Australian Rules Football: A Beginner’s Guide

Here you will find an introduction to Australian football, a unique sport that is different from soccer and rugby. Origin, rules, and other aspects explained.

Australian football is a unique sport that is often confused with rugby and soccer. However, it is a different sport with its own rules, leagues, and even a separate betting category. If you're planning to bet on Australian football, make sure to check out the Review to learn the details after reading this article. Here we will describe the sport's origin, explain how it is different from other sports and discuss its current state in Australia.

Soccer or Rugby?

First of all, we think it is necessary to explain the difference between Australian football and other sports. It is a completely unique sport, though it is often confused with soccer or rugby as it may seem it's somewhere in between. Going into the details of the rules would take too much time, so here's a shortlist of core features:

• The goals are scored by kicking the football between two posts;
• There is no throwing allowed, the ball is either kicked or hand-passed;
• A goal is worth 6 points, while there are also behinds that are worth 1 point;
• The games consist of 4 quarters, 20 minutes each.

Origin of Australian Football

You would probably be very surprised to discover Australian Football originated in Australia, but it's true. The sport appeared for the first time in Melbourne in the late 1850s. At the time, there was no code of rules there, so there was some space for making the sport unique. It is important to know that at that time there was a British settlement, so it was necessary to find compromises with them. The first rules were similar to what they are now and they were nationally coded even prior to soccer and rugby.

The rules were actively developed by Australians, allowing them to include the details that would make playing in the country more comfortable. For example, they wanted to reduce the risks of getting injured, so tackling and hacking were prohibited. They have also created a unique set of four posts: two large ones and two small ones.

The modern rules are the evolved version of the old ones and there were some big changes implemented in different periods of this sport's history. For example, the first rules allowed players to carry the ball between the posts, while at the end of the 19th century there was a modification that left only the kicking option.

Modern Australian Rules Football

Despite not being really popular on an international level, Australian rules football is still played a lot in the country of its origin. Today, the most popular event is the Australian Football League that has been around for more than 200 years and was previously called Victorian Football League. There are currently 18 clubs in the league and 10 of them originate from the state of Victoria.

The sport is still very popular in Australia as the attendance rates are pretty impressive. Before COVID-19 came around, there were millions of annual visitors at AFL. The highest attendance was over 100,000 people at the AFL Grand Final of 2019. Though as the world is slowly recovering from the pandemic, the matches of AFL gather around 30,000 visitors each, which is close to the averages of 2019.


Though not being very popular worldwide, Australian football is a national phenomenon in the country. There are still millions of fans who enjoy the matches of the Australian Football League and there are lots of people who play the game on an amateur level. Now that you know the general rules and the historical background of the game, make sure to visit the stadium when traveling to Australia.

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