Australian Rules Football

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    monotony
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    Australian Rules Football

    Post by monotony on Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:43 pm

    Round 1 of Season 2013 kicks off this Friday!

    Thankful that the tumultuous summer of drug scandals and match-fixing inquiries is drawing to a close, and we can finally get on with the real business.

    I'm not sure that any other Secret Garden visitors follow this game aside from I and Bruegel, but I'll write some explanatory wikipedia-style posts ITT regardless to enable any vaguely interested parties to get acquainted with this brilliant sport.
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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by monotony on Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:52 pm

    Australian Rules has been around for quite a long time. There is conjecture as to the inspiration for the game - it partly resembles the Irish Gaelic football, and may also have drawn from various indigenous codes. A bloke named Tom Wills drew up some rules in 1859 and we went on from there.

    Today it's generally considered to be the most popular sport in this country, with rugby in its various iterations and soccer following behind.

    The national league is known as the AFL and as of 2012 is made up of eighteen clubs. The oldest is the Melbourne Football Club who have been kicking around since 1859. The Greater Western Sydney Giants played their debut AFL season last year.

    It's been known as the AFL since 1990 - before that, competition was state-based and the largest competitive league was the VFL, or Victorian Football League, which featured teams based in and around Melbourne. Melbourne is the AFL's traditional heartland and the grand final is always played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, or MCG, regardless of the identity of the combatants.
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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by monotony on Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:05 pm

    An Australian Rules game is contested between two teams of twenty-two. Eighteen players from each side are on the field (or "ground") at any given time, and four sit on the interchange bench.

    Unlike soccer and its substitution laws, there is no limit to the number of interchanges that can take place in an AFL game. There has been debate over whether to put a cap on it, but as yet nothing has been put in place. It is rare for an AFL player to spend the entire match on field of play.

    Teams play with a red "Sherrin" ball that is shaped rather like a rugby ball, only less round. It bounces very unpredictably, and can be difficult to pick up in wet conditions.


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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by monotony on Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:13 pm

    As with most sports the aim of the game in Australian Rules is to score points and to score more than the other side.

    To score, a player must pass the ball through the posts at the end of the ground. There are four posts - two tall, and two small. The taller ones are known as "goal" posts, the smaller ones are "behind" or "point" posts.



    If a player kicks the ball through the goal posts without anyone touching it on the way through, s/he has kicked a "goal" and earns 6 points for his or her team.

    If a player kicks the ball between the goal post and the point post, this is known as a "behind", and only one point is earned. Behinds are also scored if the ball passes through the posts having been touched by an opposition player, or touched by hand by a player of either side, or run over the line, et cetera. The game is unique in this way in that it essentially rewards teams for kicking waywardly with commiseration "points". It is technically possible to win a match having scored less goals than your opponent and to thus "win on behinds".

    You will also score a behind if the ball hits the goal post on the full. If the ball hits the behind post on the full, it is considered "out on the full" and you get no points. The opposing team is rewarded with a free kick.

    After every goal, the ball returns to the centre for the "bounce" (more on this later). After every behind, the opposition team is handed the ball and "kicks out" from their defensive goal as one would if a goalkeeper had a goal kick in soccer, for example.

    A score might thus look like this: 14.12 (96)
    this means the team has scored fourteen goals, twelve behinds, and 96 points ((14x6)+12). Australian children are typically very good at their six times table.

    The highest ever score in an AFL match was 37.17 (239), back in 1992. It is rare for teams to go goalless in games, but in wet conditions scoring, and particularly accurate scoring, can be difficult, and teams might only boot one or two goals in a match.


    Last edited by monotony on Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by monotony on Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:37 pm

    To score you've got to be able to move the ball around the field.

    General play in Australian Rules works something like this. The ball can be "kicked" or "handballed" (sometimes referred to as "handpassed"). You cannot "throw" the ball as you would in rugby or NFL. Here is a video of a player teaching kids how to handball:



    AFL involves a lot of tackling. It's more like rugby in that you can only be tackled if you are in possession of the ball. However, in rugby you can only pass backwards and will therefore rarely be tackled from behind - in AFL you might well be tackled from any direction, at any moment. Players, particularly midfielders or "ball carriers", are therefore usually quick and mobile and the best use their peripheral vision to evade opponents.

