Australian rules football is a game played in Australia which is otherwise also known as Aussie Rules and it is a contact sport often played on a modified oval cricket field. The sport was first invented in the year of 1859 and was inspired by English football games.
The Melbourne football club wanted to modify the game to be better suited to Australian playing conditions and thus Australian football was born. The game’s inception can be traced back to an indigenous Australian football-esque game called Marn Grook, which is comparable in style to what we know the game as today. When creating the game, its founder Tom Wills had taken elements of rugby, English school football and Man Grook to form a whole new game.
Examining the key differences
With the season for the sport just beginning, there is a lot of ongoing hype for aussie rules future matches and with that said, we wanted to clear up some common confusion about the rules of the sport and its differences to regular traditional soccer.
Team size and scoring frequency
For starters, the team size for each sport is different, with AF games being played by 18 on field players while 4 reserve players sit on the bench, compared to 11 on field in soccer and 4 to 10 players on the bench as reserve. The goal frequency in Australian rules football is also much more common as there is usually an average of 10 goals per game amongst teams. In soccer, we usually see only 1 or 2 goals per game, with occasional outlier games where there can be up to 5 or so goals scored and very rarely is there more.
The shape of the field
As previously mentioned, the field in Australian football is oval shaped and resembling a cricket field as opposed to the standard rectangle shape we’re used to seeing in soccer games. The ball is likewise oval shaped just like the field in the Australian version being passed by hand, versus the round ball that is kicked around in soccer with any sort of hand contact being a banned offense.
The value of a goal
The value of a goal in AFL is 6 points which is counted similarly to soccer when the ball makes it between the goal posts, which can make the average game score up to 80 points as opposed to the usual 2-3 result in soccer. It is also a somewhat rougher sport with tackling being allowed and common in the game, whereas soccer is usually played with little to no physical contact outside of fouls.
The pace of the game
Generally AF also differs from regular football in terms of its pace, as the game is played at a much faster speed. This is due to all the above-mentioned differences like team size and field shape and the way that players navigate the field to score goals against the opposing team. Certain players that happen to be playing both of these sports also tend to consider the game being more difficult to play as it is a more intense sport filled with physical contact that is played at a faster pace. The sport is played predominantly in Australia and also countries with close ties to it, such as New Zealand.
Everything considered, this is a pretty niche sport compared to soccer, which has statistically proven to be the most followed and watched sport in the world at around 3.5 billion fans. AF’s humble 4.2 million pales in comparison.
We hope to have given you some additional insight into the game, which will help fans and newcomers alike better understand the game this season and feel ready to make passionate team bets in the upcoming rounds. It is a sport not many people know about, which is why we wanted to give it some time in the spotlight.
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