Aussie Rules Football has been around since 1841, but the game we know today is far from what it was. Since this form of professional football is exclusively played in Australia, the only championship is the Australian Football League (AFL). Most fans know the game as footy, football, Aussie rules or Australian rules. So, as a unique fixture in local sports, knowing the laws of Australian football is pretty important for betting. After all, these determine the overall bets and what counts towards the score.
As you may know, AFL matches are played without a visible timer for players. In essence, this ensures that all plays are well-paced. Of course, there are timers for officials and broadcasters. Should you already be familiar with the rules, we’ve listed our most popular gambling websites below. Otherwise, if you’d like to brush up on your knowledge, read on.
Popular AFL Sportsbooks
Best Footy Rules Page Links
- How Aussie Rules is Played
- Object of the Game
- Scoring Rules
- Full list of AFL Rules
- More about Footy
Aussie football is played on a round field, usually a cricket ground that can add posts for the match. While the ball is in play, teams have to follow the guidelines exactly and ensure that they are playing fairly. In addition, they are expected to work as team for all plays including tackles and goals. Since the ball can be passed in a number of ways, the rules can get complicated. All games must be played with an oval ball specified by the AFL.
Object of the Game
The object of the game is to kick the ball between four posts to score points. Depending on where the ball lands, points will be allocated. Hence, the winner is decided by the number of points scored. So, the most important rule is to pass the ball according to the laws of footy. New laws are added each season, at any point during the term.
An important set of rules for footy is the pitch and any equipment needed.
- The oval pitches can vary in size from 135 to 185 metres in length and 110 to 155 metres in width. Most pitches mix with cricket grounds because they are similar in size.
- Pitches are marked around the outside to highlight the ‘out of bounds’ area. At either end four 6-metre tall posts are positioned as the scoring zones.
- Moreover, the front posts must be 6.4 metres apart to represent the main scoring area or goal.
- Both behind posts must also be 6.4 metres apart to represent the secondary goal.
- All balls are made from leather and must be oval-shaped.
- Further markings on the field include the 9-metre goal square spanning the width of the goal area.
- Every field must have a centre square and a centre circle for the scoring area.
- Each team must have 18 players assigned to different positions on the field. These players can move freely around the pitch.
- Three substitutes are allowed per team and they can come off and, on the field, as needed.
- When a starting player is substituted, the three reserves can begin moving.
- Set positions include the Full Forward, Half Forward, Centre Line, Half Back, and Full Back.
- In addition to the players, there are seven total umpires for the game.
- Three field umpires oversee all decisions on the field for time keeping, infringements and enforcing rules. They can also award free kicks.
- Two line judges determine whether the ball is in play or not. More so, they can intervene if the field umpires missed a decision.
- Lastly, two goal umpires must signal if a goal was scored or not.
If the ball is kicked between the two middle posts, six points will be awarded. If a kick for goal goes between the front post and the one behind it, one point is awarded. In addition to this, a point can be awarded to the opposing team if the attacking team forces or carries the ball over the scoring line. Once again, the winning team must have the most legal points.
- During the game umpires signal all decisions and they are final.
- Kicking the ball between posts without interference earns a team six points.
- If the ball is kicked between the behind posts and isn’t touched, one point is scored.
- Generally, games consist of four quarters which are 20 minutes long.
- Every game starts with ruck, where the ball is thrown in by the umpire. One player from each team must try to tap the ball to their teammates.
- Following each goal scored, the ball will be thrown in a ruck to restart play.
- Balls can only be passed with a kick or handball, this means that the ball is placed in the middle of the palm and struck with a fist. However, balls cannot be thrown or slapped to make a successful pass.
- Players can ‘mark’ balls they receive in three ways:
- When the ball is caught without a bounce
- If the ball is caught over 10 metres
- Or the ball is caught between it’s been touched in the air.
- Once marked, the player can’t be tackled at the risk of a foul while holding the ball.
- Any fouls awarded allow the opposing team to advance 15 metres down the field.
- Opponents can be tackled to win back a ball from shoulder height down.
- If a player is tackled and won’t give up the ball, the other team gets possession.
- Players can block rivals by shepherding players away from the ball within five metres.
- No pushing in the back is allowed while players are running or tackling.