Why you should play Australian Football in Ottawa
Why Play Australian Football?
In Ottawa, summer sports are insanely popular. There are competitive and non-competitive leagues in most areas of the National Capital Region. But when you think of summer sports in Ottawa, do you think of Australian Rules Football? Probably not, but here’s why you should.
Australian Rules Football, or ‘Aussie Rules’ for short, is a game Canadians have inherited from our Commonwealth Brothers and Sisters in Australia. ‘Footy’, as its commonly known, is a sport as old as hockey, the CFL and many other professional sports leagues in North America. Despite the name, Aussie Rules is played around the world, including Canada, the US and Europem and many places, like Ottawa, have both men’s and women’s teams and leagues.
Learning to play a new sport is always a challenge. No matter what sport it is, it can be a little intimidating when you’re first starting out to understand the rules and tactics. The great thing about Aussie Rules is the tremendous sense of community involved in the sport. There are always people and experienced players willing to lend a hand in developing skills, explaining the rules and making you feel welcome. Each Canadian player was once where you are now, with no experience whatsoever. And many are now competing at the game’s highest levels both at home and internationally!
How to play Australian Football:
Footy is a contact sport played with an oval-shaped ball on an oval-shaped field with 18 players per side. A typical Aussie Rules game has four 20-minute quarters. Similarly to soccer and rugby, there are defensive, mid-field and forward positions. In many ways, Footy is regarded as the most complete team sport. It combines fitness, communication, athleticism and hand-eye coordination – but above all, team work.
To advance the ball down field, make passes to your teammates by kicking or handpassing (known as ‘disposals’), take marks (similar to ‘free kicks’ in soccer), or score goals, a team must work together. There are also simplified rules for a more recreational, non-contact and free flowing game experience. So no matter your skill level or experience it’s an exemplary team sport that provides the perfect balance of fun, fitness and education.
For a more in depth explanation of the rules and gameplay, there’s a great video here.
Where can I try Aussie Rules in Ottawa?
The Ottawa Swans Australian Football Club is now entering its 10th season. The club has a Men’s and Women’s team that compete in both AFL Ontario and AFL Quebec competitions as well as participate in international tournaments in the United States, Europe and Australia. Training sessions typically begin indoors in January then move outside in the spring until the end of September (trainings typically run Tuesday & Thursday evenings with games on Saturday).
It’s free to try and all skill levels or non-experienced players are always welcome. The club offers a fun and social atmosphere that offers no judgement or discrimination regardless of background, age, gender, skill level or experience. If you’re looking to meet new people, enjoy a night out at the pub with new friends, and gain new and valuable life skills while exercising outdoors then look no further than Australian Rules Football as your next summer sport in Ottawa.
The Ottawa Swans Australian Football Club practice on Canada’s largest Footy pitch located at the Manotick Polo Club on 1600 Bankfield Road (only 20 minutes from downtown Ottawa). For more information on the club, and how to sign yourself up, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join the fastest growing summer sport in Ottawa!