Australian Football League
The Australian Football League is the pre-eminent professional competition of Australian rules football. Through the AFL Commission, the AFL serves as the sport's governing body, is responsible for controlling the laws of the game; the league was founded as the Victorian Football League as a breakaway from the previous Victorian Football Association, with its inaugural season commencing in 1897. Comprising only teams based in the Australian state of Victoria, the competition's name was changed to the Australian Football League for the 1990 season, after expanding to other states throughout the 1980s; the league consists of 18 teams spread over five of Australia's six states. Matches have been played in all states and mainland territories of Australia, as well as in New Zealand and China to promote the sport abroad; the AFL season consists of a pre-season competition, followed by a 23-round regular season, which runs during the Australian winter. The team with the best record after the home-and-away series is awarded the "minor premiership."
The top eight teams play off in a four-round finals series, culminating in the AFL Grand Final, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground each year. The grand final winner is termed the "premiers", is awarded the premiership cup; the current premiers are the West Coast Eagles. The Victorian Football Association was established in 1877 and went on to become Victoria's major Australian rules football competition. During the 1890s, an off-field power struggle occurred between the VFA's stronger and weaker clubs, the former seeking greater administrative control commensurate with their relative financial contribution to the game; this came to a head in 1896 when it was proposed that gate profits, which were always lower in matches involving the weaker clubs, be shared amongst all teams in the VFA. After it was intimated that the proposal would be put to a vote, six of the strongest clubs—Collingwood, Fitzroy, Geelong and South Melbourne—seceded from the VFA, invited Carlton and St Kilda to join them in founding a new competition, the Victorian Football League.
The remaining VFA clubs—Footscray, North Melbourne, Port Melbourne and Williamstown—were given the opportunity to compete as a junior sides at a level beneath the VFL, but rejected the offer and remained for the 1897 VFA season. The VFL's inaugural season occurred in 1897, it made several innovations early on to entice the public's interest, including an annual finals tournament, rather than awarding the premiership to the team with the best record through the season. Although the VFL and the VFA continued to compete for spectator interest for many years, the VFL established itself as the premier competition in Victoria. In 1908, the league expanded to ten teams, with Richmond crossing from the VFA and University Football Club from the Metropolitan Football Association. University, after three promising seasons, finished last each year from 1911 until 1914, including losing 51 matches in a row; as a result, the club withdrew from the VFL at the end of 1914. Beginning sporadically during the late 1890s and from 1907 until World War I, the VFL premier and the premier of the South Australian Football League met in a playoff match for the Championship of Australia.
South Australia's Port Adelaide was the most successful club of the competition winning three titles during the period along with an earlier victory. In 1925, the VFL expanded from nine teams to twelve, with Footscray and North Melbourne each crossing from the VFA. North Melbourne and Hawthorn remained weak in the VFL for a long period. Although North Melbourne would become the first of the 1925 expansion sides to reach a Grand Final in 1950 it was Footscray that adapted to the VFL with the most ease of the three clubs, by 1928 were well off the bottom of the ladder. Between the years of 1927 and 1930, Collingwood became the first, only VFL team, to win four successive Premierships. In 1952, the VFL hosted ` National Day'. Matches were played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Brisbane Exhibition Ground, North Hobart Oval, Albury Sports Ground and Victorian country towns Yallourn and Euroa. Footscray became the first of the 1925 expansion teams to win the premiership in 1954. Melbourne became a powerhouse during the 1950s and early 1960s under coach Norm Smith and star player Ron Barassi.
The club contested seven consecutive grand finals from 1954 to 1960, winning five premierships, including three in a row from 1955 to 1957. Television coverage began with direct telecasts of the final quarter permitted. At first, several channels competed through broadcasting different games. However, when the VFL found that television was reducing crowds, it decided that no coverage was to be allowed for 1960. In 1961, replays were introduced although direct telecasts were permitted in Melbourne. In 1959, the VFL planned the first purpose built mega-stadium, VFL Park, to give it some independence from the Melbourne Crick
Kicking is a skill used in many types of football, including: Association football Australian rules football International rules football American football Canadian football Gaelic football Rugby league Rugby unionKicking is the act of propelling a ball by striking it with the foot or, depending upon the sport, the shin. Kicking is most common in Association Football, where only the two goalkeepers are allowed to use their hands, it is the primary method of transferring the ball in Australian rules football and Gaelic football. Whereas most sports allow points to be scored by methods other than kicking, in Australian rules football kicking for goal is the only method allowed to score a goal and get the maximum six point score. Kicking is used less in Rugby League, Rugby Union, American football, Canadian football, may be restricted to specialist positions, but it is still an important tactical skill in each sport; the range of kicking styles available is influenced by the shape of the ball and the rules.
