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The Australian Football League – All You Need To Know About AFL

AFL ball

Are you an Australian football fan? Does the Australian Football League (AFL) excite you? Do you know all about AFL?  Getting to know the game rules and background can help one understand its nuances better. Here is what you need to know about the game. 

A Little Bit of AFL Background

Though the name AFL (Australian Football League) came into existence only in 1990, the game has been around since 1858. This body contact sport is the only game technically invented in Australia and was predominantly played to keep the Australian cricketers fit in every sense.

18 teams participate in this league. Two of the first-ever established teams forming this league are the Melbourne (1858) and Geelong Football Clubs (1859). The Greater Western Sydney Giants joined the league in 2012, while the Gold Coast Suns joined in 2011.

These 18 teams play a total of 22 home and away season games in a year. The top 8 teams at the end of these home and away season games qualify for finals. Next, these 8 teams have a play-off over 4 rounds before the grand finale.

The final match is usually played on the last Saturday of September every year. At times, this can be pushed to the first Saturday of October too.

The Goal of the Game

The AFL is a full-body contact sport that requires the players to pass on a ball. They can use both their foot and hands to pass the ball from one spot to another. The aim of the game is to score against your opponent by passing the ball through their goal posts. The team scoring the most is declared a winner at the end of four quarters.

Rules of AFL

Many rules came into existence to ensure the safety of the players without compromising the competitiveness of AFL. It is a good idea to get yourself familiarized with the rules to get a better understanding of the game. With good knowledge about the game rules, you can also increase your chances of making a successful bet on the best betting sites Australia has available for AFL fans. While some rules made the sport less “physical,” it streamlined the game to make it safe for everyone playing it. 

Here are some of the important rules of the game that every viewer should know:

The Field

Since this game was invented to keep the cricketers fit in winter, the football games are played in the cricket grounds/stadiums. The fields are oval in shape with a grass surface. The fields can range anywhere between 135-185 meters in length and 110-155 meters in breadth.

The far ends of the fields have the goalposts. There are 2 tall goal posts, accompanied by 2 behind posts that are slightly shorter. While the goalposts are located at the intersection of the goal square lines and the boundary lines, the behind posts are positioned 6.4mts outside the goalposts.

Apart from the size and location of the goalposts, the AFL field has several markings such as:

Players & Umpires



The AFL is a widely loved sport in Australia. While a part of Australia sees a number of ardent followers of the game, a part of the country is yet to accept this as a major sport.