Aussie Rules Football
Aussie Rules Football is a very Australian game. I have heard it described as Arial ping pong.
It is mostly played in Victoria but in recent years it has spread to other states and in NSW the Sydney Swans have won a championship
Australian children see Football news on television every night. In roll call each morning some senior classes challenge each other in a Footy Tips competition. Boys against Girls - who can pick the winners in this weeks round of games? Many offices run this same ‘Footy Tips’ competition for their staff as a bit of light fun. Football is about Australian as Meat Pies, Kangaroos and Holden Cars. It is arguably our most favourite sport. Over 450,000 Australians are involved in AFL. Australian Families go to see Football games together. The nation pretty much stops on Grand Final Day. Over 100,000 spectators will watch the match live and millions more glued to their Televisions or gathered around large display screens down at the local Sporting Club or Pub.
Perhaps we are so fond of this game because it is a homegrown Aussie sport originating in Victoria in the mid 1800’s. It has since spread to other countries, particularly British Colonies. An export which we are proud of. Young Australian Children join their local football club from as young as 5 years of age. They train once a week and play in competitions against other teams on weekends.
AFL Kids First is a program to support families whose children are involved in AFL. The basic principles of the program are to remind parents that: sport is a vital part of growing up; that children like to win but more importantly have fun; that parents need to set the right example by their behaviour on the sports ground; that parents should be proud of their child’s efforts, not just the results; and know that sport can be an important part of their child’s self esteem.
Football is a fast rough game of tackling, running, kicking and passing. It is mainly boys who play Football although some girls do play football, or a less physical version like ‘Touch Footy’ where you touch someone instead of tackling them to reclaim the ball for your team.
Australian Children love being involved in Football because they can learn and improve their physical skills, join in fun activities and competitions, feel a part of a team, be with their friends, stay fit and healthy, be publicly recognized for their achievements, and receive personalized training and direction from their coach.
Parents get many benefits out of being involved in their Children’s sporting activities. Aside from their children will likely perform better, the parents themselves get to meet more people, communicate with the coach about their child’s strengths and weaknesses, improve their understanding of child development, and observe variety in coaching and motivation techniques. The result is a more positive confident parent who understands their child better.
For the coach, parent involvement means more support for organizing the game and training sessions. Parents can take it in turns to prepare and hand out refreshments (like oranges cut into pieces), or organize trophies and other presentation items. Some parents can become intimidating or overbearing in their enthusiasm. A coach has to constantly balance the needs of individual families expectations with the groups general needs. For this they earn the lifelong respect and admiration of their little friends. Likewise parents who make the effort to be there to watch little Johnnie’s game are rewarded with an incomparable smile lighting up their child’s face in delight to know that mum or dad saw them score that goal.
In very simple terms, the objective of this game is to kick a football between the ‘goal posts’ and ‘behind posts’ positioned at the end of a large oval shaped sporting field. The ball is not a typical perfect circle, the pointed ends of the oval shaped ball means that kicking and passing require very specific skills.
The game is played on a grassed sporting oval about 150m by 130m wide. Four posts are placed at both ends of the oval and boundary lines are marked to identify a center square and 50 metre lines.
Up to 18 players from each team can be on the field during the game. Four reserve players are waiting on the sidelines.