Getting to Know the Sport of AFL
AFL was called footy back in the 1850s, and started being known as a Victorian Rules game when it spread across the states of Australia in the 1870s. Early on in the 20th century, thanks to the forming of the Australasian Football Council as the game’s national governing body, which still included New Zealand at that point, it was officially named the Australasian Game of Football, and this evolved into Australian Football, which is where the AFL got its moniker from.
Basic Rules That Govern AFL Games
In AFL games, players are able to use any part of their bodies in order to move the ball up the field, which is not the case with soccer. Kicking, handballing, and running whilst holding on to the ball are the most common tactics, but there are specific rules that have been set down which explicitly state how players are able to advance the ball.
How AFL Players are Allowed to Move the Ball
- When an AFL player is running and holding the ball, they need to perform a running bounce at a minimum of every 15 metres. Should the player fail to do this, the umpire will call a free kick for the opposing team to take advantage of at the point where the mark was overstepped. Players are careful to avoid this as they can, and many a spectator participating in AFL betting opportunities has seen his or her fortunes soar or drop as a result of improper running bounces being performed.
- The signal for running too far is indicated by the umpire rolling his or her clenched fists around one another.
- Running bounces are most usually carried out by half-back flankers on the attack, or link-men, who would have received the ball from a rebound, and would attack into wide space, allowing their teammates to find playing options.
- Thanks to the fact that the ball is shaped oddly, performing running bounces takes some skill. Because of this, some AFL players choose to touch the ball to the ground rather than bounce it, which although slowing momentum, is considered to be the same movement technically.
Holding the Ball is One of the Main Rules
- One of the most important rules in AFL games concerns holding the ball, and this helps ensure that players do not deliberately slow down play.
These rules come into practice whenever a player is tackled and they need to dispose of the ball by either handballing or kicking it, and determining whether or not the ball is a held one is generally interpreted by the umpire. If he or she states that it is a held ball, then the team performing the tackle is awarded a free kick.
- Players are not allowed to throw the ball.
- There is no offside rule in AFL games, so all of the 18 players taking part are allowed to appear on any part of the oval at any point of play.
What Sort of Culture Surrounds the AFL?
Drinking is widely considered to be a part of the AFL culture, and up until relatively recently, on-field assaults have been socially tolerated. This changed when police started charging players for the aggressive actions undertaking on-field, and there was a jailing in Victoria in 2008.
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