What You Need To Know About The AFL

Despite what you may be thinking, what is regarded as football is in fact called soccer in Australia. For Australians, football is – without a doubt – one of the most thrilling sports in the country that has its very own league – Australian Football League (AFL). Also known as footy and Aussie Rules, here is everything which you need to know about this popular sport.

A Brief History Of The Australian Football

Previously known as the VFA (Victorian Football Association), AFL was established by Tom Wills in 1958 in order to keep cricketers fit in the winter months. The VFA was formed in May 1877 and played between a number of clubs, including Melbourne, Carlton, Essendon, Geelong, Collingwood, South Melbourne, Fitzroy as well as St. Kilda. In 1990, the VFA retitled the Australian Football League which gave it country-wide recognition.

As compared to other sports in Australia, the AFL draws the highest number of spectators — an average of approximately 33 460 fans per game. In Victoria, the game is so popular that the day prior to the Grand Finale is celebrated with a public holiday.

AFL Was Influenced By A Number Of Well-Known Sports

The AFL is influenced by early forms of soccer and rugby. However, it has also been proposed that footy was inspired by Marngrook, a traditional Aboriginal game which sees players kick a ball – that is made of animal skin that is crammed with feathers or charcoal – high into the air.

Having been developed in Australia and becoming a nationally recognised sport which is played by two teams consisting of 22 players each (just 18 players are on the field at the same time), footy is now played by over 100 000 people across 80 countries including South Africa, the USA, Canada, Denmark together with Sweden.


A player could score a behind or a goal, with six points as well as one point awarded respectively. In order to score a goal, a player needs to kick the ball between the two mid posts, without it being ‘touched’ by another one of the players.

A behind is recorded if the ball is kicked between the outside and inside posts, hits the two higher posts, or is carried behind or handballed right across the goal line by a player, in between any of the posts. After this, the score is presented to reflect the number of goals (six pointers) as well as the number of behinds (one pointers), with the combined score in brackets.

The Wooden Spoon Is Awarded To The Losing Team

Although everyone wants to win the premiership just like they want to win big with Canadian casino games online, there is an ‘imaginary’ award which goes to the team who finishes at the bottom of the ladder. This is determined by receiving the least amount of premiership points and then holding the lowest percentage; however, no physical ‘Wooden Spoon’ award exists.

In the history of the game, St Kilda has won 27 wooden spoons, which is the most of any current AFL team, followed by North Melbourne, Melbourne and Hawthorn, while Port Adelaide and Adelaide have not received a Wooden Spoon.