For the Australian Dopers

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An excerpt:

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former Sydney Swans Australian Rules player Peter Filandia was suspended for 10 matches on Wednesday after pleading guilty to biting an opponent’s testicles during a game last week.

Filandia, 31, was playing for Port Melbourne against Springvale in the Australian Football League’s feeder competition, the Victorian Football League (VFL).

My first thought was to take this to the pit. What kind of professional league that plays such a contact sport not require their players to at least wear a cup. Teeth aren’t going to easily bite through hard plastic easily. Knees and other body parts can hit it, but the blow to the pecker and nuts get diverted. Yes, it still hurts a bit, but you are not gasping for your next breath doubled over in pain. Even if not required, a player should wear one anyway. but maybe there is a really good reason not to wear one. Which is why this is in the GQ.

So what is it, Aussies? Is it just a really macho thing? Or does wearing a cup in any way impede your football playing performance? Is it not permitted by the league?

You think thats bad…

What about the guy who was thrown out last year for sticking his finger up other players butts… Left in shame, but all is forgiven and he is back playing with a different team.

Really, htough there is no need to wear any protection playing AFL. The offender in this case said he was smothered and it was a “Reflex” action!!!

I don’t know about that, but I wouldn’t like to be in his shoes for the next game, a bit of rough treatment coming his way

As a contact sports go, Australian Rules is pretty light. Which is not to say that it is light, but it tends to be lighter than either rugby code or American football. The contact is to some degree incidental, it’s not a sport where constant all out tackling to the ground is the major part of the game. It is in some ways a bit more like basketball (in the sense that the contact is incidental to getting at the ball, rather than stopping the player dead in their tracks. And there are not the extended mauls on the ground and pile-ons that there would be in RU for example.

Incidents involving blows to the groin are extremely rare. The story the OP quotes is an utter anomaly.

Additionally, while it’s many years since I’ve worn a box (or cup as you call it) but I don’t remember them as being very comfortable, to say the least. And Aussie Rules is a game of running and jinking and kicking which I suspect would be pretty damn uncomfortable with protection in place.

There was mention on the TV this morning about a soccer player in Spain? who recently tried the same thing and was let off from any penalties because they couldn’t prove it happened because there was no video replay footage available.

Actually, the guy who stuck his fingers up people’s butts played Rugby League, not AFL.

As for not wearing a box, Aussie rules is a fast moving game where players run huge distances in a match. No protection (other than mouthguards by some players) is worn at any level (including juniors). I would imagine that wearing a box would make it difficult to move as freely and quickly as players usually do.

The guy who did the biting, well, what can I say - I’ve never heard of it happening before. Ever. I would say it’s more a factor of a nutbag individual rather than a commom element of the game.

I would disagree with pinchester about Aussie rules being non-contact or like basketball or even light contact. Tackling is a part of the game, and it can get pretty damn rough.

I would imagine leaping in the air would be difficult with a cup on too.

You have seen footy shorts, haven’t you?

Here’s an article on the incident for those interested.

There’s always one. Would you mind actually reading my post before disagreeing with it? I did not say that it was non-contact. I did not say that tackling is not part of the game, I did not say that it did not get pretty damn rough. I only said that it was like basketball in some respects (and it is) and I only said it was light in comparison with the rugbies and American football. Yes I know tackling is part of Aussie Rules, but really heavy tackles are occasional, not routine, because the rules penalise being caught with the ball in a tackle so heavily (you have to give the ball away).

Compare that to either of the rugbies, which (particularly league) have a heavy, full contact, drop-em-to-the-ground-and-jump-on-them, tackle every 30 seconds or so.

Yeah, that’s what I was gonna say.

Footy shorts are so groin-hugging that the notion of anyone being able to get their teeth anywhere NEAR another players family-jewels is pretty incredible.
Mmmm, footy shorts and what’s in 'em, mmmmm.

Let alone being able to fit a “box” (total double entendre in Australia) in there…

No, the contact is not incidental, it is a deliberate attempt to force opposing players away from the ball so that either you or one of your team mates can swoop on it.

I am also failing to see the basketball comparison. The big difference in AFL is that when you pick up the footy, you become a hot potato, and opposing players can legally take you down physically. In basketball, when you pick up the ball, opposing players can not start charging at you with the hope of pulling off a bone crunching shirt front. Almost all forms of physical contact are forbidden in basketball.

I have played Aussie Rules for the last 9 years, and there is not one game that goes by where I don’t come off bruised and battered from bodily clashes.

While I will concede that it is not as much of a contact sport as Rugby, to compare it to basketball or to suggest that most of the physical contact is incidental is highly inaccurate.

Hmmm. Why is it that people who will do all in their power to AVOID discomfort and pain in their Mon-Fri lives, will then happily submit to this torture every Saturday afternoon?

Or is the old saying true…that all Aussie men are ‘pooftas’ and footy just legitimizes physically intimate contact? :smiley:

Ah, but I still like the shorts. Oooh :eek:

Beastel, you have pointed out the differences between AR and basketball, but given that I never said they were the same, that hardly seems the point. You might at least try to see the similarities.

What I mean by the basketball comparison is that firstly both basketball and AR are games with free passing and without an offside rule, so that there is a very heavy emphasis on moving the ball around, (sideways, forward and back), to get an advantage. Unlike RL, where for the most part you cannot be forward of the ball, and you cannot pass forward.

I’m not thick. I do realise that in basketball you can’t tackle, and in AR you can. But there is a similarity, because of the emphasis on passing. In both basketball and AR, when you are cut off by opposing players (by blocking in basketball, or when you are, or are about to be tackled in AR) the best strategy is to get the ball away, pass it if possible. And that is usually what happens. So in most (and yes, I do realise only most, not all) AR close encounter situations, as soon as a player with the ball realises he is going to get tackled, or is in the process of being tackled, he tries very hard to get the ball away, and so the tackle stops, and the players concentrate on the ball. The encounter usually does not end in a full slam-to the-ground tackle. Yes, I know they do happen, but they are not absolutely routine.

But in RL, for the first few tackles of a six the best strategy is to just run the ball up the ten yards, don’t even try to pass, and then get slammed. And even after that, while you have the option of getting the ball away if you can as you are being tackled, that is much less likely to succeed, and if you fail there will usually be a turnover, which is very detrimental, so usually you just take the tackle.

Does that make sense now?

Not if you’re Wayne Carey.