Basically confined to the southern states
of Australia, where it was founded in Melbourne
in 1858, the game came about as part of the
nation’s search for its own identity.
started out as a mixture of Gaelic Football,
brought in by lrish soldiers, and the British
games of soccer and rugby. It soon developed a
role of its own and now attracts crowds of over
100,000 and has 400,000 participants of various
annual game of the year is the VFL (Victoria
Football League) Premiership Cup played at the
pitch has no definite size, but there are
minimum and maximum requirements. The game is
played on oval grounds, normally cricket pitches
out of season, and must be a minimum of 120
yards wide and 170 yards long, with a maximum of
170 yards wide and 200 yards long.
pitch has a white boundary line, and two tall
and two single goal posts at each end of the
ball of 74x57 centimetres is used. The
participants wear jerseys of club colours, with
short, socks and studded boots.
Anything that could cause injury to other
players is banned, so no protective clothing is
worn, unlike in many other contact sports.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
are few rules in this fast and furious game.
Each side has 20 players, two of whom are
game is divided into four quarters lasting 25
giving six points is scored by a player kicking
the ball cleanly through the two tallest goal
posts (the inner posts) which his team is
point is scored by notching a
‘behind’, between the small outer
posts, which does not fulfil the rules of
scoring a full goal.
players move the ball by running with it and
bouncing it about every 10 yards. They are also
allowed to kick the ball and punch it, but not
RECORDS SET IN THE GAME
Bunton and his son Haydn Bunton Jr. provide a
unique link in the game of Australian Rules.
Bunton senior was born, ironically, in the
non-Australian-Rules-playing state of New South
Wales in1911 and died in Adelaide in 1955. With
his speed and stamina he was the ideal Rules
player. In the 1930s he played for Fitzroy in
the VFL for the both rules and cricket. In 1931,
1932 and 1935 he won the Brownlow Medal, awarded
to the best VFL player of the year.
son, playing in Western Australia, won the
Sandover Medal, equivalent of the Brownlow, when
playing for Swan
DID YOU KNOW?
Probably one of the most dangerous games
of Australian football ever was played by
Australian troops at the north end of an
airstrip on the banks of the Spreew river, New
Guinea, in June 1945; only 300 yards from the