Whether you like sports or not, you should experience the Australian Rules Football match. It allows you to spend time with friends and experience Australia's local sporting culture.
The Australian Football League (AFL), or football or footy, is a famous Aussie tradition. Thousands of fans gather to watch AFL yearly, making it the most loved sport in Australia.
AFL has been a male-dominated sport for a long time. Still, it is becoming increasingly popular after including females in the game.
If you are new to Australia and are intrigued by the sport, keep reading this post to learn more about Australia Rules Football.
This blog will teach you about the Australian Football League, the AFL rules, how to play the game, the different teams, and more.
1. A Brief History of The Australian Football
Formerly known as the VFA (Victorian Football Association), AFL was created by Tom Wills in 1958 to keep cricketers fit in the winter months.
The VFA was established in May 1877 and played between several clubs, including Melbourne, Carlton, Essendon, Geelong, Collingwood, South Melbourne, Fitzroy, and St. Kilda. In 1990, the VFA renamed the Australian Football League, giving it national recognition.
Compared to other sports in Australia, the AFL attracts the highest number of spectators — an average of around 33,460 fans per game. In Victoria, the game is so popular that the day before the Grand Finale is celebrated with a public holiday.
2. Participating Countries
Apart from Australia, the sport is played in other countries as well. The AFL has an official agreement with the governing bodies of 13 different countries, including the following:
USA FL, AFL Japan, AFL Britain, Danish Australian Football League, ARFL Ireland, New Zealand AFL, AFL Middle East, AFL Canada, AFL Germany, AFL South Africa, Tonga Australian Football Association, Nauru Australian Football Association, AFL Samoa, and AFL PNG (Papua New Guinea).
3. The Objective of The Australian Rules Football
The two teams with 18 players each compete against each other. Their main objective is to kick an oval-shaped ball between four goalposts. The team's total points depend on which goalpost the ball goes between.
Players can pass the ball between teammates by punching it off their palm or kicking it, but they are not allowed to throw it. The team with the highest points wins the match unless a tie-break or a draw is declared.
4. The Basic AFL Rules Explained
You can find below a summary of the basic AFL rules:
5. Australian Rules Football Teams
So now that you have an idea of the game's basic rules, it's time to know about the teams and choose your favourite one.
You can pick a team either based on the colours you like the most or the one that is your closest local team. You can also support your friend's team or their rival team.
However, choosing a team with a great chance of winning the game is always better. And also, remember being passionate about a football team and talking about their performance is a great way to build connections with new friends and start a conversation with locals.
6. Teams In Different States of Australia
The AFL is very popular in Victoria, and the Victorians are obsessed with the game. Let us have a look at the professional teams that represent different cities of Victoria:
Melbourne - The Demons
Collingwood - The Magpies or the Pies
Geelong - The Cats
Hawthorn - The Hawks
St. Kilda - The Saints
Essendon - The Bombers
North Melbourne - The Kangaroos or the Shinboners
Western Bulldogs - The Bulldogs
Richmond - The Tigers
Carlton - The Blues
The two teams from Queensland are:
Gold Coast - The Suns
Brisbane - The Lions
New South Wales (NSW)
Both teams from NSW brand themselves by their nicknames. Here are the two teams from NSW:
Sydney - Sydney Swans
Greater Western Sydney - Greater Western Sydney Giants (often use "Giants" as part of their team's brand)
Western Australia (WA)
The two West Australian Football League teams are as follows:
West Coast - West Coast Eagles
Fremantle - The Dockers
South Australia (SA)
The South Australian National Football League teams are:
Port Adelaide - The Power
Adelaide - The Crows
7. Going To The AFL Match
Once you have decided on the team you will support, you are ready to watch the game. You can find out on the AFL website which team plays when and where during the AFL season.
Footy season lasts from March to September, so keep yourself warm and support the match wearing your team's jumper, beanie, and scarf while watching the game in the stadium.
The AFL match brings people of all generations together like no other sport in Australia. It enables you to engage with new people and blend in with the Australian sports culture. You will find everyone shouting and cheering for their favourite teams at the game.
The overall atmosphere is inspiring and contagious!
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