    There are two occasions where you cannot be tackled if you are in possession.

    The first is if you have "marked" the ball. This happens when someone kicks the ball and you catch it on the full without anyone else touching it on the way. Marking is a bit of an art in AFL and players can sometimes take ridiculous "grabs". An award of "Mark Of The Year" is given out at season's end.





    The second is you are given a "free kick". This will happen when an opponent infringes upon the rules of the game. The ball will be handed to the player who has been wronged, or who has earned the free kick, and s/he will be given time and space to dispose of the ball.
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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by monotony on Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:23 pm

    So, those free kicks. You will receive a free kick if:

    your opponent "throws" the ball instead of handballs it;
    your opponent makes contact with you or tries to tackle you above the shoulders (a "high" tackle);
    your opponent makes contact with you or tries to tackle you below the knees (i.e. tries to trip you up);
    your opponent pushes you in the back in some kind of contest;
    your opponent runs too far with the ball without bouncing it or touching it to the ground (you are only permitted to run with the ball for 15 metres without a bounce);
    your opponent tackles you without the ball;
    your opponent kicks the ball and it lands outside the field of play without bouncing ("out on the full");
    your opponent deliberately ushers the ball out of play or disposes of the ball such that it goes out of play (AFL is quite different from soccer in this respect);
    your opponent engages in "kicking in danger" - i.e. kicks at a ball when someone is lying on the ground in a contest, etc.

    Perhaps the most common free kick or at least the most well known is "holding the ball". This is awarded when you tackle your opponent after s/he has had prior opportunity to dispose of the ball. Spectators are known to scream out "BAAAAAAALLL" when a potential holding the ball free kick situation arises.

    Free kicks are awarded by field umpires. AFL matches have four of these currently operating at once. There are also goal umpires to judge whether or not something is a goal, behind, or "out on the full", and boundary umpires for when the ball leaves the field of play.
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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by zappo on Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:42 am

    Awesome game. Used to follow them shits, when I lived in Japan. That was a long time ago, though, so I've no longer any idea who's who or what's what.
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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by monotony on Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:01 am

    At the beginning of every quarter, and after every goal, the field umpire bounces the ball in the middle of the field and two "rucks" contest in a sort of jump ball contest. They are allowed a little bit of a run up but have to stay within a circle a few metres wide. As mentioned earlier the Australian rules ball is unpredictable in the way it bounces, and umpires have to be skilful in trying to ensure the ball bounces directly upward. If the conditions are poor, the ball will be thrown in the air rather than bounced.

    A ball-up or bounce of this kind will also take place if there is a tackling contest that cannot be resolved - i.e. a bunch of players tackle each other, fall to the ground, and cannot manage to get the ball out. This is known as a "stoppage".

    If the ball rolls out of play in some way (unless it is on the full or deliberately taken out of play, which will lead to a free kick), a boundary umpire will through the ball back in over his shoulder. The rucks will again contest for the ball.

    Though positions are not concrete as they are in, say, netball, there are certain rules for where you can and can't go during play. There can be no more than four players from either side in the centre square at the centre bounce - these players are the ruck, the ruck rover, the rover, and the centre. Also, when a player takes a mark, his opponent is permitted to stand at the spot where the mark was taken to prevent him from running on into space. The opponent's team members cannot run in between the player with the ball and the player "on the mark" - if so, they incur a 50 metre penalty.
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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by Bruegel on Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:32 am

    good thread cheers

    that Sampi grab makes my hair stand on end every time

    pshyched for the new season, though last year will be hard to top from my perspective

    love this game

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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by monotony on Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:35 am

    Anyway, now that the boring rules stuff is over, onto the teams!

    As mentioned there are presently eighteen teams in the national competition. Nine are based in suburbs of Melbourne - Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Hawthorn, North Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda, the Western Bulldogs, and Melbourne itself. There's also a team in Geelong which is a town an hour's drive from Melbourne, meaning that over half the league is situated in the one state.

    There are two teams based in Perth (West Coast, Fremantle), two from Adelaide (Adelaide, Port Adelaide), two in Queensland (Brisbane, Gold Coast) and two from Sydney (Sydney, Western Sydney). No Tasmanian or Darwinian teams AS YET.

