One of the greatest joys of living in Australia is witnessing the local sports that are played here. While sports of every kind enjoy great prominence in the country, there are certain sports that are indigenous to the land of Australia. Australian Rules Football is one such sport.
Australian Rules Football can be best described as a contact sport that is played on a big oval cricket pitch and wherein a spheroid ball is involved. When you discuss Aussies in professional sports, you are bound to mention Australian Rules Football. Many sports experts, who have studied Australian Rules Football extensively, have stated that it is a good mix of rugby and soccer.
Just like soccer, the positions have been spread out in Australian Rules Football. However, no pads are involved here. Because of the kind of pace the game has, many have compared it to hockey as well. Fans have drawn parallels between the footy ball the rugby ball and American football.
Relevance in Today’s Times
The popularity of Australian Rules Football in Australia is equal to, if not more, than the craze for cricket and rugby. If you follow sports news, you will realise the kind of impact the game has on the consciousness of people based in Australia. It is important to note here that all these three sports enjoy much more popular than soccer in the country.
When Australian Football League organises an Australian Rules Football match, stadiums get filled with fans and the proceedings of the match are one thing every sports fanatic in the country discusses. Across the world, the Australian Football League emerges as one of the most popular sports leagues that are attended by people of different ethnicities and backgrounds. According to a report, every year around 10% of Australian residents, on average, turn up to watch the AFL matches.
Australian Football’s History
While there are many professional footballers playing Australian Rules Football today, it was a sport that started off in a school. Tom Wills, a legendary Australian sportsman from the 19th century, has been credited with giving birth and shape to Australian football. While studying at an English grammar school, Wills extensively studied the rules involved in playing rugby. While rugby sport in Australia had always been popular, he thought of creating a new hybrid sport that would appeal to sports fanatics in the country.
As Wills moved back to Australia in the 1850s, he laid the foundation of a football club so that one would stay engaged during the cricket off-season. Along with a few of his friends and acquaintances, he launched the Melbourne Football Club. This club, which was founded in the year 1858, was responsible for organising the first-ever organised competition in the world for student-athletes.
A bunch of rules was designed and codified for the sport soon enough. The Geelong Football Club, the second club to encourage players to partake in Australian Rules Football, was set up in the year 1859.
Australian Rules Football is one sport that Australia can take pride in developing on its own. Such is the popularity of Australian Rules Football that fans based out of Australia, too, keep a track of it. If you wish to get the latest news on Australian Rules Football or looking for a reliable source for your daily dose of football updates or football news, you should check out sportyjones.com.