Tackle (football move)
Most forms of football have a move known as a tackle. The primary and important purposes of tackling are to dispossess an opponent of the ball, to stop the player from gaining ground towards goal or to stop them from carrying out what they intend; the word is used in some contact variations of football to describe the act of physically holding or wrestling a player to the ground. In others, it describes one or more methods of contesting for possession of the ball, it can therefore be used as both a defensive or attacking move. In Middle Dutch, the verb tacken meant to handle. By the 14th century, this had come to be used for the equipment used for fishing, referring to the rod and reel, etc. and for that used in sailing, referring to rigging, equipment, or gear used on ships. By the 18th century, a similar use was applied to harnesses or equipment used with horses. Modern use in football comes from the earlier sport of rugby, where the word was used in the 19th century. In American football and Canadian football, to tackle is to physically interfere with the forward progress of a player in possession of the ball, such that his forward progress ceases and is not resumed, or such that he is caused to touch some part of his body to the ground other than his feet or hands, or such that he is forced to go out of bounds.
In any such case, the ball becomes dead, the down is over, play ceases until the beginning of the next play. A tackle is known as a quarterback sack when the quarterback is tackled at or behind the line of scrimmage while attempting to throw a pass. A tackle for loss indicates a tackle that causes a loss of yardage for the opposing running back or wide receiver; this happens when the quarterback is sacked, when either a rusher or a receiver is tackled behind the line of scrimmage, or when the ball is fumbled behind the line of scrimmage and was picked up by an offensive player who does not manage to move past the line before being tackled. When a player who does not have the ball is taken down, it is referred to as a block. Tacklers are not required to wrap their arms around the ball carrier before bringing him to the ground. Tackles can be made by grabbing the ball carrier's jersey and pulling him to the ground; as mentioned above, the referee can declare that a play is dead if the ball carrier's forward progress has been stopped if he has not been taken to the ground.
To protect players from catastrophic injury, there are some restrictions on tackles and blocks. At no time may a defensive player tackle an offensive player by grabbing the facemask of their helmet. Although spear tackles are allowed in gridiron football, a player may not use his helmet to tackle an opponent as the technique can cause serious injury to both players and warrants a 15-yard penalty as well as a fresh set of downs if committed by the defending team. A similar penalty is assessed to any player attempting to make contact with his helmet against another opponent's helmet, known as a helmet-to-helmet collision. Grabbing a ball carrier by the pads behind his neck and pulling him down is known as a "horse collar", a method, made illegal at all levels of American football, it is illegal to tackle a player who has thrown a forward pass after he has released the ball. However, in the NFL a player can continue forward for one step, which means that a player, committed to attacking the quarterback will still make a tackle.
Place kickers and punters are afforded an greater protection from being tackled. Once the play is ruled complete, no contact is permitted. Blocks that occur in the back of the legs and below the knees, initiated below the waist, or clotheslines are generally prohibited and players who use them are subject to much more severe penalties than other illegal tackles. However, a player who plays on the line can block below the knees as long the block is within five yards of the line and the player they block is in front of them and not engaged by another blocker. In the National Football League, tackles are tracked as an unofficial statistic by a scorekeeper hired by the home team. Though the statistic is cited, the league does not verify that the counts are accurate. Unlike other codes, tackles in association football have to be predominantly directed against the ball rather than the player in possession of it; this is achieved by using either leg to wrest possession from the opponent, or sliding in on the grass to knock the ball away.
