Australian Rules Football – How is It Played?

Australian Rules Football is a homegrown game popularly referred as Aussie rules, Footy or Football. The game has its origin in Australia, and it is an exceptional sporting experience for Australians as it is not played competently in any other country. The idea behind the rules is to explain in details how a game of Australian Football is played and seek to achieve the objectives below:

  • Make sure the Australian Football game is fairly played, and the spirit of true sportsmanship is maintained.
  • Avoid injuries to the participating players in a match

Aussie Rules

The game

Fundamentally, it is a game of two opposing teams trying to score goals and complete the match with the highest points tally. To score a goal you have to kick the football via the taller posts -goal posts- and it is equal to 6 points. When the ball passes between the shorter posts on the outside –the rear posts- a behind is scored which is worth 1 point.


The game includes two teams of 22 players with only 18 players from either of the teams on the field at the given time. The extra four players can substitute on and off during the match. The changes any team can make are limitless.


The match goes for four quarters, each 20 minutes. Since additional time is added for stops in the game several quarters end up taking around 30 minutes. The teams are required to change ends after every quarter. The entire game takes about 2 hours.

Starting The Game

The start of the match is signaled by a siren sound. The umpire bounces the ball very high in the air at the center of the field. A single player from every team attempts to tap the ball to the rest of their teammates. At the beginning of each quarter and after scoring a goal the ball is bounced at the center of the field.

Moving The Football

Each of the team attempts to get the ball, run, kick and handball it to their goals. When a player catches the ball they are allowed to a set kick and the defending team is not permitted to make any contact until he plays. Players are also allowed to make a run with the ball.


By tackling an opponent, a player can win the ball. To perform a right tackle, you should grab the ball either below the opponent’s shoulder or above the knees. While making a tackle, the players are not permitted to push an opponent in the back, and the players who are tackled should pass the ball within 1-2 seconds. When a player is caught possessing a ball with a right tackle, he is awarded a free kick. And if it is an illegal tackle a free kick is given to the player possessing the ball.


The purpose of the game is to kick goals. The scores are written in the following format: the goals come first, followed by the behinds and at the third place the total points.

The team with the highest behinds and total of goals is declared the winner.


The players are placed in five lines of three from corner to corner of the oval, with the rest three designated to the ball.

The players in every line are usually assigned as:

  • Forward line
  • Half-forward line
  • Center line
  • Back line
  • Half-back line
  • The three extra players who wander around the field.


The game has 3 umpires who control the match. Besides, there are umpires in every boundary and goal and also umpires who determine when the ball is out and throw it back in.

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