Australian football – game rules – how to play aussie football

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Let’s Talk About Australian Football

G’day! Today, I want to chat with you about a sport that’s as unique as the land down under – Australian Football. Now, you might be wondering, “What is Australian Football?” Well, mate, strap in and get ready for a wild ride because I’m about to explain it to you.

Australian Football, also known as Aussie Rules or footy, is a fascinating game that combines elements of soccer, rugby, and a few extra twists. Picture this: imagine a huge oval field, about as long as a cricket pitch, with goalposts at either end. The goal is simple – score more points than the other team.

But here’s where it gets interesting. Instead of kicking the ball through uprights like in soccer or between goalposts like in rugby, in Australian Football, you can score by either kicking the ball through the big sticks for a goal (worth 6 points) or by kicking it between the big sticks and the smaller ones for a behind (worth 1 point). It’s like a mix of soccer and basketball, just without the hoop.

Now, what truly sets Australian Football apart is its fast and furious nature. The players are like lightning bolts on the field, sprinting, tackling, and jumping to catch the ball. And get this – they can even punch the ball to pass it to their teammates. It’s a game that demands both skill and athleticism.

Another fascinating aspect of Aussie Rules is its lack of offside rules. It’s a free-for-all out there. You’ll see players from both teams battling for possession, running, and kicking the ball in any direction they please. It’s organized chaos, and it’s a joy to watch.

What I love most about this sport is its inclusivity. Australian Football welcomes players of all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t matter if you’re tall or short, muscular or lean, there’s a position for everyone. You could be a high-flying forward taking big marks, a nimble midfielder running the show, or a tenacious defender stopping the opposition in their tracks.

So, whether you’re a fan of fast-paced action, skillful maneuvering, or just love a game that’s uniquely Australian, Australian Football has something for everyone. It’s a sport that captures the spirit of down under, and once you give it a go, you’ll be hooked.

So, what do you reckon? Ready to lace up your boots and give Australian Football a try? Trust me, once you experience the thrill of the game, you won’t be able to resist. So grab a footy and head out to the field – you’re in for a wild ride!

I want to talk to you about Australian football, which is also known as “Aussie rules football.” It’s an exciting sport that combines elements from American football, rugby, soccer, and basketball. You might think it’s just an Australian version of American football, but it’s actually been around for longer. In fact, both sports have their roots in soccer and rugby.

In the mid-1800s, a famous Australian cricket player named Thomas Wentworth Willis is said to have played a pivotal role in creating what eventually became Australian football. People have debated for a long time about where the sport’s origins lie. Some argue that Aussie rules football is a variation of Gaelic football, while others believe it may have been inspired by the Aboriginal game of “Marn Grook”. Despite these theories, rugby is generally recognized as the main source of influence for the sport. This is because Willis himself attended a rugby school and played in the rugby league when he was young. In 1898, the national competition for the sport, known as the Grand Final, was established.

Australian football is a sport that is unique to its home country. It isn’t played anywhere else in the world. Yet, despite its exclusivity, it has managed to capture the hearts and minds of millions, making it the most beloved sport in Australia. The passion for this game runs deep, and it shows in the incredible revenue it generates – a staggering $2.5 billion every year.

But it’s not just the money that speaks volumes about Australian football. It’s the massive crowds that gather to witness major events. These events draw in audiences that exceed six figures, a testament to the sport’s popularity and the enthusiasm it generates.

And here’s an interesting fact: Australian football is no longer just a man’s game. Women have embraced this sport wholeheartedly, with approximately one-third of all registered players being female. It’s a fantastic demonstration of how this sport transcends gender boundaries and provides a platform for everyone to participate and excel.


Australian football - game rules - how to play aussie football


You know what’s great about Australian football? You don’t need all that bulky padding like you do in American football. All you need is a ball and a mouthguard. Easy peasy! The ball used in Aussie rules is like a bigger, rounder version of the one they use in American football. They’re both made of leather and have those cool laces on top. The Aussie ball can’t be bigger than 28.5 inches around.


When it comes to Australian football, it’s like no other sport out there. The field itself is absolutely massive, stretching between 148 and 202 yards in length and 120 to 170 yards in width. And get this, there are no official rules for field size! As long as it’s oval-shaped, anything goes. It’s even played on cricket grounds sometimes!

At each end of the oval field, you’ll find four goalposts standing seven yards apart. To score points, players have to kick the ball through these goalposts. The inner two posts are worth a whopping six points, while the ones behind them are worth just a single point.


When it comes to an Australian football team, it’s fascinating how the game is played. I find it intriguing that there are 18 players on the field at once, with four more players on the bench, ready to jump in at any time. It must take a lot of coordination and teamwork!

Each player has a specific position they play, which gives them a general idea of where they should be on the field. However, these positions are not set in stone and players have some flexibility to move around.

