The Australian Football League is the biggest official football-related sporting league within the country of Australia, and plays host not only to some of the most well-known teams and clubs, but also national events. It’s among Australia’s most popular sporting collaborations, and one of its oldest.
Every year, millions of fans from both Australia and the rest of the world start to get excited for the start of the Australian Football League season as the teams get ready to compete in the variety of events that take place. For those with a love of the AFL, keep reading to learn some fascinating facts about the league.
Passing The Ball
Australian football is neither like American football nor rugby but is rather a mixture of the two. One of the reasons that it’s distinct from the others is due to the fact that the ball cannot be thrown from person to person, and rather needs to be handed off by hand. Where rugby players are allowed to throw the ball to each other, in the AFL, a player will instead need to punch it onward to their teammate. If a teammate happens to be at a distance, a player is allowed to kick the ball to them.
Most of today’s AFL games are finished relatively quickly, but this wasn’t always the case. When the game was first started, teams would continue to play against one another until one of the teams was able to score two goals. It didn’t take long for this rule to start causing some issues, specifically in 1858 where a game was reported to have taken more than three days to come to a conclusion. In fact, the game continued for over those three days and would eventually be called to a close because neither of the teams was able to get to the winning score of two goals.
The longest suspension record in the history of the AFL belongs to two players: Alex Lang and Doug Fraser. In 1910, the two Carlton players were found guilty of bribery, and both were suspended for a period of 99 weeks in total. This remains the record for the longest suspension within the league and has yet to be broken since, although Fred Rustley came close in 1925 after he earned a suspension that lasted 89 weeks.
The Wooden Spoon
When it comes to winning and losing, the winning team typically goes home with a trophy of some kind, while the losing team gets nothing, unlike winners of NZ roulette online. In AFL, this is a little different, and it’s been a long-standing tradition for the losers to be awarded the “wooden spoon”. Although there isn’t a physical wooden spoon that the team receives, it’s more of a title that’s given to a team.
St Kilda currently holds the record for the most wooden spoons ever won; a record that currently sits at 27.