Can anyone here explain Australian Rules Football?

Note that the former is not really a home field advantage as the visiting team also has its bench closer to its defensive zone in periods 1 and 3.

Thread moved to the Game Room from GQ.

Heh you’re right. Weird that I thought of it that way - I knew this! Thanks for pointing it out…silly me!

Respectively: no, maybe, and he would get the ball (although this seldom happens).

If you are tackled you must release the ball. If you don’t release the ball the opposition is awarded a penalty: a free kick. However, what makes it hard for the tackled player is that there are only two acceptable means of releasing the ball: kicking it or handballing it. You know what kicking is, but handballing it is punching it away with your hand or fist. So throwing the ball away or even just dropping it when tackled will result in a penalty against you.

Generally, on tackling the tactics are that the tackled player tries to get the ball away by kicking it or punching it, so that they aren’t caught with the ball. They can try to break free of the tackle but this tends to be low percentage. It’s better, if you are going to be or are in the process of being tackled to get the ball away to a teammate if at all possible. Meanwhile, the tackling player’s tactic is to try to wrap the tackled player up with their arms precisely to prevent them getting the ball away so they get a penalty in their favour because the tackled player didn’t release the ball, or a penalty in their favour because the tackled player drops the ball without kicking or handballing it.

If it doesn’t go fifteen metres then catching it won’t win a free kick and play simply continues. The referee will yell “NOT FIFTEEN” or similar so that players know it wasn’t a mark. There are no markings. The referee just uses his judgment.

Yes, a mark is awarded for catching on the full any kicked ball that travelled more than fifteen metres no matter who kicked it.

Yes you can just keep running rather than take your free kick if you mark it. This is called “playing on”. Players will play on if the situation suits. However, bear in mind that once someone kicks, both the player who is the intended recipient of the kick, and the opposition will sprint to the place where the ball is coming down. So almost always if you take a mark there is an opposition player only a few steps away (if that) and if you play on you will probably just be tackled.

The reason why players take kicks from marks is the same reason why in WWII the Allies flew bombs to Berlin rather than driving them there in trucks. AFL players can kick 60-70 metres with pinpoint accuracy. When you are awarded a mark you are given a free opportunity to gain substantial tactical advantage and/or gain 60-70 metres by kicking to a teammate (resulting in another mark and another opportunity). It’s usually a no brainer.

Yes, yes and yes. As you approach the goal the defenders become more concentrated and your chances of not being clobbered and/or totally surrounded and hassled decrease as you approach the goal. So the usual tactic is to kick for goal any time you can get the space to do so when in range.

Hell yes. The opposition will place their bodies on the line to smother any attempt to get a kick away cleanly. Actually, kicking people in the face doesn’t happen much. The tacklor will be aiming to wrap up the kicker’s upper body (tacking the legs is forbidden).

I’ve just realised that what I’ve written is at best incomplete and at worst positively misleading in that I don’t mention the “prior opportunity” rule. Rather than attempt to explain that, there is a wikipedia article on the subject.

So, if I’m tackling someone, I want to also prevent him from legally disposing of the ball. I should try to grasp him in such a way that he is stuck with the ball whether he wants it or not. However, he must have a reasonable chance to properly dispose of the ball.

Is that about right?

Yes. If you wrap him up so tightly he is deemed to not have had a realistic chance to dispose of the ball in a legal way, it’s a wash and the referee does a ball-up (yes, that’s what it’s really called). If he had such a chance and did not, you had a fair tackle and it’s a turn-over - you get a free kick.

The core of many, of not most, of the rules is that the game should be allowed to flow freely and not have stoppages if at all possible. AFL is I believe the only comparable sport where the officials cannot send a player off for any reason whatsoever - any penalty stronger than a 50 metre free kick is left to the judiciary next week.

Also playing for Collingwood in that game was Tyson Goldsack.

The cheer squads for each team will usually fill the space behind the goals, but other than that, supporters are generally intermingled. The nine teams based in Melbourne share two stadiums. They used to have a ground each but I guess it became financially unsustainable.

The only real home-ground advantage is when a team has to fly interstate to play their opponents.

Actually it’s a bit more complicated than that. OK, it’s a lot more complicated than that. There is quite a complicated decision tree involved.

Even before a tackle happens, any player with control of the ball is in one of two states: (a) has had “prior opportunity” to dispose of (ie pass or kick away) the ball, or (b) has not had “prior opportunity” to dispose of (ie pass or kick away) the ball.

So someone who has received the ball, run a bit, bounced it and is in the clear obviously has had “prior opportunity”. Someone who received the ball 2 seconds ago while surrounded by opposition and while physically off balance has not. And of course in between is a certain amount of gray.

OK. Now this person is tackled.

If the tacklee is in a state of having had prior opportunity, they must make a legal disposal (ie effective kick or handball) immediately. If they don’t do so they will be penalised for holding the ball even though once the tackle commenced they were physically prevented from legally disposing of the ball. And if they drop the ball ie dispose of it but not legally, they again will be penalised. In other words, tough shit, you should have disposed of it before you were tackled, because you had prior opportunity.