A defender is permitted to use their body to obstruct the motion of a player with the ball, this may be part of a successful tackle. Pulling a player to the ground in the style of tackle common to other codes is absent from the game. Although some contact between players is allowed, the rules of association football limit the physicality of tackles, explicitly forbidding contacts which are "careless, reckless or excessive force
West Australian Football League
The West Australian Football League is an Australian rules football league based in Perth, Western Australia. The WAFL is the third-most popular league in the nation, behind the nationwide Australian Football League and South Australian National Football League; the league consists of nine teams, which play each other in a 24-round season lasting from March to September, with the top five teams playing off in a finals series, culminating in a Grand Final. The league runs reserves and colts competitions; the WAFL was founded in 1885 as the West Australian Football Association, has undergone a variety of name changes since re-adopting its current name in 2001. For most of its existence, the league was considered one of the traditional "big three" Australian rules football leagues, along with the Victorian Football League and South Australian National Football League. However, since the introduction of two Western Australia-based clubs into the VFL – the West Coast Eagles in 1987 and the Fremantle Football Club in 1995 – the popularity and standard of the league has decreased to the point where it is considered a feeder competition to the AFL.
Although payments are made to players, it is considered to be a semi-professional competition. A salary cap of A$200,000 per club is in place; the league is affiliated with the two Western Australia-based AFL clubs. Players who are not selected to play with their respective AFL clubs instead play for allocated clubs in the WAFL; the competition is governed by the West Australian Football Commission, based at Subiaco Oval. There are ten teams that compete in the WAFL: a Claremont played at the Claremont Showgrounds from 1925 to 1927 and again from 2014 until 2016 when Claremont Oval was closed for re-development, at Subiaco Oval from 1945 to 1947 when Claremont Oval was being rebuilt after a grandstand fire in 1944. B East Fremantle played at Fremantle Oval from 1898 to 1952, excluding a period in 1906 where home games were played at East Fremantle Oval. C East Perth played at Wellington Square from 1902 to 1909, at Perth Oval from 1910 to 1987 and from 1990 to 1999, at the WACA Ground during 1988 and 1989.
D Perth played at the WACA Ground from 1899 to 1958 and during 1987 and 1988. E Subiaco played at Shenton Park between 1901 and 1905, at Mueller Park in 1906 and 1907, at Subiaco Oval from 1908 to 2003. F West Perth played at Leederville Oval from 1915 to 1993. Ten other clubs competed in the competition: Fremantle Football Club was known as Unions Football Club from 1886 to 1889.a Up until the turn of the century, there were a limited number of grounds available for use by the clubs, with all clubs sharing the different grounds. As such, the Esplanade Park and Fremantle Park in Fremantle, the Old Recreation Ground and the New Recreation Ground in Perth were all used as "home" grounds by the above teams. B The High School withdrew from the competition due to lack of players two rounds into the inaugural season. C Rovers were a "wandering" team – they had no home ground, drew players from all over the metropolitan area. D West Australian Football Club merged with Victorians in 1889 to form the Metropolitan Football Club, which in turn became the West Perth Football Club.
The WAFL has a salary cap in place. In 2016 the Total Player Payments cap is $294,000 for the non-AFL aligned clubs, while the cap for East Perth and Peel Thunder is $191,100. In January 2015, the WAFL executive announced. Under the arrangement, Seven agreed to a three-year deal involving the telecast of 18 home and away matches as well as all Finals matches, broadcast throughout Western Australia; the WAFL match of the round was broadcast on ABC throughout Western Australia every Saturday afternoon during the regular home and away season. Matches were replayed nationwide on-demand from the ABC iView service and re-broadcast on the ABC2 channel early Friday morning at 2.30 am local time. Radio stations which cover the competition include 720 ABC Perth, ABC Grandstand Digital, 91.3 SportFM, 107.3 HFM and KIX Country Digital. Since 2015, the current major sponsor of the WAFL Premiership is Telecommunications Company Optus. Prior to that, AAMI were major sponsors of the league. Attendance at WAFL matches dropped when each of the two Western Australian based AFL teams entered the league.
In recent years, however the attendances have increased with 2009 recording the first combined annual attendance of more than 200,000 since 1994. A largest recent crowd was 24,638 at the 2010 WAFL Grand Final between Swan Districts and Claremont at Subiaco Oval; the all-time attendance record is 52,781 in 1979 for East Fremantle v South Fremantle at Subiaco Oval. Patrons at the WAFL pay at the gates; the following are the most recent attendance figures. Organised football in the Perth/Fremantle region of Western Australia dates back to 1881. Back though rugby union was the dominant football code, with only one senior club, "Unions", playing Australian Rules. In 1883 a second club, "Swans", but Australian Rules' growth remained much subdued compared to that of Victoria and South Australia. However, in those days many young men of Perth's wealthier families were educated in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. On returning home from there they wished to play the sport they'd grown up with and no doubt exerted some influence on their less affluent peers as to such.
Coincidentally, the press at the time reported there was a growing dissatisfaction with rugby as a spectacle. During the 1880s, the discoveries of gold
The Coleman Medal is awarded yearly to the Australian Football League player who kicks the most goals in home-and-away matches in that year. It is named after John Coleman, the former Essendon full forward whose career of 537 goals in 98 games was cut short by injury. Although only instituted in 1981, retrospective Coleman Medals were presented in 2004, dating back to 1955, the first season after Coleman's retirement. Winners prior to that were retrospectively awarded Leading Goalkicker Medals; the winners of the Coleman Medal are: Awarded prior to 1955 to the scorer of most goals in the home and away season. AFL Women's leading goalkicker Leading goalkickers.
Essendon Football Club
The Essendon Football Club, nicknamed the Bombers, is a professional Australian rules football club that plays in the Australian Football League, the sport's premier competition. Thought to have formed in 1872, the club played its first recorded game on 7 June 1873 against a Carlton Second 20, winning 1 goal to nil; the club played a senior club in the Victorian Football Association in 1878, one year after the VFA formed. It is associated with Essendon, a suburb in the north-west of Melbourne, Victoria. Since 2013, the club has been headquartered at The Hangar, Melbourne Airport, plays its home games at either Docklands Stadium or the Melbourne Cricket Ground. While it stopped playing games at the ground thereafter, Windy Hill remained its training and administration base until the end of 2013. Dyson Heppell is the current team captain. A founding member club of both the Victorian Football Association, in 1877, the Victorian Football League, in 1896, Essendon is one of Australia's best-known football clubs.
Essendon has won 16 VFL/AFL premierships, along with Carlton, is the most of any club in the competition. The club won four consecutive VFA premierships between 1891 and 1894, a feat unmatched in VFA/VFL history; the club was founded by members of the Royal Agricultural Society, the Melbourne Hunt Club and the Victorian Woolbrokers. The Essendon Football Club is thought to have formed in 1872 at a meeting it the home of a well-known brewery family, the McCrackens, whose Ascot Vale property hosted a team of local junior players. Robert McCracken, the owner of several city hotels, was the founder and first president of the Essendon Football club and his son, its first secretary. Alex became president of the newly formed VFL. Alex's cousin, Collier McCracken, who had played with Melbourne, was the team's first captain; the club played its first recorded match against the Carlton second twenty on 7 June 1873, with Essendon winning by one goal. Essendon played 13 matches in its first season, losing two.
The club was one of the inaugural junior members of the Victorian Football Association in 1877, began competing as a senior club from the 1878 season. During its early years in the Association, Essendon played its home matches at Flemington Hill, but moved to the East Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1881. In 1878, Essendon played in the first match on what would be considered by modern standards to be a full-sized field at Flemington Hill. In 1879 Essendon played Melbourne in one of the earliest night matches recorded when the ball was painted white. In 1883 the team played four matches in eight days in Adelaide: losing to Norwood, defeating Port Adelaide, a combined South Australian team, South Adelaide. In 1891 Essendon won their first VFA premiership, which they repeated in 1892, 1893 and 1894. One of the club's greatest players, Albert Thurgood played for the club during this period, making his debut in 1892. Essendon was undefeated in the 1893 season. At the end of the 1896 season Essendon along with seven other clubs formed the Victorian Football League.
Essendon's first VFL game was in 1897 was against Geelong at Corio Oval in Geelong. Essendon won its first VFL premiership by winning the 1897 VFL finals series. Essendon again won the premiership in 1901; the club won successive premierships in 1911 and 1912 over Collingwood and South Melbourne respectively. The club is recorded as having played at Glass' Paddock and Flemington Hill, it is that these are three different names for the one ground, given that McCracken's Paddock was a parcel of land that sat within the larger Glass's Paddock which in turn was situated in an area known at the time as Flemington Hill. In 1882 the club moved home games to the East Melbourne Cricket Ground, after an application to play on the Essendon Cricket Ground was voted down by Lord Mayor James Taylor on the basis that City of Essendon the mayor considered the Essendon Cricket Ground "to be suitable only for the gentleman's game of cricket",The club became known by the nickname "the Same Old Essendon", from the title and hook of the principal song performed by a band of supporters which occupied a section of the grandstand at the club's games.
