Goal of the Year (AFL)
The Goal of the Year is a competition for the best goal kicked in the Australian Football League during that season. It is run in conjunction with the Mark of the Year competition and is sponsored by Coates Hire; the winner is awarded the Phil Manassa Medal. The concept of awards for the goal and mark of the year is thought to have been initiated in 1970, as an unofficial award given by the media to Alex Jesaulenko following his famous mark in that season's grand final; the official awards were first given in 2001. Eddie Betts has been awarded Goal of the Year on three occasions, the most of any player, is the only player to win the award in consecutive seasons; each week, three of the best goals of the round are selected as nominees. A panel of AFL selectors choose the winning goal of the round. For the first time in 2006, the general public are able to vote for nominated marks via the AFL's website; the results of the public voting are combined with the panel's votes. Any one of the goals of the round is able to win the official Goal of the Year.
The overall winner is selected from the 25 weekly winners by the AFL All Australian selection committee. The winner receives the Phil Manassa Medal, a replica of the perpetual Toyota AFL Goal of the Year Trophy, use of a Toyota Aurion for twelve months, $10,000 for their grassroots football club; the winner will be announced on Grand Final day. Goal of the Year is awarded to a player who creates and scores a difficult goal in play, it has been the quality of the creation of the goal which determines the winner, rather than the difficulty of the shot itself. As such kicking a goal from the boundary line will not guarantee a player Goal of the Year, but if they have roved the ball cleanly off a pack or won the ball by stealing or smothering it from an opponent they will come into Goal of the Year calculations. Players are often rewarded for orchestrating a long run down the field which ends with a big goal on the run: Daniel Kerr in 2003 and Michael McGuane in 1994 are memorable examples. Many of the best goals in the VFL/AFL were featured in a VHS/DVD named Golden Goals.
Legend Legend AFL Goal of the Year Competition YouTube video of the Goals of the Year in 2005 YouTube video of the Goals of the Year in 2002 YouTube video of Robbie Ahmat's Goal of the Year in 2000 YouTube video of Mark Merends's Goal of the Year in 2001 YouTube video of Andrew Bews's Goal of the year in 1985 YouTube video of Peter Bosustow's Goal of the Year in 1981
Referee (association football)
In association football, the referee is the person responsible for enforcing the Laws of the Game during the course of a match. He or she is the final decision-making authority on all facts connected with play, is the only official on the pitch with the authority to start and stop play and impose disciplinary action against players during a match. At most levels of play the referee is assisted by two assistant referees, who are empowered to advise the referee in certain situations such as the ball leaving play or infringements of the Laws of the Game occurring out of the view of the referee. At higher levels of play the referee may be assisted by a fourth official who supervises the teams' technical areas and assists the referee with administrative tasks, and, at the highest levels, additional assistant referees and/or video assistant referees. Referees' remuneration for their services varies between leagues. Many are wholly amateur, some may be paid a small fee or reimbursed for expenses, and, in some countries, a limited number of referees – those who officiate in their country's top league – are employed full-time by their national associations and receive a retainer at the start of every season plus match fees.
Referees are licensed and trained by the same national organisations that are members of FIFA. Each national organisation recommends its top officials to FIFA to have the additional honour of being included on the FIFA International Referees List. International games between national teams require FIFA officials. Otherwise, the local national organisation determines the manner of training and advancement of officials from the youngest youth games through professional matches; the referee's powers and duties are described by Law 5 of the Laws of the Game. These include: Powers stopping, suspending or terminating the match at their discretion, for any infringements of the Laws. An injured player may only return to the field of play, they are not obliged to take this action but must do so when the ball next goes out of play. Duties enforcing the Laws of the Game; the player may only return on receiving a signal from the referee, who must be satisfied that the bleeding has stopped. As per Law 9 of the game, if during the game the ball hits the referee there is no stoppage in play.