Contrastingly if the tacklee has *not *had prior opportunity, then when tackled they are required only to make a genuine attempt to dispose of the ball legally. As long as they are attempting to get the ball away legally, they won’t be penalised for not doing so. This doesn’t mean the tacklee gets to keep the ball even though they held the ball when tackled. It just means that if they drop the ball (ie dispose of it in a way that is not usually legal) or physically can’t release the ball, they won’t suffer any penalty. In the former case, another player will grab the ball and play will continue. In the latter case, there will be a ball up to restart play.

Basically, what it comes down to is that if you could dispose of the ball but choose to keep playing and get tackled you are in the shit. If you get tackled when you couldn’t have disposed of the ball beforehand then you won’t be able to continue to hold the ball, but you won’t be positively penalised.

Really? My inner-child is giggling like an idiot at that. I noticed another guy named Ugle too… I’m imagining something like a hockey line of Ugle-Sidebottom-Goldsack and laughing like a loon.

I think I need to get some sleep… this probably isn’t really as funny as I apparently think it is, is it? :stuck_out_tongue:

Incidentally, Canadian football, while similar to American, does award a single point for a missed field goal–provided it is not run out of the end zone. Essentially, what is a touchback in the US, is a single point (called for some reason a rouge) in the CFL. Another difference (although I have seen it happen only once) is that it is legal to kick a ball from the open field. But it might be useful to import an Aussie rules player for that.

The one time I saw it happen was at the end of one year’s Grey Cup game (national championship). The game was tied and with time running out, one team tried a field goal from about the 30. The goal was missed but the defensive player who fielded it was going to be tackled inside his end zone (the end zones were 25 yards deep–I think they are now 20) and punted. The player who fielded that punt punted back to try for a rouge. It didn’t go out the end zone and a defensive player punted it out again. This time the punting team didn’t give the team receiving the punt (that is, the original team that attempted the field goal) a 5 yard zone to field the punt (required under Canadian rules) and a penalty was called. The original team got the ball after a five yard penalty and this time successfully kicked a field goal to win.

Wow, that’s a crazy ending. At first I thought you were describing my favourite end-of-game sequence from a a regular season Argos-Als game, but there was no no-yards call and so no additional field goal. I’ve posted it before, but here it is. It’s all the craziness of the CFL compressed into one play!

I think I get it now.

I’ve got the ball. I’m running toward my goal, bouncing the ball every fifteen meters. I notice five guys are converging on me on going to tackle me. Before they can get to me, I handball the ball to my teammate running to one side of me, or I am kick the ball to my mates further downfield. If I fail to do this, then I’m in trouble cause the other guys are going to tackle me. They want to prevent me from getting rid of the ball legally so that they can get a free kick.

So, I’ve decided to keep going in spite of the five bad guys coming at me. As I go down in a tackle, I handball to my teammate. He, however, does not have prior opportunity as he goes down in the scrum that has consumed me, him, and my five opponents (and perhaps more as they arrive on the scene). So, my teammate simply places the ball on the ground for someone else to pick it up. The other team doesn’t get a free kick because my guy didn’t have prior opportunity.

Got it. I think.

One nitpick which is that your teammate placing the ball on the ground would result in a penalty. A player who has no prior opportunity who is tackled will not be penalised as long as they make a genuine attempt to make a **legal **disposal. Putting the ball down isn’t a legal disposal. So what he would do is make valiant attempts to legally pass or kick the ball immediately after he is tackled.

Often these attempts are somewhat theatrical because (depending on the game situation) he may not want to actually achieve a bad disposal that goes to the opposition, and would actually prefer to be tackled and be physically unable to dispose of the ball, because at least that way there is a ballup and his team has about a 50/50 chance of winning that and regaining possession.

Duckster? Is that your user name? Yes Sam Newman is still a bit of a spinner…he’s getting old now, so he gets grumpy and raises issues about minor, stupid shit in the game, (off-field rules, etc.) He can’t go to the western suburbs of Melbourne because he gets abused too much, so funnyman Shane Crawford takes over sometimes, everyone seems to love him. (maybe not Geelong supporters)

Crows fan here. Want to actually thank everyone at Port for showing support and sympathy to our club after our coach Walshy was murdered, if you hadn’t heard.

He was a Senior Assistant coach at the Power for years, which is understandable he had a lot more to do with your club. But he was a our head coach. There’s a Crows advertising banner saying “We fly as one” but then Port fans edited it to have a Power logo along with the slogan; “But today, you don’t fly alone”

Fucking wonderful. Changed my whole view of Port. I still hope we win the Showdown in a week, though. haha?

Don’t forget to tell the American guys that you can shepard off of the ball (because they can too) but you can’t hold or tackle the man without the ball. Im sure that’s one thing they would like if they saw a good shepard take place

I love AFL, to me its what the NFL would look like if it was all punters and wide receivers. :slight_smile: