Monday, April 5, 2010

Footy game- We just love the footy!

So this post is probably more relevant to non-Aussies, because if you are Australian you undoubtedly no a whole lot more about footy than I do! We went to our first game today and it was so much fun! It was Geelong vs. Hawthorne, we kind of arbitrarily chose to cheer for Geelong because: a) we've been to Geelong and b) their colors are white and blue which were the same colors as both my high school and university. 

Ten of the sixteen AFL teams are located in and around Melbourne, so they really love their footy here. Each weekend, late March through August, you can see people moving around the city in their team colors, scarves and hats. Melbourne has two AFL stadiums, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (East Melbourne) and Etihad Stadium (Docklands). The game we went to was at the MCG, which is the largest stadium in Australia and home to the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Sorry, I forgot my camera, so these pics are just from my iphone.
The game itself was one of the more entertaining sports that I have seen. I loved that there were no time-outs, no real stopping the game (even for injuries). The concept is simple: Kick the ball through the goal. Between the two highest posts you score a goal (6 points), between one of the smaller posts you score a behind (1 point).
Then there are lots of other rules that you'll pickup as you continue to watch. In my case you'll wonder what's going on and ask a lot of questions. Here are a few of the rules hat will help you make bit more sense of this Australian game:
1) A player may run with the ball but it must be bounced or touched on the ground at least once every 15 metres.
2) The ball can be propelled in any direction by way of a foot, clenched fist or open-hand tap but it cannot be thrown under any circumstances.
3) Opposition players may bump or tackle the player to obtain the ball
4) If a player takes possession of the ball that has travelled more than 15 metres from another player's kick, by way of a catch, it is claimed as a mark and that player may then have a free kick (I noticed this was one of the best ways to score a goal).

So there's your quick run-down, it's a really fun sport to watch and if you want to assimilate into Aussie culture, you should probably go to a game and at least have an idea of what all the fuss is about :) 

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