Australian rules football
Australian rules football known as Australian football, or called Aussie rules, football or footy, is a contact sport played between two teams of eighteen players on an oval-shaped field a modified cricket ground. Points are scored by kicking the oval-shaped ball between behind posts. During general play, players may position themselves anywhere on the field and use any part of their bodies to move the ball; the primary methods are kicking and running with the ball. There are rules on how the ball can be handled: for example, players running with the ball must intermittently bounce or touch it on the ground. Throwing the ball is not allowed and players must not get caught holding the ball. A distinctive feature of the game is the mark, where players anywhere on the field who catch the ball from a kick are awarded possession. Possession of the ball is in dispute at all times except when mark is paid. Players can use their whole body to obstruct opponents. Dangerous physical contact, interference when marking and deliberately slowing the play are discouraged with free kicks, distance penalties or suspension for a certain number of matches, depending on the seriousness of the infringement.
The game features frequent physical contests, spectacular marking, fast movement of both players and the ball and high scoring. The sport's origins can be traced to football matches played in Melbourne, Victoria in 1858, inspired by English public school football games. Seeking to develop a game more suited to adults and Australian conditions, the Melbourne Football Club published the first laws of Australian football in May 1859, making it the oldest of the world's major football codes. Australian football has the highest spectator attendance and television viewership of all sports in Australia, while the Australian Football League, the sport's only professional competition, is the nation's wealthiest sporting body; the AFL Grand Final, held annually at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, is the highest attended club championship event in the world. The sport is played at amateur level in many countries and in several variations, its rules are governed by the AFL Commission with the advice of the AFL's Laws of the Game Committee.
Australian rules football is known by several nicknames, including Aussie rules and footy. In some regions, it is marketed as AFL after the Australian Football League. There is evidence of football being played sporadically in the Australian colonies in the first half of the 19th century. Compared to cricket and horse racing, football was viewed as a minor "amusement" at the time, while little is known about these early one-off games, it is clear they share no causal link with Australian football. In 1858, in a move that would help to shape Australian football in its formative years, "public" schools in Melbourne, Victoria began organising football games inspired by precedents at English public schools; the earliest such match, held in St Kilda on 15 June, was between Melbourne Grammar and St Kilda Grammar. On 10 July 1858, the Melbourne-based Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle published a letter by Tom Wills, captain of the Victoria cricket team, calling for the formation of a "foot-ball club" with a "code of laws" to keep cricketers fit during winter.
Born in Australia, Wills played a nascent form of rugby football whilst a pupil at Rugby School in England, returned to his homeland a star athlete and cricketer. His letter is regarded by many historians as giving impetus for the development of a new code of football today known as Australian football. Two weeks Wills' friend, cricketer Jerry Bryant, posted an advertisement for a scratch match at the Richmond Paddock adjoining the Melbourne Cricket Ground; this was the first of several "kickabouts" held that year involving members of the Melbourne Cricket Club, including Wills, Bryant, W. J. Hammersley and J. B. Thompson. Trees were used as goalposts and play lasted an entire afternoon. Without an agreed upon code of laws, some players were guided by rules they had learned in the British Isles, "others by no rules at all". Another significant milestone in 1858 was a match played under experimental rules between Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College, held at the Richmond Paddock; this 40-a-side contest, umpired by Wills and Scotch College teacher John Macadam, began on 7 August and continued over two subsequent Saturdays, ending in a draw with each side kicking one goal.
It is commemorated with a statue outside the MCG, the two schools have competed annually since in the Cordner-Eggleston Cup, the world's oldest continuous football competition. Since the early 20th century, it has been suggested that Australian football was derived from the Irish sport of Gaelic football, not codified until 1885. There is no archival evidence in favour of a Gaelic influence, the style of play shared between the two modern codes was evident in Australia long before the Irish game evolved in a similar direction. Another theory, first proposed in 1983, posits that Wills, having grown up amongst Aborigines in Victoria, may have seen or played the Aboriginal game of Marn Grook, incorporated some of its features into early Australian football; the evidence for this is only circumstantial, according to biographer Greg de Moore's research, Wills was "almost influenced by his experience at Rugby School". A loosely organised Melbourne side, captained by Wills, played against other football enthusiasts in the winter and spring of 1858.
