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Up to four interchange reserve players may be swapped for those on the field at any time during the game. In Australian rules terminology , these players wait for substitution "on the bench"—an area with a row of seats on the sideline. Players must interchange through a designated interchange "gate" with strict penalties for too many players from one team on the field. In addition, some leagues have each team designate one player as a substitute who can be used to make a single permanent exchange of players during a game.
There is no offside rule nor are there set positions in the rules; unlike many other forms of football, players from both teams may disperse across the whole field before the start of play. However, a typical on-field structure consists of six forwards , six defenders or "backmen" and six midfielders , usually two wingmen , one centre and three followers , including a ruckman , ruck-rover and rover.
There are also other rules pertaining to allowed player positions during set plays that is, after a mark or free kick and during kick-ins following the scoring of a behind. A game consists of four quarters and a timekeeper officiates their duration. At the professional level, each quarter consists of 20 minutes of play, with the clock being stopped for instances such as scores, the ball going out of bounds or at the umpire's discretion, e. Lower grades of competition might employ shorter quarters of play. The umpire signals time-off to stop the clock for various reasons, such as the player in possession being tackled into stagnant play.
Time resumes when the umpire signals time-on or when the ball is brought into play. Stoppages cause quarters to extend approximately 5—10 minutes beyond the 20 minutes of play. The official game clock is available only to the timekeeper s , and is not displayed to the players, umpires or spectators. The only public knowledge of game time is when the timekeeper sounds a siren at the start and end of each quarter. Coaching staff may monitor the game time themselves and convey information to players via on-field trainers or substitute players. Broadcasters usually display an approximation of the official game time for television audiences, although some will now show the exact time remaining in a quarter.
Games are officiated by umpires. Before the game, the winner of a coin toss determines which directions the teams will play to begin.
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Australian football begins after the first siren , when the umpire bounces the ball on the ground or throws it into the air if the condition of the ground is poor , and the two ruckmen typically the tallest players from each team battle for the ball in the air on its way back down. This is known as the ball-up. Certain disputes during play may also be settled with a ball-up from the point of contention.
If the ball is kicked or hit from a ball-up or boundary throw-in over the boundary line or into a behind post without the ball bouncing, a free kick is paid for out of bounds on the full.
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A free kick is also paid if the ball is deemed by the umpire to have been deliberately carried or directed out of bounds. If the ball travels out of bounds in any other circumstances for example, contested play results in the ball being knocked out of bounds a boundary umpire will stand with his back to the infield and return the ball into play with a throw-in , a high backwards toss back into the field of play.
The ball can be propelled in any direction by way of a foot, clenched fist called a handball or handpass or open-hand tap but it cannot be thrown under any circumstances. Once a player takes possession of the ball he must dispose of it by either kicking or handballing it. Any other method of disposal is illegal and will result in a free kick to the opposing team. This is usually called "incorrect disposal", "dropping the ball" or "throwing".
If the ball is not in the possession of one player it can be moved on with any part of the body.
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Opposition players may bump or tackle the player to obtain the ball and, when tackled, the player must dispose of the ball cleanly or risk being penalised for holding the ball. The ball carrier may only be tackled between the shoulders and knees. If the opposition player forcefully contacts a player in the back while performing a tackle, the opposition player will be penalised for a push in the back.
If the opposition tackles the player with possession below the knees a low tackle or a trip or above the shoulders a high tackle , the team with possession of the football gets a free kick. Alternatively, he may choose to "play on" forfeiting the set shot in the hope of pressing an advantage for his team rather than allowing the opposition to reposition while he prepares for the free kick. Once a player has chosen to play on, normal play resumes and the player who took the mark is again able to be tackled.
There are different styles of kicking depending on how the ball is held in the hand. The most common style of kicking seen in today's game, principally because of its superior accuracy, is the drop punt , where the ball is dropped from the hands down, almost to the ground, to be kicked so that the ball rotates in a reverse end over end motion as it travels through the air. Other commonly used kicks are the torpedo punt also known as the spiral, barrel, or screw punt , where the ball is held flatter at an angle across the body, which makes the ball spin around its long axis in the air, resulting in extra distance similar to the traditional motion of an American football punt , and the checkside punt or "banana", kicked across the ball with the outside of the foot used to curve the ball towards the right if kicked off the right foot towards targets that are on an angle.
There is also the "snap", which is almost the same as a checkside punt except that it is kicked off the inside of the foot and curves in the opposite direction. It is also possible to kick the ball so that it bounces along the ground.
This is known as a "grubber". Grubbers can bounce in a straight line, or curve to the left or right. Apart from free kicks, marks or when the ball is in the possession of an umpire for a ball up or throw in , the ball is always in dispute and any player from either side can take possession of the ball. A goal , worth 6 points, is scored when the football is propelled through the goal posts at any height including above the height of the posts by way of a kick from the attacking team.
It may fly through "on the full" without touching the ground or bounce through, but must not have been touched, on the way, by any player from either team or a goalpost. A goal cannot be scored from the foot of an opposition defending player. A behind , worth 1 point, is scored when the ball passes between a goal post and a behind post at any height, or if the ball hits a goal post, or if any player sends the ball between the goal posts by touching it with any part of the body other than a foot.
A behind is also awarded to the attacking team if the ball touches any part of an opposition player, including a foot, before passing between the goal posts. When an opposition player deliberately scores a behind for the attacking team generally as a last resort to ensure that a goal is not scored this is termed a rushed behind. As of the AFL season , a free kick is awarded against any player who deliberately rushes a behind.