However the officials would be expected to position themselves such that this would be unlikely to occur. Modern day referees and their assistants wear a uniform consisting of a jersey, badge and socks: until the 1950s it was more common for a referee to wear a blazer than a jersey. Traditionally that uniform was always all black, unless one of the teams was wearing a dark jersey in which case the referee would wear another colour of jersey to distinguish themself from both teams. At the 1994 World Cup finals, new jerseys were introduced that gave officials a choice of burgundy, yellow or white, at the same time the creation of the Premier League in England saw referees wear green jerseys: both changes were motivated by television considerations. Since most referees have worn either yellow or black, but the colours and styles adopted by individual associations vary greatly. For international contests under the supervision of FIFA, Adidas uniforms are worn because Adidas is the current sponsor.
FIFA allows referees to wear five colours: black, yellow and blue. Along with the jersey, referees are required to wear black shorts, black socks, black shoes; the badge, which displays the referee's license level and year of validity, is affixed to the left chest pocket. All referees carry a whistle, a watch, penalty cards, a data wallet with pen and paper, a coin for determining which team has the choice of ends or kick-off. Most are encouraged to have more than one of each on them in case they drop a whistle or a pen
Handball (Australian rules football)
Handball or handpass is a skill in the sport of Australian rules football. It is the primary means of disposing of the football by hand, is executed by holding the ball with one hand and punching it with the other. Handball is a method of disposing of possession of the football by hand, it is the most used alternative to kicking the ball. In order to be a legal method to dispose of the ball, the player holds the ball with one hand and punches the ball away with the clenched fist of the other hand. A player punches with his dominant hand; when a player receives a handpass from another player, play continues – unlike the kick where if a player catches the ball on the full from a kick, he is entitled to take his next kick unimpeded. Failure to execute a handball is deemed a throw or illegal disposal and results in a free kick to the nearest opposition player. Moving the hand that holds the ball excessively in the direction of the handpass, using an open hand instead of a clenched fist to tap the ball away, throwing the ball off the carrying hand before punching it away, or handing the ball directly to a teammate will all attract a free kick for illegal disposal.
The rule defines it to the open hand tap/handpass in Gaelic football, but differentiates the hand skills from codes of football derived from rugby football. Unlike Gaelic football, punching the oval ball was more used as it was the most effective technique to move the heavier ball larger distances. Although the rules allowed for the handball, for most Australian rules leagues handball was a secondary skill to the kick. Strategically Australian football was viewed as a territorial sport – where the prime aim was not so much possession, but to cover as much distance through the air as possible; as the holding hand could not move, this was best achieved by means of kicking the ball as far as possible. The principally used handpass was top-spin in nature; this was used with the belief that the ball could be contained more locally and executed more off the hands when the ball was held in preparation for kicking, as smaller handpasses were used when in trouble. The other thought was that, as in tennis, a top-spun ball was more directed, dipped faster and possessed more stability in the air.
One notable variant of the handpass which began to develop was known as the flick pass, in which a player used his open hand instead of his fist to propel the ball. The legality of the flick pass has varied throughout the history of the game: it began to gain prominence in the early 1920s, before the Australian National Football Council voted to abolish it before the 1925 season, making the handpass with a clenched fist the only legal form of handpass; this was not popular, as the style of punch pass used at the time a much more cumbersome disposal than a flick pass, it resulted in the game being played at a slower pace. The flick pass was re-instated before the 1934 season. In the late 1950s and early 1960s it re-emerged as a common technique to achieve centre square clearances from scrimmages at VFL club Fitzroy. Of the 88 handballs executed during the 1961 VFL Grand Final, 18 were flick passes; the flick pass was abolished permanently in 1966. The flick pass had the significant drawback that its action was close to that of a throw, different umpires had different interpretations of what was legal.
In 1938, motivated by a desire to eliminate this inconsistency, to speed up the game further, the Victorian Football Association legalised throwing the ball, provided the throw was with two hands and both hands were below shoulder-height. The throw-pass was legal in the VFA and in some other competitions affiliated with it from 1938 until 1949, but it was never legal under ANFC rules; the emergence of handball as a more used skill took place in the 1960s and 1970s. A running handball game emerged in the South Australian National Football League with Sturt coach Jack Oatey credited with encouraging the skill through the late 1960s, leading to Sturt winning five premierships from 1966 to 1970. In Western Australia, Graham'Polly' Farmer and Barry Cable brought a new dimension to the game using handball, with Farmer looking for a runner to handpass to after each mark, to speed up the ball movement; the kick and catch style of play in the Victorian Football League is credited to the Carlton Football Club's 1970 VFL Grand Final victory under Ron Barassi, in which Carlton's extensive use of handpassing in the second half helped it recover from a 44-point half time deficit.
