What Is Australian Football? Basic Guide

Australian Football

What Is Australian Football? 

Australian football (often referred to as “AFL“) is a unique hybrid of rugby, soccer, and Gaelic football. It is played on an oval-shaped field by two teams consisting of 18 players each.

The object of the game is for players to kick an oval-shaped ball between two tall goalposts located at each end of the field. Points are scored when the ball passes between the posts, or one team kicks it into their opponents’ goal area. 

The History of Australian Football 

Australian football has been around since 1858 when Tom Wills wrote what some had called the first rules for any form of football in Australia. Since then, it has gone through many iterations until finally being standardized into what we know today as Australian Football or AFL.

The sport had grown in popularity over time – especially after World War II when more people started playing it around Australia – ultimately leading to its current status as Australia’s national sport. 


Successful teams in Australian Football employ various strategies designed to take advantage of their opponent’s weaknesses while also playing smart defense to protect against scoring opportunities for their opponents.

These strategies include setting up zones around particular areas on the field; using specific formations and plays; and employing tactics such as handballing (a form of passing) or kicking long downfield passes in order to gain ground quickly and score quickly before your opponents can react.

What Equipment Do You Need?

The Ball: Australian Football balls are oval-shaped and made of leather. They are inflated to a pressure of between 30 and 40 psi.

Player’s Boots: Boots must be soft, supple leather and have rounded studs on the sole. They must also be comfortable so players can run and change direction quickly without slipping.

Shorts, Socks, and Shirt: Shorts should be loose fitting so they do not restrict movement, and socks should be long enough to protect the shins from being hit by the ball or another player’s boot. The shirt must have a number on the back so spectators and officials can easily identify players.

Mouthguard: Protect their teeth and gums from injury. Mouthguards must be comfortable so that players can breathe freely, and they should be made of shock-absorbent material to protect the teeth from impact.

The Rules of Australian Football 

Australian football is played between two teams of 18 players on an oval-shaped field. The object is to kick the ball through the two tall posts at either end of the field for a goal (worth 6 points) or between the two shorter posts at either end for an “overhead” kick (worth 1 point). 

Players can also mark possession by catching the ball from a kick by another player (worth 1 point). Players are allowed to tackle each other to gain possession of the ball, but they must do so within certain rules and regulations set out by the governing body – the AFL.


Australian football has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its fast pace and exciting nature. It has also been gaining traction worldwide, with games being played in countries such as Japan, China, Canada, and New Zealand, in addition to its native Australia.

Where Can I Play Australian Football?

A few options are available if you’re looking to play Australian football. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a local club or league that offers the sport. You can also check with your local sports authority or governing body to see if they have any information on where to find a game near you.

Whatever route you choose, playing Australian football can be a great way to stay active and meet new people.