It’s Saturday, and our travel pics theme is A for Australia – so, to mark the day, it’s an Aussie Rules game.
For those from overseas that haven’t seen a game, it’s Australia’s most popular code of Football, played on an oval pitch with 18 players a side.
Unlike English Football (soccer), you are allowed to pick the ball up – but unlike Rugby or Rugby League, you can’t run with the ball.
It’s a kicking and catching game .. as long as you take the ball cleanly from a kick, that’s called a mark .. and you can then take your time kicking to another player.
But if you don’t catch it on the full, you have to dispose of the ball before you can be tackled .. making it an incredibly free-flowing game.
The average player might run 40 kms in the course of a game. Yes, that’s a marathon every week.
The game appears to be a lot like Gaelic football .. but it also may owe a lot to a game played by Indigenous Australians called “Marn Grook” (although that’s a controversial claim).
It was devised as a way to keep cricketers fit in winter, but has gone on to be like a religion in the southern states – only more important!
In any case, Aussie Rules is uniquely Australian, and every overseas visitor should try to get to a game – or at least watch it in the pub 🙂