The modern handpass technique, known as the rocket handball, was pioneered by Kevin Sheedy. It is executed so that the ball rotates backwards in an end-to-end fashion, similar to the drop punt kick; the ball is held on a slight angle with the fist ending up in or close to the other open hand. This enables a handpass to achieve distance and speed comparable to a short kick and is easier for teammates to catch. Professional Australian footballers are competent at handballing using either punching arm. With the wide adoption of the handball in the 1980s, midfielders such as Greg Williams and Dale Weightman became handball specialists, renowned their playmaking ability by preferring to handball in the midfield. In the 1980s, Richmond Football Club wingman Kevin Bartlett became famous for a style of play which involved use of the handball to dispose of the ball before an opponent was about to tackle. Although rules were uniform across the country, local interpretations and customs var
Punt (Australian football)
The punt kick is a common style of kicking in Australian rules football. It is a kick where the ball is dropped from the players' hands and kicked off the longer center line of the ball before it hits the ground, it is the primary means of kicking the ball in Australian football and is similar to punts used tactically in other football codes, such as American and Canadian football. There are different styles of kicking depending on; the most common style of kicking seen in today's game, principally because of its superior accuracy, is the drop punt, where the ball is dropped from the hands down to the ground, to be kicked so that the ball rotates in a reverse end over end motion as it travels through the air. Other used kicks are the torpedo punt, where the ball is held flatter at an angle across the body, which makes the ball spin around its long axis in the air, resulting in extra distance, the checkside punt or "banana", kicked across the ball on the outside of the foot is used to curve the ball towards targets that are on an angle.
There is the "snap", the same as a checkside punt, except that it is kicked off the inside of the foot and curves in the opposite direction. It is possible to kick the ball so that it bounces along the ground; this is known as a dribble kick. Grubbers curve to the left or right. In a drop punt the ball is held vertically, dropped and kicked before it hits the ground, resulting in the ball spinning backwards end over end, it is the primary method of disposing the ball by foot in Australian rules football. It is considered more accurate and easier to mark than a regular punt kick, held flat and does not spin in the air. In gridiron football it is referred to as a pooch punt or quick kick, a kick used by punters when the team is too far out for a field goal and too close to kick a normal punt because the ball will go into the end zone, losing field position in the resulting touchback; the kick has replaced the less effective "coffin-corner kick", similar to rugby football's "kicking for touch" where the object was to put the ball out of bounds near the opposition goal.
Like Australian rules football drop punts, the pooch punt requires the punter to control the distance and former Australian footballers like Darren Bennett and Ben Graham are credited with increasing the popularity of this kick in the National Football League. Jack Dyer is credited with inventing the drop punt during his playing days with the Richmond Football Club. Horrie Clover and the Collier brothers and Harry, are attributed with being the first to use the kick regularly; the torpedo punt is the longest type of punt kick. In flight, the ball spins about its long axis, instead of end over end or not at all; this makes the flight of the ball more difficult to catch. In Australian rules football, the kick has become less common since the 1980s, as modern tactics have meant that accuracy has become more important than distance in field kicking; the kick may still be seen when a player needs additional distance or when a game is played in wet weather and forward movement by conventional methods is more difficult as a result.
If kicked an Australian football can travel over 60 metres, while a normal punt will travel less distance. Australian rules footballer Gordon Rattray, who played his football with the Fitzroy Football Club between 1917 and 1928, is credited as the first player to use the torpedo punt. Known as a'banana kick', the checkside punt is a kicking style used in Australian rules football, rugby league and rugby union; when kicked, it bends away from the body. For the true checkside, the ball is held with ends pointing to 2 and 8 o-clock and is kicked more off the outside of the boot with the ball spinning at an opposite direction to the swing of the leg; this enables the ball to have a greater curving effect thus opening up the face of the goals to give a larger goal face. In the early 1890s, Allen Burns, who played Australian rules with the Victorian Football Association club South Melbourne, was renowned for what seems to be an early version of the banana kick; the following is taken from newspaper reports of the match between Fitzroy and South Melbourne on Saturday 23 June 1894, played in showers of rain, on a wet and slippery ground, with a heavy and wet leather football: A mistake by the Fitzroy backs gave Allan Burns a chance at such an angle the a goal seemed impossible, his team were urging him not to try.
