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AFL: Australian Rules Football | History, Teams, Rules, and More

MelbourneMelbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)Australian Football League

Australian rules football, commonly known as Aussie rules or footy, is a popular sport played in Australia. It is a unique and highly skilled game that combines elements of football, rugby, and soccer. Australian rules football is the most attended and watched sport in Australia, with a professional league known as the Australian Football League (AFL). Here's everything you need to know about the sport so you can witness its exhilarating excitement in real time at the MCG!

History of the AFL

Australian rules football originated in Melbourne, Victoria, during the mid-19th century, evolving from various forms of football. The publication of the "Melbourne Rules" in 1859 established the initial set of regulations that laid the groundwork for the sport.

In 1877, the Victorian Football Association (VFA) was formed as the first governing body for Australian rules football, initially comprising suburban and regional clubs, providing a platform for its growth. The VFL, initially consisting of eight teams, expanded its influence and popularity over time, becoming the leading Australian rules football competition. The league witnessed numerous team changes and structural adjustments.

In 1990, the VFL underwent a transformative expansion beyond Victoria, incorporating teams from other states and leading to its renaming as the Australian Football League (AFL). Today, the AFL encompasses 18 teams from across Australia, representing a national presence.

AFL Teams

Adelaide Crows

The Adelaide Crows, based in South Australia, are known for their strong fan support and have experienced both highs and lows in their AFL journey.

Brisbane Lions

The Brisbane Lions, hailing from Queensland, have a successful history, winning multiple AFL premierships and showcasing a fierce and dynamic playing style.

Carlton Blues

The Carlton Blues, an iconic Melbourne-based team, boast a rich heritage in the AFL and have a passionate fanbase that has supported them through thick and thin.

Collingwood Magpies

The Collingwood Magpies, one of the AFL's oldest and most storied clubs, have a large and dedicated following, as well as a fierce rivalry with other teams in the league.

Essendon Bombers

The Essendon Bombers, a Melbourne-based team, have a proud legacy in the AFL, with a strong emphasis on tradition, a dedicated fanbase, and a history of success.

Fremantle Dockers

The Fremantle Dockers, based in Western Australia, have become a significant force in the AFL since their inception, with a loyal supporter base and a distinct team identity.

Geelong Cats

The Geelong Cats, a team from Victoria, are known for their successful record and passionate fan culture, often showcasing a formidable presence on the field.

Gold Coast Suns

The Gold Coast Suns, representing Queensland's Gold Coast, are a relatively new addition to the AFL and are steadily building a dedicated fan following in their local community.

GWS Giants

The Greater Western Sydney Giants, based in New South Wales, have quickly established themselves as a formidable team in the AFL, drawing support from a rapidly growing fanbase.

Hawthorn Hawks

The Hawthorn Hawks, a Melbourne-based team, have achieved great success in the AFL, including a remarkable period of dominance with multiple premiership wins.

Melbourne Demons

The Melbourne Demons, one of the oldest clubs in the AFL, have a passionate supporter base and have experienced both highs and lows throughout their history.

North Melbourne Kangaroos

The North Melbourne Kangaroos, based in Victoria, are known for their resilient and determined playing style, capturing the hearts of their loyal fans.

Port Adelaide Power

The Port Adelaide Power, representing South Australia, have a rich heritage and a strong connection to their local community, fostering a passionate and dedicated supporter base.

Richmond Tigers

The Richmond Tigers, a Melbourne-based team, have a long and storied history in the AFL, characterized by their passionate fans and recent success, including multiple premierships.

St Kilda Saints

The St Kilda Saints, based in Melbourne, have a loyal fanbase that has supported them through ups and downs, and they continue to strive for success in the AFL.

Sydney Swans

The Sydney Swans, originally known as South Melbourne, have a strong presence in New South Wales, with a passionate supporter base and a history of success in the AFL.

West Coast Eagles

The West Coast Eagles, representing Western Australia, are known for their competitive spirit, passionate fans, and their ability to consistently challenge for AFL premierships.

Western Bulldogs

The Western Bulldogs, based in Melbourne, have a resilient and hardworking reputation, capturing the hearts of their fans with their tenacious and exciting style of play.

AFL Rules

Australian Rules Football is a fast-paced and unique sport with a set of rules that distinguish it from other football codes. The game is played on an oval-shaped field, and the objective is to score goals by kicking the ball between the two main goalposts, worth six points each, or behinds by hitting the outer goalposts or being touched, which earn one point.

The ball can be advanced through kicking, handballing (a punching motion with a clenched fist), or running with the ball by taking a specified number of steps or bouncing it. Tackling is a crucial part of the game, with players allowed to wrap their arms around an opponent attempting to dispose of the ball.

A mark, awarded for cleanly catching the ball from a kick of a certain distance, allows players to take a free kick without being tackled. The AFL also employs boundary throw-ins, ball-ups, and free kicks to restart play when the ball goes out of bounds or certain infringements occur. The game is fast-paced, physical, and highly strategic, requiring teamwork, skill, and endurance from the players.

Melbourne Cricket Ground
Optus Stadium
Marvel Stadium
Adelaide Oval

Located in Melbourne, Victoria, the MCG is one of the most famous and largest stadiums in the world. It has a seating capacity of over 100,000 and is the traditional home of the AFL Grand Final.

Located in Perth, Western Australia, Optus Stadium is a state-of-the-art venue with a seating capacity of about 60,000. It is the home ground for the West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers.

Situated in Melbourne, Victoria, Marvel Stadium is a multipurpose indoor stadium with a retractable roof. It has a capacity of around 53,000 and hosts numerous AFL matches throughout the season, including finals.

Based in Adelaide, South Australia, Adelaide Oval is a picturesque stadium known for its unique design and stunning views. It has a capacity of approximately 53,500 and is home to the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power.

Based in Brisbane, Queensland, the Gabba is a renowned cricket and AFL stadium. It has a capacity of approximately 42,000 and hosts AFL matches, including finals, as well as other major sporting events.

Frequently Asked Questions About AFL

What is AFL?

The AFL stands for the Australian Football League. It is the highest-level professional competition of Australian rules football, which is a unique and highly popular sport played in Australia.

Where can I buy tickets for an AFL game?

You can either buy your AFL game tickets online beforehand, or at the ticketing booths on the day of the match.

Where can I watch AFL live?

Venues like the MCG, Optus Stadium, Marvel Stadium, and Adelaide Oval, among others, provide a vibrant and electric atmosphere for AFL matches, attracting passionate fans and creating memorable experiences for players and spectators alike.

How is AFL played?

The game is fast-paced, physical, and emphasizes strategic teamwork, requiring players to make quick decisions and showcase their skills in kicking, marking (catching the ball), and running. The objective is to score points by kicking the ball between the two main goalposts. A goal scores six points, while a behind scores one point. Players move the ball by kicking or handballing (punching the ball with a clenched fist) to teammates.

Who are the top players in AFL?

Dustin Martin, Nat Fyfe, Patrick Dangerfield and Gary Ablett Jr are some of the most iconic names in AFL.

How many rounds are there in one AFL season?

There are 24 rounds in one AFL season.

What are some of the best AFL teams?

The Adelaide Crows, Brisbane Lions, Collingwood and Fremantle are some of the highest ranking AFL teams currently.

When was AFL established?

The AFL, previously known as the Victorian Football League (VFL), was established in 1897.