EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL
AFL involves two teams of 22 players, with 18 from each team on the field plus an additional four players who can be rotated as subs during the game. In 2016 there will be a cap of 90 rotations per team per game.
Games are divided into four quarters of 20 minutes with teams swapping ends after each quarter. Extra time is added for in-play stoppages so most quarters run for about 30 minutes. Total game time is about two hours.
The game starts when the umpire bounces the ball in the centre square. The ruckmen from each team contest for the ball. The game returns to the centre to start each quarter and after a goal has been scored.
- Goal (through the two middle posts): 6 points
- Behind (through the outside posts): 1 point
- Ball touched (through any sets of posts): 1 point
- Hits one of the middle posts: 1 point
A handball involves holding the football in one hand and hitting it with the clenched fist of the other hand. Players can not throw the ball.
A player running with the ball must bounce or touch the ball on the ground every 15 metres.
Awarded when a player catches a kick on the full that has travelled at least 15 metres.
Players need to tackle the opponent with the ball. Tackles must be below the shoulders and above the knees. Players are not allowed to push in the back.
An opposition player can be shepperded (blocked) from a contest provided he is within 5 metres of the contest.
50 METRE PENALTY:
Awared by the umpire when a player uses undue force, encroaches on the mark, deliberately wastes time, disputes or abuses an umpire or does not correctly return the ball to the opposition after a penalty has been awarded.
OUT ON THE FULL:
A free kick is awarded to the opposition when the ball travels over the boundary on the full.
The full-forward player plays close to the scoring posts and tries to kick goals for the team.
The centre half-forward player is usually very good at marking the ball and kicking goals from a long distance. They are responsible for getting the ball and scoring goals. Centre half-forward is often considered to be the most difficult position to play.
The forward pocket player usually has good agility (can move around quickly and avoid defenders) and the ability to score difficult goals. These players are often known as “goal sneaks” because they score goals when no-one expects it.
The half-forward is responsible for moving the ball into the forward area, usually along the flanks (sides) of the ground. They can pass the ball to another player, or have a shot for goal themselves.
This player is usually tall and athletic. It is the ruckman’s job to win the hit-outs (tapping the ball to a team mate after the umpire has bounced it) during the game. Ruckmen (along with rovers and ruck-rovers) can be considered as some of the followers in a team, as they follow the ball all over the ground.
The centre player is usually very quick and is responsible for getting the ball to team mates who are running past.
The ruck-rover is responsible for being in the right position to get the ball when it is tapped by the ruckman (ie the umpire bounces the ball and the ruckman taps it to the ruck-rover). Ruck-rovers are also known as followers as they follow the ball all over the ground.
The rover is often the smallest player on the field and is responsible for taking the ball from the ruckman or ruck-rover at stoppages (when the play has stopped and the umpire is bouncing the ball). Rovers are sometimes known as followers as they follow the ball all over the ground.
The wings are fast-running players responsible for moving the ball into the forward area and kicking goals.
The full-back player is responsible for stopping the full-forward from marking the ball or scoring.
The centre half-back player is responsible for stopping the centre-half forward from marking the ball or scoring.
The back pocket player is someone who is good at stopping the forwards from marking.
The half-back position is similar to the back pocket position, but this player usually does more attacking and concentrates on moving the ball out of the defence area, and into the hands of the midfield and forward players.