Football surely is one of the most popular sport in Australia. But where does it come from? Australia is like England…but different. In many ways Australia is like the old country, the “mother land”. But everything is just a bit different. The politics, the education, the way of life. It’s not totally different to life in England. But it’s certainly different. Same with the football. Australian football, known as Aussie Rules or AFL, looks kind of familiar…like a hybrid of the world game – round ball football – and rugby. You can kick it, pick it up, run with it, pass it, knock the other guy over. Even the odd fist fight seems to be accepted as just part of the sport. Certainly not to get too excited about. Australians love sport of every kind. They love to participate and to watch. And “football” or “footie” is big down under. But unlike most countries in the world you have to clarify what you mean when you say “football” because there are 4 types, or codes: The round ball version that is called football in most countries. In Australia usually called soccer, despite repeated efforts to get everyone to call it football.
- Rugby Union. The 15-a-side game with that is played mostly as a non professional game in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and a few other countries.
- Rugby League. The 13-a-side game that is the professional version of rugby and played mostly in Australia, New Zealand, England and France.
- Australian Rules Football. The hybrid game that is only really played in Australia.
- Aussie Rules is said to have its origins in the Irish game, Gaelic Football, and it certainly shares that games physicality. This is not a game for pretty boys and fans love to hear the crunch of players colliding.