17 May 1859

Members of the Melbourne Football Club codified the first rules of Australian rules football.

Australian Rules Football, commonly known as Aussie Rules or footy, is a unique sport with several distinguishing features:

Origin: Australian Rules Football was developed in the mid-19th century in Australia and is considered one of the oldest football codes in the world. It evolved as a combination of various ball games played in England and Ireland, adapted to suit the Australian conditions and cultural preferences.

Playing Field: The game is typically played on an oval-shaped field, often referred to as an “AFL ground” or “footy oval.” The size and dimensions of the oval can vary, but it is generally larger than a soccer or rugby field. The ground has no fixed dimensions, which allows for variation from one stadium to another.

Ball: Australian Rules Football uses a uniquely shaped ball called a “Sherrin.” The ball is an oval-shaped leather ball that is wider and rounder than a rugby or soccer ball, making it easier to mark (catch) in the air.

Marking: One of the most distinctive features of Aussie Rules is the ability to take a “mark.” If a player catches the ball cleanly, having it traveled a minimum distance (15 meters) from a kick or handball from another player, they are awarded a mark. This provides an opportunity for the player to take a free kick without interference from opponents.

High-Scoring: Australian Rules Football is known for its high-scoring nature. The objective is to kick the ball between the two large goalposts (worth 6 points) or the smaller behind posts (worth 1 point). Goals and behinds are both counted towards the final score, with the team scoring the highest number of points winning the game.

Physicality and Contact: Australian Rules Football is a highly physical and contact sport. Players are allowed to tackle opponents using techniques like bumping and tackling, making it a robust and fast-paced game.

Player Positions: Unlike many other football codes, Australian Rules Football does not have strict player positions. While there are general areas players tend to occupy, such as defenders, midfielders, and forwards, players have more freedom to move around the field. This fluidity allows for dynamic gameplay and strategic versatility.

International Appeal: Although Aussie Rules is predominantly played in Australia, it has gained international recognition and has a growing fan base in various countries. The AFL (Australian Football League) has actively promoted the sport globally, including hosting exhibition matches and establishing international leagues.