June 9, 2023

If you want to experience a purely Australian activity, come and see an Australian football match.

This week, we will talk about Australian football, a sport that is quite different from the traditional football we know. If you have the opportunity to watch a game, the atmosphere is truly amazing!


Indeed, the AFL (Australian Football League) fields are quite unique compared to regular football fields, as they are also used for cricket. They have an oval shape, with dimensions ranging from 135 to 185 meters in length and 110 to 155 meters in width. In comparison, a football field measures between 90 and 120 meters in length and 45 to 90 meters in width.

différentes formes de terrain




Each player has a specific position on the field, as the teams consist of 18 players and 4 substitutes. Once on the field, they are positioned in lines of 3 in each half-circle, 4 in the center square, and 2 on each side of the center square.




In traditional football, we have a goal with a net, in rugby, we have two goal posts on each side, but in Australian football, we have 4 posts on each side, lengthwise. The two tallest posts are placed in the front and are spaced 6.5 meters apart, while the shorter posts are placed at the back and are spaced 6 meters apart.


If the ball is kicked and passes between the two middle posts, the team scores 6 points. However, if the ball passes between the back posts, hits one of the posts, or is touched by a player before crossing the line, only 1 point is awarded to the team. The score is displayed separately, with “goals” worth 6 points and “behinds” worth 1 point, allowing for a breakdown of the total points.


The Ball


Although this sport is called football, the ball used bears no resemblance to a soccer ball. It has an oval shape, just like the field. Smaller and thinner than a rugby ball, these balls are made of leather and have a circumference of 73 cm. The Sherrin brand is the originator of this ball and is still used in matches.

ball sherrin


The Mark


One of the key rules that makes this sport unique is the “mark.” A player earns a mark if they catch (intercept) a kick from the opponent without the ball touching the ground. They can then dispose of the ball as they wish, with the opponent unable to take it away.


Contacts and Fouls


If you think rugby is a violent sport, you haven’t watched an AFL match yet! Renowned for its physical gameplay, Australian football doesn’t provide any protection for players, except for a mouthguard. All contacts are allowed, and players don’t hesitate to use their teammates or opponents as a platform to catch the ball.


According to the rules, all contacts are permitted as long as the player keeps their eyes on the ball and doesn’t intend to harm their opponent.


A player cannot be sent off the field; they only risk a suspension for several upcoming matches, not during the ongoing match. Players only leave the field if they are bleeding or if their jersey is torn. They then return either with a changed jersey or after the bleeding has stopped. This rule is known as the “blood rule.”


Regarding fouls, an AFL match has 7 referees on the field: 3 field umpires, 2 goal umpires, 2 boundary umpires, and a substitute. The field umpires initiate play at the start of each quarter with a similar jump ball to basketball.


A foul is called by the field umpire in the following cases:


– A player throws the ball instead of kicking it.

– A player pushes an opponent from behind.

– A player deliberately seeks to harm one of their opponents.

– A player holds onto the ball while on the ground.

The Match


An AFL match is divided into 4 quarters, each lasting 20 minutes. A 5-minute break is provided between each quarter, as well as a 15-minute halftime break after the second quarter. The clock stops at each stoppage, meaning there is no additional time. Therefore, an Australian football match easily lasts over 2 hours.


Now you’re ready to attend an Australian football match like a pro !!!