12 Facts About Australian football


Australian football, called Australian rules football or Aussie rules, or more simply football or footy, is a contact sport played between two teams of 18 players on an oval field, often a modified cricket ground.

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Sport's origins can be traced to Australian football matches played in Melbourne, Victoria, in 1858, inspired by English public school Australian football games.

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Australian football has the highest spectator attendance and television viewership of all sports in Australia, while the Australian Football League, the sport's only fully professional competition, is the nation's wealthiest sporting body.

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Australian rules football is known by several nicknames, including Aussie rules, football and footy.

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Since the early 20th century, it has been suggested that Australian football was derived from the Irish sport of Gaelic football.

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Australian rules football playing fields have no fixed dimensions but at senior level are typically between 135 and 185 metres long and 110 and 155 metres wide wing-to-wing.

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Australian football begins after the first siren, when the umpire bounces the ball on the ground, and the two ruckmen battle for the ball in the air on its way back down.

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Goal, worth 6 points, is scored when the Australian football is propelled through the goal posts at any height by way of a kick from the attacking team.

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High level of interest shown by women in Australian football is considered unique among the world's football codes.

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Australian rules football was played outside Australasia as early as 1888 when Australians studying at Edinburgh University and London University formed teams and competed in London.

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Australian football is a sport rich in tradition and Australian cultural references, especially surrounding the rituals of gameday for players, officials and supporters.

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Australian football has attracted more overall interest among Australians than any other football code, and, when compared with all sports throughout the nation, has consistently ranked first in the winter reports, and third behind cricket and swimming in summer.

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