AFL: Rugby with a Twist?

afl mark
Australian Rules Football Logo

Australian Rules Football Logo

Some people might argue that Australian Rules football is similar to rugby in many ways, but when you look at them a little closer, you realise they are in fact two very different games. The first thing you might notice is the fact that an AFL field is a completely different shape to a rugby field. Where you normally have a rectangular field for Rugby, you now have an oval that is a much larger playing field.

A team of 18 players are on the field at any given time and they take up various positions that help defend and attack the opposing side. The main objective of AFL is to move the ball downfield and kick the ball through the opposing team’s goal. This is done through a series of kicks, marks (a skill in which a player cleanly catches a ball that has been kicked over 15m) and handpasses. Instead of scoring a try like you would in a regular rugby match, all you have to do is get the ball through the goals, by either punching or kicking the balls through a set of poles.

Another big difference is the goal area, where you normally have a set of poles with a cross bar in front of the try area, you now have 4 posts. The two main posts in the centre are referred to as the goal and ball may be kicked or punched through at any height as there is no cross bar. The two outer ones are referred to as the behind poles and they only score a single point in comparison to a goal which scores 6 points to the total.

Aussie Rules Positions

Aussie Rules Positions

There aren’t any set positions on the AFL field when it comes to starting the game; however the normal positions are evenly distributed across the field. The forwards play in attacking positions and the “backmen”, as they are known, are used to defend against their opponents. There are also midfielders who take up positions on the wings and play in the centre of the field for additional support.

Surprisingly, Australian Rules is mainly played in Australia, but there has been some support in Britain, New Zealand, Canada, Denmark and Japan. If you have never experienced an AFL game before, then you are in for the time of your life with all the action and excitement in every game.

If you’ve heard enough and want to experience all the hype of Aussie Rules for yourself, visit the official AFL website to read more about this season’s results or to buy tickets to the next game.

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