The following year, on 14 May, the Melbourne Football Club came into being, making it one of the
Byron Schammer is an Australian rules footballer playing with the Claremont Football Club in the West Australian Football League. He played with the Fremantle Football Club in the Australian Football League. Schammer rose to prominence in 2002 by winning the prestigious Larke Medal for the best player at the AFL Under 18 Championships, he captained Australia in an under 17s International Rules Test against Ireland. He was taken by Fremantle that year with the club's first selection in the National Draft. Playing 17 games in his debut season, including the club's historic first final against Essendon, he announced himself to be a player of the future, earned a nomination for the Rising Star award, he backed it up with a strong 2004 season that saw him poll 12 Brownlow Medal votes, despite suffering a shoulder injury mid-year. Having moved into a defensive role in 2006, he played in 24 of Fremantle's 25 games in 2006, before he was missed the first half of the 2007 season due to suffering a burst appendix and a subsequent bowel blockage during his recovery period.
He only missed one game in 2008 and in 2009, during the most consistent season of his career, he signed a two-year contract extension. However Schammer struggled to maintain his place in the Fremantle side in 2010 and 2011, playing only three games in 2010 and two in 2011, despite playing well for Claremont in the West Australian Football League. In August 2011, the week after playing his first AFL game for the season, Schammer announced his retirement from the AFL, he will focus on his work as a stockbroker. Byron Schammer's profile on the Official Website of the Fremantle Football Club Byron Schammer's playing statistics from AFL Tables Byron Schammer WAFL statistics
Hamish McIntosh is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the North Melbourne Football Club and Geelong Football Club in the Australian Football League. From Lavington, New South Wales on the Murray River, he played his under-18 football with Murray Bushrangers in the TAC Cup. Drafted by North Melbourne in the 2002 AFL Draft at pick 9, McIntosh had ankle problems in 2003, when he arrived at the club, coach Dean Laidley said "he couldn't bench 40 kg". In his second year he sprained his ankle and after two seasons of waiting, McIntosh got a game against Adelaide in round 6, 2005, he was an emergency eight times. McIntosh's break came in an exhibition match at UCLA in Los Angeles, he was named man of the match in an easy win against the Sydney Swans. In 2007, McIntosh averaged over 15 possessions a game, he was picked in the 40 man All-Australian squad. However, he missed the final cut; the 2008 season was a terrible one for McIntosh. He ruptured his posterior cruciate ligament against Fremantle in round 12.
He made a return in the season but he could not reach the heights he achieved in the 2007 season. He was offered as trade bait by Dean Laidley, he was not traded and had a good 2008 season in which he was considered as a contender for All-Australian selection. McIntosh enjoyed a strong 2010 season, during which he formed a effective ruck pairing with Todd Goldstein, but prior to the 2011 season, McIntosh required surgery on both Achilles tendons, played just one game for the season. He returned for round 1, 2012, memorably missing a shot at goal after the final siren which allowed opponents Essendon a two-point victory. McIntosh suffered a knee injury in round 7 which required surgery, restricting him to just seven games for the year. In October 2012, McIntosh was traded to Geelong for a second-round draft pick. McIntosh signed a three-year contract with the Cats, but his 2013 season was ruined by various leg injuries and he failed to play a single game; the 2014 season was a better one for McIntosh, making his Geelong debut in round 1 and going on to play 19 games, including a final.
He swapped main rucking duties with Dawson Simpson. But injuries hit McIntosh with further knee and calf tendon problems, he was forced into retirement on 29 July 2015 after an ankle injury. Hamish McIntosh's profile on the official website of the Geelong Football Club Hamish McIntosh's playing statistics from AFL Tables
Matthew Whelan is a former professional Australian rules football player. Wearing the number 45 jersey, Whelan was reliable defender/back pocket known by Demons fans as the "Wheels", he earned the nickname "Wrecker" for his big hits and tough and uncompromisingly defensive style of play. His tackling style, to drop the shoulder, resulted in spectacular spear tackle like throws of opponents. Matthew has Indigenous Australian heritage and his ancestry can be traced to the Ngalakan language speaking peoples of the Arnhem Land, he grew up in Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory, where he played rugby league at junior levels before concentrating on Australian football at the age of 15. Before heading to Victoria in 2000, Whelan played in both the Northern Territory and South Australian leagues. From October to March he would play for Darwin before heading to Woodville-West Torrens for the winter. Whelan made his debut in round four of season 2000 and played every game until round 20 when an injured neck cost him his place and he missed the finals, including Melbourne's grand final appearance.