The goal umpire signals a goal with two hands pointed forward at elbow height, or a behind with one hand. The goal umpire then waves flags above their heads to communicate this information to the goal umpire at the opposite end of the ground. The team that has scored the most points at the end of play wins the game.
If the scores are level on points at the end of play, then the game is a draw; extra time applies only during finals matches in some competitions. As an example of a score report, consider a match between Essendon and Melbourne with the former as the home team. Essendon's score of 11 goals and 14 behinds equates to 80 points.
Melbourne's score of 10 goals and 7 behinds equates to a point tally. Essendon wins the match by a margin of 13 points. Such a result would be written as:. The home team is typically listed first and the visiting side is listed second. The scoreline is written with respect to the home side.
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For example, Port Adelaide won in successive weeks, once as the home side and once as the visiting side. These would be written out thus:. The football season proper is from March to August early autumn to late winter in Australia with finals being held in September and October. Most of these hold annual semi-professional club competitions while the others oversee more than one league. Local semi-professional or amateur organisations and competitions are often affiliated to their state organisations. The AFL is the de facto world governing body for Australian football.
There are also a number of affiliated organisations governing amateur clubs and competitions around the world. For almost all Australian football club competitions the aim is to win the Premiership. The premiership is always decided by a finals series. The teams that occupy the highest positions on the ladder after the home-and-away season play off in a "semi-knockout" finals series, culminating in a single Grand Final match to determine the premiers.
Typically between four and eight teams contest the finals series. The team which finishes first on the ladder after the home-and-away season is referred to as a " minor premier ", but this usually holds little stand-alone significance, other than receiving a better draw in the finals. Many suburban and amateur leagues have a sufficient number of teams to be played across several tiered divisions, with promotion of the lower division premiers and relegation of the upper division's last placed team at the end of each year. At present, none of the top level national or state level leagues in Australia are large enough to warrant this structure.
The high level of interest shown by women in Australian football is considered unique among the world's football codes. In terms of participation, there are occasional 19th-century references to women playing the sport, but it was not until the s that the first organised women's teams and competitions appeared.
Many related games have emerged from Australian football, mainly with variations of contact to encourage greater participation. These include Auskick played by children aged between 5 and 12 , kick-to-kick and its variants end-to-end footy and marks up , rec footy , 9-a-side footy , masters Australian football , handball and longest-kick competitions. Players outside of Australia sometimes engage in related games adapted to available fields, like metro footy played on gridiron fields and Samoa rules played on rugby fields.
One such prominent example in use since is AFLX , a shortened variation of the game with seven players a side, played on a soccer -sized pitch. The similarities between Australian football and the Irish sport of Gaelic football have allowed for the creation of a hybrid code known as international rules football. The first international rules matches were contested in Ireland during the Australian Football World Tour. Since then, various sets of compromise rules have been trialed, and in the International Rules Series commenced with national representative sides selected by Australia's state leagues later by the AFL and the Gaelic Athletic Association GAA.
The competition became an annual event in , but was postponed indefinitely in when the GAA pulled out due to Australia's severe and aggressive style of play. Australian rules football was played outside Australasia as early as when Australians studying at Edinburgh University and London University formed teams and competed in London. Twenty countries participated in the Euro Cup and 23 countries have participated in the International Cup with both competitions prohibiting Australian players.
Over 20 countries have either affiliation or working agreements with the AFL. Many of the overseas-born AFL players have been Irish, as interest in recruiting talented Gaelic football players dates back to the start of the Irish experiment in the s. The AFL also selects a team to represent Australia against an Irish team chosen by the Gaelic Athletic Association in the International Rules Series , utilising rules from both codes with the two countries taking turns hosting the series.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the game spread with the Australian diaspora to areas such as New Zealand and South Africa; however this growth went into rapid decline following World War I. Most of the current amateur clubs and leagues in existence have developed since the s, when leagues began to be established in North America , Europe and Asia.
The sport developed a cult following in the United States when matches were broadcast on the fledgling ESPN network in the s. This expansion has been further aided by multiculturalism and assisted by exhibition matches as well as exposure generated through players who have converted to and from other football codes. Occasionally, however, the numbers don't tell the full story. Anderson and Sally are adroit at guiding their readers but never patronising or boring them — which isn't easy when you're explaining the importance to football of Poisson distribution, at the centre of which is the idea that the probability of a goal being scored by a given team is the same every minute, no matter the current score or how many minutes are left.
But while their writing is breezy, it sometimes overreaches: It is one that will wash away all certainties and change the game we know and love" — and so on. There is no footballing Billy Beane, which might be because top clubs are reluctant even to hint at their data discoveries in case the competition finds them out. But in reality many managers remain data-sceptics.
As the authors point out, "in football nobody is quite sure what to do" with statistics. In a recent presentation to analysts at a summit in London, Anderson himself said: You might not want to do analytics. The difficulty they face is indicated by a story from the book. But as yet few in the congregation have been listening. Sean Ingle is sports editor of theguardian. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
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Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition September 30, Language: Start reading The King of Sports: Football's Impact on America on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Showing of 95 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. If you love College Football the way I do then you need to read this book to understand how the powers that are raking in the millions are killing this sport.
I was very disappointed to read how athletes from College all the way down to the pee wees are being manipulated, abused and taken advantage of. When I played in the 80's this was not the case. There is nothing wrong with the game of College Football today, but there is something wrong with the men who are running it.