He has the power of screwing the ball similar to a billiard player. His second goal on Saturday was one of the impossible shots in which it was a certainty that the ball would go right past, the peculiar twist he appeared to get on as the ball darted through is one of those tricks of the game which a man should be able to patent … St Kilda Full Forward William Young is thought to be the first player to use the kick in the VFL, he had been using it in the 1940's at Victorian Country Club Stratford and there is photographic evidence
A running bounce, or bounce, is a skill in the sport of Australian rules football when a player, while running, bounces the ball on the ground and back in their hands. Regarded as "the first distinctively Victorian rule" in the code of Victorian rules football, the running bounce was first trialed in 1865 and formalised on 8 May 1866 by a committee of Victorian club delegates chaired by H. C. A. Harrison as a way to slow down the player in possession of the ball and to create more opportunities for a turn over, thus helping to increase the number of disposals and encourage more dynamic team play. Harrison himself was one of the fastest runners in the game, known for his ability to evade opponents while running the length of the field ball-in-hand. Arthur Conan Doyle considered it "very sporting of... to introduce the bouncing rule, which robbed him of his advantage." The original 1866 rule stipulated that "no player shall run with the ball unless he strikes it against the ground every five of six yards".
The rule was well-received by players and spectators alike, considered attractive to watch. Football is played with an ellipsoidal ball, rather than a spherical one, so the technique for bouncing one back to oneself while running requires practice. To execute a running bounce, a player should: Hold the ball in his preferred hand. Executed properly by a player running at a normal pace, the ball should bounce directly back into their waiting hands. Players need to readjust the distance of their bounces; when running faster, the ball must be bounced further in front of the player, when running slower, the ball must be bounced closer. At slow or stationary paces, this correction is more difficult, because it is difficult to angle the ball for the return bounce at such a short distance. Australian children learn how to execute running bounces over a few years while they play at school and in junior levels, so to top-level players, the running bounce is a natural skill. Bouncing an oval-shaped ball is still a volatile skill.
Top level players will lose the ball while bouncing it, by accidentally bouncing the ball on its point, only to see it skid away from him or her. The rules of football state that a player running on the field with the ball must take a running bounce at least once every fifteen metres. If they run too far without taking a running bounce, the umpire pays a free kick for running too far to the opposition at the position where the player oversteps his limit; the umpire signals "running too far" by rolling their clenched fists around each other – similar to false starts in American football or traveling in basketball. While the distance of 15m is explicit in the rules, the lack of markings on the ground makes it impossible for umpires to judge these free kicks. Regular watchers of football have a feel for the average time between running bounces which "feels right", umpires penalise players when they exceed this by more than a few steps. Instead of executing a running bounce, players may touch the ball onto the ground.
It must be touched with both hands or a free kick will be rewarded to the opposing team. This has the disadvantage of taking much longer, increasing the risk of being tackled by an opponent, but it has the advantage of reducing the risk of making a bad bounce and dropping the ball; this technique is used on rainy days when the mud or water on the ground makes a regulation bounce much more difficult, but is used by some players in lower levels, who have yet to master the running bounce. Running bounces are most made by attacking half-back flankers known as link-men, or by outside/receiving midfielders, they accept the ball from a rebound, have wide space in front of them to run into, giving teammates time to create options at half-forward. Link-men Jason Gram of St Kilda and Kade Simpson of Carlton, midfielders Nathan Foley and Brett Deledio of Richmond were both in the AFL-wide top 5 for running bounces in 2007; the requirement that a player performs a specialist skill in order to be allowed to run with the ball is common and necessary in many sports.
Introducing these skills prevents players from taking the ball in hand and running the length of the field unchallenged. In this way, the running bounce is related to: dribbling in basketball; the running bounce should not be confused with the ball-up often referred to as a bounce. The ball-up is an unrelated umpiring skill used to restart play from a neutral contest
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