent is by kicking the ball or using the hands. However, if a player opts to run with the ball, they must bounce it to ensure that it touches the ground during movement. Unlike rugby, throwing the ball isn’t allowed in Footy Rules, and players will also be penalized for holding the ball.

Early History 

Australian Rules Football has its roots in the year 1858 when children in Melbourne drew inspiration from English public schools’ football games. Initially considered a form of amusement, the sport gained momentum when matches were organized between Melbourne and other private schools. This culminated in the first recorded match in history, which took place in June 1858 between St Kilda Grammar and Melbourne Grammar. This significant milestone marked the beginning of the sport’s organized and documented history.

The sport’s popularity would continue for generations before six of the wealthiest VFL teams discussed a potential breakaway competition. The inaugural season would be staged in 1897, and it grew in popularity quickly. Further teams would join VFL over the coming years, including Richmond in 1908, and then North Melbourne and Hawthorn in 1925.

The next big change in the history of the sport would come in 1990, as VFL officially changed its name to the Australian Football League. Over the next ten years, the success of the sport would continue to thrive, leading to non-Victorian clubs such as Adelaide and Fremantle joining the competition. Further teams would later join, including Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney. The acceptance of other regions has played a key role in the continued success of the sport, and that has also seen the sport grow commercially.

Australian Football League

The AFL is the highest standard of Aussie Rules in the country, and it continues to be the main attraction for many fans that are passionate about the sport. Each season will feature 18 teams spread across Australia, with 24 regular season rounds of matches. However, the AFL is continuing to branch out to new areas, with a team in Tasmania set to join the league from the start of the 2028 campaign.

Throughout a season, each team will play home and away against their rivals, with the top eight teams progressing through to the four-round finals series.

The showpiece of this event is the AFL Grand Final, which is among the most popular team-sporting events in the world. Each year, the final is staged at Melbourne Cricket Ground, with the outright winners being called the ‘premiers’.

The most successful teams in the history of the tournament are Carlton and Essendon, who have laded victories on 16 occasions apiece. However, the most recent premiers champion is Geelong, who landed a tenth title following the conclusion of the 2022 AFL season

Final Thoughts

The 2023 AFL season kicked off in mid-March, and exciting matches have been underway. The pinnacle of the season, the Grand Final, is scheduled for late September, where the ultimate champions will be crowned. Geelong, known for their exceptional performance in the previous playoffs, are once again strong contenders for the title. They emerged victorious in last year’s Grand Final against Sydney. Other teams to watch out for this season include Melbourne, Collingwood, and Western Bulldogs, who all have the potential to make a deep run in the competition.

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