Let’s take a closer look at the different positions:

  • Full Forwards: Full forwards are the players who get the closest to the other team’s goalposts. They have the important task of trying to score the most points for their team. There are three full forward positions: left forward pocket, full forward, and right forward pocket.
  • Half Forwards: Right behind the full forwards, we have the half forwards. They play on the opponent’s side of the field and also have a role in creating scoring opportunities. The half forward positions include: left half-forward, center half-forward, and right half-forward.

It’s incredible to see how each player’s position contributes to the overall strategy of the team. It must be a thrilling and challenging sport to play!

The Different Positions in Australian Football

When it comes to Australian football, there are various positions that players can fill on the field. These positions determine the roles and responsibilities of each player during the game. Let’s take a closer look at some of these positions:

  • Center Line: Players in the center line positions are versatile, as they contribute to both offense and defense. These positions include left wing, right wing, center, ruck, rover, and ruck-rover.
  • Half Backs: The half backs are responsible for the team’s first line of defense. This position includes the left half back, center half back, and right half back.
  • Full Backs: Since there are no goalies in Australian football, the full backs are the team’s last line of defense. Players in this position include left back pocket, full back, and right back pocket.

In Australian football, there are no offside rules. This means that players can move anywhere on the field at any given time. This adds to the dynamic and fluid nature of the game.


Australian football - game rules - how to play aussie football

Did you know that an Australian rules football match kicks off with a ruck? That’s when an umpire blows a whistle and bounces the ball high into the air, and one player from each team tries to grab it (kind of like a jump ball in basketball).

Once a player gets possession of the ball, they can run with it towards the opposing team’s goalposts. But here’s the catch: they have to dribble the ball off the ground once for every 16 yards they move forward. They can also pass the ball to a teammate using their hands or feet, but they can’t throw it. To pass it with their hands, the player has to place the ball on their palm and give it a good ol’ punch with a closed fist.

When I’m on the defensive side, my main job is to stop the player with the ball and try to intercept their passes so my team can get possession of the ball. If I manage to tackle a player with the ball and bring them to the ground, I earn a free kick. But we have to be careful to dispose of the ball properly when we get tackled.

On the other hand, when I’m playing offense, I can block and obstruct the defenders within five yards of the ball carrier. This helps create space for our team to move the ball down the field.

The ultimate goal for both teams is to move the ball downfield and score by kicking it through the goalposts, especially the ones in the middle that give us more points. When a team scores, the play stops, and we get ready for a new round in the middle of the field.


An Australian football match is divided into four 20-minute quarters. Like soccer, extra time can be added for play stoppages, but it can’t exceed 10 minutes. After each quarter, the teams switch sides of the field.

In Australian football, a “mark” happens when a player catches a pass from their teammate that has been kicked from more than 16 yards away. The umpire awards the mark to the player who cleanly catches the pass. This awards them a free kick from anywhere behind the spot where the catch was made. During this time, other players can’t try to tackle or block the kick unless the player decides to keep playing instead of taking the kick.

These marks are often the most exciting moments of the game, with players making impressive catches that give their team a great chance to score.


When I play Australian football, points are earned by kicking a ball through or into the opponent’s goalposts. It’s an exciting challenge to see how many points I can score!

  • 1 point is earned when I kick the ball through the outer goalposts or when the ball hits any of the four goalposts. It’s a victory every time!
  • 6 points are awarded when I kick the ball through the middle two goalposts. It’s like hitting a bullseye!

After I score, the ball is brought back to the center of the field for the next play, called a ruck. It’s a chance for both teams to regroup and strategize.

Australian football games are different from American football because the scores can get very high. In a typical game, a team will score more than 60 points. But the really good teams can score even more! In the 2022 Australian Football League grand finals, the final score was an incredible 133 to 52. That’s a lot of points!

Hey there! Let’s take a look at some exciting moments from this amazing match! Check out the highlights below:

Here are some additional rules and context you should know:

  • When it comes to tackling, players are only allowed to tackle the player with the ball. The tackle should be initiated between the shoulders and knees.
  • You don’t necessarily have to tackle a player to make them give up the ball. Simply holding onto the ball carrier forces them to dispose of it.
  • Pushing a player in the back is not allowed.
  • Goal umpires have the option to not call a foul if it doesn’t benefit the team. It’s a bit like the concept of “playing the advantage” in soccer.
  • While a player is required to dribble the ball every 16 yards, this rule isn’t always strictly enforced, especially if a defender is contesting the player.
  • When the ball crosses the boundary line completely, play will be restarted upon the umpire’s call.


When the clock runs out in the final quarter of a game, the team that has scored the most points emerges victorious. However, in the event of a tie, an exciting overtime period commences. This consists of two five-minute halves, where the teams take turns playing on each side of the field for a chance to break the deadlock.

I’m a writer who loves to inspire people to get into games and enjoy themselves. For three years, I organized pub crawls and hosted drinking games with my guests on a daily basis. Since I come from a family that adores games, you could say that having fun with games is in my blood.

Additionally, I’m a huge enthusiast of travel and music. In fact, I’ve started personal blogs specifically dedicated to my adventures in travel and my passion for music.

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