This was a major blow to the Demons. History repeated itself in 2002 when Whelan played every game but was forced out in round 22 with a calf injury, another finals series went begging. In a rare report for rough play in 2003 for what appeared to be a dangerous throw on Shane Crawford he was cleared by the tribunal of any infringement. During the 2004 Elimination Final, Melbourne were drawn to play rivals Essendon. With about five minutes to go in the first half, Whelan knocked James Hird unconscious with a strong shirtfront, re-gathered the ball and fed it off to Travis Johnstone who finished off the play with a goal to bring up double figures for the Demons. Whelan, playing his first final, was one of Melbourne's best, picking up 22 possessions and a match high five tackles. During the final quarter of the Melbourne v Richmond game on 27 May 2005, Richmond attacked in their 50 when Whelan came from nowhere to smother Nathan Brown's kick; because Brown was kicking with his left boot Whelan landed on his right foot, and, in front of horrified Friday Night Football viewers, broke his leg.
Replays were played on the news, including Sports Tonight and FOX Sports News. Whelan said. Brown sat out the rest of the season, has had re-occurring leg-related injuries since. Whelan had a stellar season in 2006, marred only by minor injuries to his calf and hamstring.he kicked a career high four goals in round-five During the 2007 season opener against St Kilda, while shepherding a teammate, Whelan turned his back, colliding solidly with Luke Ball. The severe collision injured both players, resulting in both coming off the ground, with the back of Whelan's head lacerating Ball's forehead. Ball was carried off the ground with a laceration to his head, although both players returned to play out the game. Whelan was charged for rough play based on the video; the charge, was dropped as the high contact was ruled as an accidental clash of heads, while Ball continued a slow recovery from the injury. His 2007 season saw. In round-five of the 2008 season, Whelan was reported for striking Carlton's full-forward Brendon Fevola.
He was offered a two-week suspension by the AFL. But an early-guilty plea reduced this to just one week. In August 2009 Whelan announced his retirement from the AFL alongside team mate Paul Wheatley, effective after Round 22, as part of the Melbourne Football Club's youth policy, his career has been plagued by injury, but is leaving on a good note and was happy to play an important role mentoring the MFC's young Aboriginal players. In February 2010, Whelan was awarded life membership of the Melbourne Football club at the club's annual general meeting. Matthew Whelan's profile on the official website of the Melbourne Football Club Matthew Whelan's playing statistics from AFL Tables
Victorian Football League
The Victorian Football League is the major state-level Australian rules football league in Victoria. The league evolved from the former Victorian Football Association, has been known by its current name since 1996. For historical purposes, the present VFL is sometimes referred to as the VFA/VFL, to distinguish it from the present day Australian Football League, known until 1990 as the Victorian Football League and is sometimes referred to as the VFL/AFL; the VFA was formed in 1877 and is the second-oldest Australian rules football league, replacing the loose affiliation of clubs, the hallmark of the early years of the game. Serving a administrative function, the VFA premiership served as the top level of club competition in Victoria until 1896; the VFA became the secondary level of club competition from 1897 after its eight strongest clubs seceded to form the VFL. From 1897 until 1995, the VFA remained independent from the VFL as Victoria's secondary senior club competition. Although always much less popular than the VFL/AFL, the VFA enjoyed peaks of popularity in the 1940s with a faster-paced rival code of rules, in the 1970s bolstered by playing on Sundays at a time when the VFL was played on Saturdays.
Since 1995, the league has been administered by AFL Victoria, serves as one of the second-tier regional Australian semi-professional competitions which sits underneath the professional Australian Football League. From the 2018 season it will comprise 15 teams from throughout Victoria, nine of which have a continuous VFA heritage. Since 2000, the VFL has served as a reserves competition for the AFL, with some Victorian-based clubs fielding their reserves teams in the VFL and others affiliated such that their reserves player can play in VFL teams. AFL Victoria operates a women's football competition under the Victorian Football League brand, known as the VFL Women's, established in 2016; the Victorian Football Association was founded on 17 May 1877 at the meeting of club secretaries preceding the 1877 season. It was formed out of a desire to provide a formal administrative structure to the governance of the sport, it had the power to impose binding decisions on its members on matters including the Laws of the Game, player eligibility and other disputes, as well as to facilitate intercolonial football.
