Australian rules football is the australian national sport, and the most popular sport in Australia. Records show that the sport originates from Melbourne and indicate that games have been played since 1841. The true origin of the game is debated until this very day. What we know for sure is that the first official game was played in Melbourne in 1858. and the official rules where introduced in 1859. In the beginning australian football was limited to the state of Victoria and the league was called VFL (Victorian Football League). During the years the sport spread accross the continent and in 1989 the AFL (Australian Football League) was formed. At the moment the AFL counts 20 clubs. During the season clubs compete in the league and the best 8 enter the playoffs. Their goal is to reach the greatest event of the season, the Grand Final. AFL is the third most visited sports league in the world with the average of 32.000 spectators per game. Today there are federations and leagues throughout the world. The first club founded in Europe was ARFC at the University of Oxford in 1920, while today Europe counts 21 leagues including Croatia. All joined in the AFL Europe.
RULES OF THE GAME
Australian football is a team sport which is played with 18 players a side, on a cricket or similar oval field. The field dimensions are 135-185 meters long and 110-150 meters wide. The ball is oval shaped but different from the one used in rugby and american football. The ball can be passed both by foot and hand in any direction. Game purpose is to score a goal between the middle posts which counts as 6 points. Scoring through the outter posts counts as 1. The legal way of stopping an opposing player in possesion of the ball is by tackling him. Duration of the game is 4×20 minutes and the players can be substituted at any time.
The difference between rugby, american football and australian football (Source: visual.ly)
AFL Explained (Source: AFL Community, YT)