The nickname first appeared in print in the local North Melbourne Advertiser in 1889, ended up gaining wide use as the diminutive "Same Olds". This move away from Essendon, at a time when fans would walk to their local ground, didn't go down too well with many Essendon people, it was known firstly as Essendon Town and, after 1905, as Essendon. After the 1921 season, the East Melbourne Cricket Ground was closed and demolished to expand the Flinders Street Railyard. Having played at the East Melbourne Cricket Ground from 1882 to 1921, having won four VFA premierships and four VFL premierships whilst there, Essendon was looking for a new home, was offered grounds at the current Royal Melbourne Showgrounds, at Victoria Park, at Arden St, North Melbourne, the Essendon Cricket Ground; the Essendon City Council offered the team the Essendon Cricket Ground, announcing that it would be pre
Laws of Australian rules football
The rules of Australian rules football were first formed by the Melbourne Football Club in 1859, been refined over the years as the game evolved into its modern form. The laws predate the advent of a governing body for the sport; the first national and international body, the Australasian Football Council, was formed in 1905 to govern Australian Football. Since 1994, the rules for the game known as Australian football have been governed by the AFL and the organisation's Laws of the Game committee. Australian rules football 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: including rules against running too far with the ball, throwing the ball and holding the ball.
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. If a player marks the ball, they are allowed a free kick; this encourages marking contests. 18 players are permitted to be on the field per team at any one time, with an additional 4 players on an interchange bench. The equipment needed to play the game is minimal; as in other kinds of football, players wear boots with stops in the soles, a thick, strong shirt or jumper known as a guernsey sleeveless, although long sleeve jumpers are sometimes worn in cold weather by some players. Protective gear is minimal. Most players wear a mouthguard but only a few wear a helmet a bicycle style helmet with a soft outer covering, only after medical advice, such as if they have been concussed numerous times; some players, predominantly ruckmen, wear shin guards.
All protective equipment must be approved by the umpires to ensure that it can not injure other players. The game is played on a grassed oval. Four posts, aligned in a straight line, 6.4 metres apart from each other, are erected at either end of the oval. The size of the ground is not fixed, but is between 135-185m long and 110-155m wide. Lines are drawn on the field to mark the boundary, a 50m-wide centre square a diamond shape, two concentric circles in the centre with diameters 3m and 10m, both bisected by one line, a 9×6.4m goal square at each end of the ground, a 15m-wide "interchange area" on one flank of the oval. A curved line at each end, 50 metres from the goal line Prior to a ground redevelopment at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the "Fifty Metre Lines" were replaced by 45m lines due to the ground's short length, to avoid overlapping with the centre square. In the 1980s, 25m lines were used in Western Australia; the game is a fast-paced combination of speed, athleticism and physical toughness.
Players are allowed to tackle the player with the ball and impede opposition players from tackling their teammates, but not to deliberately strike an opponent. Like most team sports, tactics are based around trying to get the ball – through a combination of running with the ball, hand-passing and kicking – to deliver it to a player, within range of goal; because taking a mark entitles the player to a free kick, a common tactic is to attempt to kick the ball on the full to a teammate, within kicking range of goal. In this situation, packs of players form around the goal square, the opportunity arises for spectacular marks in which players launch themselves off opponents' backs to mark the ball, high in the air; this particular skill is regarded as a spectacle, an annual "Mark of the Year" is awarded at the end of a season. There are no set positions in the rules of the game, but traditionally the field was divided into three major sections: the forward line, back line, midfield; the forward and back lines consisted of six players, arranged into two lines of three players each.
The midfield consists of the designated ruckman and players who either stay in the centre area of the ground or follow the ball and are not confined to a particular area. The modern game, has discarded positional play in favour of a free flowing running game and attempting to have loose men in various positions on the ground; the rise in popularity of the hand-pass since the 1970s has influenced this style of play, with players more willing to follow the ball and move it amongst themselves rather than kicking long to a one-on-one marking contest. In the late 1990s a tactic known as flooding was devised and shifted focus away from set positions; when a team "plays a flood", they direct two or more of their midfield or forward line players into their defence, thus out-numbering their opponent and making it difficult for any opposing forward to take an uncon