Decisions were made based on a vote of the Board of Management, composed of two delegates from each senior club, a structure, retained until the late 1980s. It replaced a system under which the secretaries of the senior clubs met at the beginning of each year to decide on matters of mutual interest, but the system was informal and disputes went unresolved; the five foundation senior clubs in the Melbourne metropolitan area were Albert-park, Hotham, Melbourne and St Kilda. Provincial clubs were eligible for senior representation on the Association though most played matches against the metropolitan teams. There was no formal system of promotion and relegation between the senior and junior levels, with it at a club's discretion whether or not it joined the Association as a paying senior member; the affiliation fee for senior clubs was set at one guinea. Through the first decade of the VFA's existence, the structure of the football season did not change from the informal system which had evolved over previous years.
Setting of fixtures was the responsibility of club secretaries rather than the Association itself, in a typical season, a club could play against other VFA teams, non-VFA clubs, at odds against junior teams, in some seasons against intercolonial teams. Prior to the 1888 season, there was no formally endorsed system for awarding a VFA premiership: as had been the case since the early 1870s, the premier club was determined by public and press consensus, which by the mid-1880s was conventionally but informally understood to be the senior club which suffered the fewest losses during the season. Premierships won under this then-informal method are now considered official, consensus was uncontroversial. In 1888, the VFA first took responsibility for the onfield competition, introduced its first formal premiership system by adopting a system of premiership points; the Association's influence over the on-field competition grew, from 1894, the Association assumed responsibility for centrally setting the fixtures and standardising the number of games played by each team.
After the formal introduction of the premiership, the often-changeable collection of senior clubs in the VFA soon became settled at twelve premiership-eligible clubs: Carlton, Fitzroy, Geelong, North Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda, South Melbourne and Williamstown. Three Ballarat-based clubs – Ballarat, Ballarat Imperial and South Ballarat – were voting members of the VFA through this time, but were not involved in the onfield premiership. During the 1890s, there was an off-field power struggle within the VFA between the stronger and weaker clubs, as the stronger clubs sought greater administrative control commensurate with their relative financial contribution to the game; this came to a hea
Byron Pickett is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played with three clubs in the AFL. He was known as a big game player as well as for his strength, hard bumps and tough approach to the game. Pickett is one of 12 players with two premiership medallions, a Norm Smith Medal and over 200 AFL games. In 2005 Pickett was acknowledged as one of the finest Aboriginal players in the history of the game, with his selection to the Indigenous Team of the Century, he announced his retirement from AFL at the end of the 2007 season. After his retirement from the AFL in 2007 he continued playing semi-professionally, including some time with the Port Adelaide Magpies in the South Australian National Football League. Born in Kellerberrin in country Western Australia to Indigenous Australian parents, Byron Pickett grew up in Tammin and Geraldton, Western Australia before moving to Port Lincoln in South Australia. Pickett played the majority of his junior football for Port Lincoln Football League club Mallee Park, the junior club of leading footballers like Peter and Shaun Burgoyne, Graham Johncock and Daniel Wells.
Pickett's skills were identified by South Australian National Football League club Port Adelaide and Pickett began to play in Port's junior sides, making the long trip each weekend to Adelaide. Although Pickett never played higher than the under-19s with Port Adelaide, Port senior coach John Cahill was eager to name Pickett in Port Adelaide's squad for their inaugural Australian Football League season in 1997. However, citing homesickness, turned down this offer, although he nominated for the 1996 AFL Draft, where he was taken by North Melbourne Football Club. Nicknamed "Choppy", Pickett burst onto the scene in 1997 with the North Melbourne Football Club, playing only one game. However, in 1998 he was rewarded with the Norwich Rising Star award. At only 178 cm and 86 kg, Pickett was not a large Australian Rules player, however he is solidly built and unquestionably tough. Pickett developed a reputation as'tough' player for his aggressive attack on the ball and the man with a frequent tendency to cause opponents serious and painful injuries.
Pickett did so outside the rules of the game and was suspended only three times since 2001. In 1999 he played in a premiership team with the Kangaroos, before switching to the club he played for in the SANFL, Port Adelaide Football Club, in 2002. In the last days of his playing career with North Melbourne, he famously broke the collarbone of Geelong's Darren Milburn in a violent clash, he started his career at Port in 2003. He was part of Port Adelaide's first AFL premiership in 2004, his 3-goal, 20 possession performance earnt him the Norm Smith Medal. At the end of the 2005 season Pickett was traded to Melbourne, finishing a successful but short career for Port. At the end of 2005, Pickett was involved in a trade that saw him play at the Melbourne Football Club from 2006 onwards, he has vowed not to alter his style of play, he wore No 33 worn by former aboriginal player Jeff Farmer. In a round 7, 2006 clash with Fremantle at the MCG, Pickett sent Ryan Crowley to hospital with a broken cheekbone.
