Many people today equate Australian football with rugby and American football. Although there are similarities, there are also several differences. Keep reading and find out the key differences between these sports.
The concept of rugby encompasses all sports connected with football, so Australian and American football, but today that term is only about rugby union and rugby league. It was developed in the school Rugby in England. American football is certainly known to be developed from rugby in the United States in the late 19th century, but the origin of Australian football is still the subject of debate. One theory is that it is also developed from rugby, and some believe that it existed before the rugby. It is known that the first game of Australian football was played in 1858 in Melbourne from where are the most famous clubs. The first official rules were written a year later. Initially, it was played only in the state of Victoria, and later spread throughout Australia as the AFL formed. In Europe, the first club was founded in England, 1920.
The first professional American football game was played in a little later than the Australian, in 1895, but has gained popularity in the mid 20th century while rugby union became a professional sport only after 1995 and that in a dozen countries.
About differences: there are many, starting with the dimensions of the field, the balls, the number of players to the rules. Australian Rules Football is played on an oval field that should be long between 135 and 185 meters and wide between 110 and 150 meters. The game is played with 18 players and three possible substitutes. Playground of Rugby Union can be long up to 100 meters where are included the area behind the goal and must not be wider than 70 meters. Each team consists of 15 players and are entitled to seven substitutes. American football is played with a minimum of players, only 11, but are entitled to an unlimited number of substitutes. The playground has a maximum length of 110 and a width of 49 meters.
Duration of the game is also different, but it is quite similar. In Australian football, the game is divided into four periods in duration of 20 minutes without extra time stoppage, while in the American football per 15 minutes. Rugby union match lasts 80 minutes, with two halves of 40 minutes with possible extra time stoppage. Balls are egg-shaped, but differ.
Australian Rules football are as follows. Passing could be with hands and feet, but after every 15 meters must be confirmed by the ball hitting the ground. Scored a goal can bring 6 points when a player hits the ball or 1 point when a defensive player transferred the ball over the goal line. After a goal, the ball is returned to the center. Players could be excluded temporary (yellow card) or for the entire game (red card). In this case, the player can not be replaced. It is characteristic for this sport that players do not wear any protective equipment as opposed to American football.
Points in Rugby Union are achieved by touching down the ball into space behind the opponent’s goal line. Players compete for possession of the ball after felling, so long as the ball is on the ground by the downed player who must drop if the downed (ruck) or can form a collection of players in possession of the ball (maul). It is allowed the protective equipment, but it is much more modest than in American football. It covers mouthguard and protective equipment for head, shoulder and collarbone.
American football is the crudest of these sports. The point is to score a goal as with previous footballs. Team is entitled to four attempts to attack and if they do not cross 10 yards (1 yard = 91.44 cm) lose the right to possession of the ball. The second team is to stop the attack and when scores a goal or loses possession of the ball right roles change. This sport has been criticized for its brutality and is in some American schools banned to play fool contact football. Players must wear full protective equipment including helmets, protectors for shoulder, chest, knees and other parts of the body.
We all differ and so it is with mentioned sports: they are not for everyone. Australian Rules Football and Rugby Union are certainly more dynamic than American football for which you have to be strong and high in contrast to the Australian players who can play players no matter about their height and weight. Also Australian Football is not a tough sport, which proves that the players do not wear protective gear.
If you are interested in Australian football, join one of our teams and see for yourself why this sport becomes more popular year after year.