    Each club has its stereotypical supporter base. Hawthorn and Melbourne are traditionally the teams of families with kids in private schools, SUVs and ski chalets. Collingwood is said to have quite a "bogan" fan base - the UK equivalent would be a "chav". They're easily the most hated team, yet their membership is the largest. Carlton and Essendon are the two other hugely popular Melbourne clubs. North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs have smaller fanbases and have struggled with finances over the past ten years or so. Richmond fans are long suffering, and they have finished 9th an extraordinary number of times, which is one spot outside the "finals" or play offs. Similarly, St Kilda, despite more than 100 years in the league, have won only one premiership, in 1966.

    It is tradition that the "team song" is played when the players run out onto the ground, and the winning team's song is blared several times in a row at the end of the game, and is then sung in the rooms for the TV cameras. I'm a Geelong supporter but I think I like the Richmond song the best.

    Many of the "interstate" or "non-Victorian" teams have new, somewhat garish / ridiculous songs, and I'll post a couple now for your entertainment

    Fremantle's pub-rock take on the Volga Boatmen:


    Port Adelaide's endless Aerobics-Via-American-Bandstand anthem:


    The Gold Coast song is similar, if a bit jauntier:


    and finally the Greater Western Sydney Giants - grab your borscht bowls and don your ushankas
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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by Duff... on Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:08 pm

    I'm never going to post in this thread or understand a word contained in it but I am so excited that it exists.
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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by reuben on Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:55 pm

    I agree with Duff... Thanks Monotony.
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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by Bruegel on Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:35 am

    monotony wrote:
    Today it's generally considered to be the most popular sport in this country, with rugby in its various iterations and soccer following behind.
    I know you guys are going through a bit of a rough patch atm but cricket really below soccer?




    watching the Crows/Bombers game now. Taylor Walker's mullet is looking outstanding tonight.

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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by Bruegel on Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:49 am

    gonna have to go some to beat Warwick Capper though:







    Last edited by Bruegel on Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:54 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I Only Take What's Mine)
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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by Bruegel on Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:51 am

    or this dude:

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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by monotony on Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:06 am

    Bruegel wrote:
    monotony wrote:
    Today it's generally considered to be the most popular sport in this country, with rugby in its various iterations and soccer following behind.
    I know you guys are going through a bit of a rough patch atm but cricket really below soccer?

    there's obviously a huge interest in the national team, but interstate cricket leagues aren't that popular, or at least don't pull large crowds. the "big bash" (20/20 competition) has a bit more of a following i suppose but personally i barely consider that rumpus cricket :oldfart:

    went to the cats/hawks on monday, really didn't expect the cats to win again given that, like, our nine lives were up or whatever but hawthorn's defence is still their achilles heel (despite marked improvements to schoenmakers' gameplay) and they seem to have bets on themselves to lose against us so

    melbourne just beyond embarrassing tonight, it's actually painful how far that club is down the shitter. mark neeld used to teach at my old school, he's in for a rough few months.
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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by monotony on Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:09 am

    bloke at richmond (former crow) ivan maric has been repping the mullet of late

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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by Bruegel on Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:53 am

    check out my mood, monotony


    cheers reuben
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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by monotony on Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:52 pm

    how's your mood after friday night eh? insane first quarter!
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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by Bruegel on Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:57 pm

    Swans were strangely flat. can't take anything away from you guys though, making a habit of 3rd Q blitzes. Selwoods a beast.
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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by monotony on Sun May 12, 2013 6:10 pm

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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by zappo on Sun May 12, 2013 6:14 pm

    otmfm
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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by Bruegel on Fri May 17, 2013 8:07 am

    watching the Eagles/Roos match

    the Daw v Naitanui ball-ups are a buzz
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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by Bruegel on Fri May 17, 2013 10:10 am

    Bruegel wrote:Naitanui

    holy fuck @ the game winning mark
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    Re: Australian Rules Football

    Post by monotony on Sun May 19, 2013 8:36 pm

    Some wildly inconsistent umpiring across the various games I saw this weekend. Pretty enjoyable Geelong game even though we didn't get up, hopefully the loss gives the boys motivation to start firing on all cylinders for all four quarters

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    Re: Australian Rules Football

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