Pickett suffered successive hamstring injuries in 2006. 2007 began for Pickett, not selected in the initial rounds due to poor pre-season match fitness. However he returned in Round 4. In April he laid a heavy tackle on Tadhg Kennelly. On 5 May 2007, Pickett laid a strong tackle on Port Adelaide's Kane Cornes, which left him concussed and taken from the ground on a stretcher. After round 6 in 2007, the Demons suspended Pickett to a minimum of four weeks at the Sandringham Football Club for the official reason of failing to attend a game. Unofficially, there were club concerns surrounding Pickett's weight and pre-season work ethic and him turning up to training under the influence of alcohol. Despite drawing criticism late in his career for being overweight and slow, however he maintained an impact in matches, continuing to score goals and make game turning plays. Byron Pickett announced his last game of football on Sunday 2 September, in the match against Carlton, retiring along with Demons teammates Clint Bizzell and Nathan Brown.
He kicked a goal in his final game against the Blues. In 1999, Pickett crashed into Hawthorn's Brendan Krummel. In the bump, Pickett broke Krummel's nose, he had short-term amnesia. A free kick was awarded but no official charge from the AFL. Despite his injuries, Krummel publicly defended Pickett's actions. In 2000, Byron was admitted to a mental health clinic with fears of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and other mental illnesses. Pickett was released from the clinic with reports. In 2005 he received a 6-week suspension for a clash which accidentally knocked out James Begley in a pre-season match with both players chasing for the ball; the incident sparked controversy and in response many football commentators, including premiership player Robert Walls called to ban the bump. Many cynics felt that Pickett had been singled out over the incident and his style of play unfairly made an example of, with the rules changing in response to the incident, he received a 2-week suspension for a hip-and-shoulder on Carlton's Simon Wiggins as he completed a mark, after slowing down and pulling up to reduce the collision.
In the 2005 semi-final between Adelaide and Port Adelaide, a bump on Adelaide Football Club's Rhett Biglands knocked the 104 kg ruckman out cold, seeing Biglands stretchered fr
William Gerald Minson is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Western Bulldogs in the Australian Football League. Minson grew up in Norwood, South Australia and played football with the Norwood Football Club up until the under 18's, he was a student at St Peter's College, where he played the majority of his junior football, while playing as a junior footballer at Walkerville FC. The Western Bulldogs recruited Minson in the 2002 AFL Draft at pick number 20, he made his debut with the club in 2004. He was known for his physical presence, being suspended for striking Geelong star Cameron Ling in just his second game. In round 14 2008, with the Bulldogs playing Port Adelaide in their annual game in Darwin, Minson was involved in a confrontation with Kane Cornes, a Port Adelaide midfielder. Minson appeared two days in an interview with the Foxtel AFL program On the Couch, apologising on the couch for a derogatory comment made to Cornes; the actual comment is said to have concerned or been directed towards Kane's newborn son who has suffered from health problems, in particular questioning Kane's priorities in choosing to play football in Darwin that weekend, rather than being back in Adelaide in support of his wife and son.
Minson claimed that what was said was in "the heat of battle". In round 12 2012, following the Western Bulldogs' victory over Port Adelaide, Minson was again embroiled in a controversy over sledging Danyle Pearce, another Port Adelaide player; the comments, which are said to have concerned Pearce's mother, were made in the final quarter of the match after the two were wrestling at a stoppage and during a subsequent melee. Whilst the incident was not elevated to the AFL tribunal, the Western Bulldogs fined Minson and imposed a one-week suspension on him as punishment for the silly indiscretion; because of the prior incident with Kane Cornes, a media frenzy ensued. In a press conference two days after the game, Minson said he was "deeply regretful for any comments that were made", that he had "no intention of putting anyone through that again". In October 2016, Minson announced he would no longer be playing for the Western Bulldogs and he would explore his options during the free-agency period.
After failing to find a new club during the free-agency period, he was subsequently delisted by the Western Bulldogs. Minson has a younger brother, who played in the Australian Football League with Port Adelaide before being forced to retire through injury. Off the field, Minson is known for his intelligence and multi-faceted abilities - he plays saxophone, speaks fluent German and is studying civil engineering at the University of Melbourne, he is heavily involved with the charity Red Dust, which operates sporting and lifestyle clinics in remote aboriginal communities and, more in poor areas of India. Will Minson's profile on the official website of the Western Bulldogs Will Minson's playing statistics from AFL Tables Will Minson at AustralianFootball.com