The beginner’s guide to watching AFL

The beginner’s guide to watching AFL

The beginner’s guide to watching AFL


There’s nothing more frustrating than having a partner that lives and breathes Aussie Rules when you don’t. Nothing shows your love, like trying to show an appreciation for their favourite sport. However, it can be difficult when you don’t have a clue on what’s going on.

Our basic guide to AFL will help show your partner you’re making a real effort to embrace their passion.

Ultimately, the goal of the game is to get the ball to the other end of the field. It’s not rocket science to figure that part out.

There are two teams, each with 18 players. The idea is for the team to kick the ball through the middle two posts to win six points. If the ball misses going through the middle and goes left or right, or hits a post before going through, only one point is awarded. It seems simple enough right?

There are four 20-minute periods. The team who has the most points at the end wins, which then gives them a higher ranking on the ladder for the season. The top teams at the end of the season have playoffs against each other to be the ultimate winners.

Here’s where it gets a bit more technical, players are allowed to run with the ball, but it must be bounced every 15 metres, otherwise they forfeit the ball to the opposition team.

Players are also allowed to pass the ball to other teammates, but this must be done by a kick or handball.

A distinguishing feature of AFL is known as the ‘mark’. This is a player, on either team who manages to catches a ball kicked from 15 metres or even further away. The player then has possession of the ball on the exact spot where it was caught. The opposition team are not allow to attempt to tackle the ball catcher until the player passes or moves. It’s good form to try and mark near the opposing team’s goal, so there’s a relatively good chance of scoring six points for your team.

Things you can yell during the match or scream at the TV to impress your partner

  1. High and long (with passion several times)
  2. Now use it!
  3. Go again!!
  4. Stay tight!
  5. Get up!
  6. Dig a hole and bury ‘em
  7. Get out of it umpire
  8. Yell ‘ball’ every time someone from the opposition is tackled
  9. About time ump, it’s been happening all game.
  10. Turn and go
  11. You couldn’t kick a ball on a navy submarine
  12. Are you blind, ump?!

Now that you’re armed with the basics and a selection of things you can scream mid-match, all you need is a AFL fangear so you look the part. Now you’re ready for the season. Enjoy!