What is Australian Football?
Australian Football, colloquially known as footy, is a fast paced, non-stop, physical game unlike anything else.
The game is played on an oval field, with our home ground at the Manotick Polo Club measuring 165mX140m, nearly 3 times the size of a Canadian Football Field. The leather ball is shaped similar to a football or rugby ball, making it bounce unpredictably.
The object of the game is to score by kicking the ball between 4 posts at each end of the ground equally spaced 6.4 meters apart. A goal is worth 6 points, and is scored by kicking the ball to the two middle posts without being touched by any player. A behind is worth 1 point, and is scored by kicking the ball through the middle post and one of the outside posts. A behind can also be scored if the ball is touched before going through or if it hits off one of the two middle posts.
A regulation game consists of four 20 minute quarters. AFL Ontario men’s games are played with 24 players per team, with the regulation 18 players per team on the field at a time. AFL Ontario also sets the number of Australians to 8 per team, allowing for development of Canadian athletes. AFL Quebec and most women’s games play 9 per team on the field at a time.
Players can move the ball by kicking or by hand passing, similar to a volleyball serve. A player who catches a kicked ball can take a free kick, called a mark, or play on immediately. Tackles must be made when the player is in control of the ball, and can only be made between the shoulders and the knees. Violations, including high tackles, throwing the ball, or pushing in the back result in a free kick, with serious violations and other infractions resulting in 50 meter penalties.