Being involved and understanding Australian football is a great way to enhance the process of settlement and to be part of Australian society. Football is one of the things that unites people together in the Australian community. You might be new to the country, a suburb, or a job, but if you can talk about football, you are included.
It is a great way for younger people to stay fit and feel as though they are part of Australian culture. As new arrivals get more involved with football clubs, they will begin to build friendships and make contacts that will help them in many areas of their lives. Being involved in football clubs is often an excellent way to make contacts to find work
In the workplace during winter, a great deal of the conversation will revolve around football. While knowledge of Aussie rules is not a necessity, it can help a new arrival to feel accepted at a workplace.
Many workplaces have ‘tipping’ competitions where you try to guess who won the football on the weekend. The person who picks the most winners at the end of the year wins a prize.
There are 16 teams in the ‘AFL’ (Australian Football League) from five states.
Western Bulldogs – Doggies
The Western Bulldogs are not a rich club. They are based in Footscray, and they are also known as the Doggies. They wear blue, white and red.
Richmond – Tigers
Richmond is a club with a history of success, however, in recent years this has not been the case. They are also known as the Tigers and wear yellow and black. Bachar Houli, used to play for Richmond. You can read his story here:https://www.faster-english.com/reading-bachar-houli/
North Melbourne – Kangaroos
North Melbourne is a club that is well-known for being very tough and honest. They are also known as the Roos, and they wear blue and white.
Hawthorn – Hawks
Hawthorn was a very strong club in the 1980s. They are also known as the Hawks and wear gold and brown. Possibly the greatest player ‘Leigh Matthews’ played for Hawthorn.
Essendon – Bombers
Essendon is one of the strongest and oldest clubs in the competition. They are also known as the Bombers, and they wear red and black.
St Kilda – Saints
St Kilda is a club who have not had much success, but they currently have a very good team. They are also known as the Saints or Sainters, and they wear red, white, and black. Their last premiership cup was in 1966.
Collingwood – Magpies
Collingwood is the most famous team in Australia, and it is said to have the most supporters. They are also known as the Magpies, Maggies, or the Pies. They wear black and white
Melbourne – The Demons or The Dees
Melbourne is one of the oldest clubs in the League. Its supporters are traditionally from an upper-class background. They are also known as the Demons or the Dees and wear red and blue.
Carlton – Blues
Carlton is one of the oldest clubs and has won the equal most premierships. They are also known as the Blues, and they wear navy blue. They are from Melbourne.
Geelong – Cats
Geelong is one of the smaller clubs in the competition and is based in the Victorian coastal town of Geelong. They are also known as the Cats or Catters, and they wear blue and white. Geelong won the AFL grand final in 2022 after defeating Sydney Swans. If you want to learn the Geelong Cats theme song, click here:https://www.faster-english.com/lyrics-worksheet-we-are-geelong/
Port Adelaide – Power
Port Adelaide is the newest club to the competition, and they have already won a Premiership. They are also known as The Power and they wear black, white, and blue. They are from South Australia.
Adelaide – Crows
Adelaide is a new club that joined the competition when the competition became national. They are also known as the Crows. They are based in South Australia, and they wear yellow red and blue.
Fremantle – Dockers
Fremantle is the second team from Western Australia and is very new to the competition. They are also known as Freo and they wear red, white, green, and purple.
Sydney – Swans
Sydney won the Premiership in 2006. They are based in Sydney and are also known as the Swans or Swannies. They wear red and white
West Coast – Eagles
The West Coast Eagles are based in Western Australia and are a very successful club. They are also known as the Eagles, and they wear blue and gold
Brisbane – Lions
The Brisbane Lions have been the strongest team in the last ten years. They are also known as the Lions and they wear maroon, yellow and blue. They recently won 3 premiership cups in a row!
How to play the game:
A game of footy goes for about 120 minutes and there are 4 quarters.
Each team has 18 players on the ground. The aim for each team is to score more than the other.
To score a goal, the football must be kicked through the 2 tallest goalposts. A goal is worth 6 points.
If the goal is missed, but the ball passes through the smaller posts, this is a ‘behind’ and it is worth 1 point.
The players can pass the ball to each other by kicking the ball, or by passing with their hands, but you cannot throw the ball.
If a player catches the ball after a kick, it is called a ‘mark’ and other players cannot try to the ball from them.
Players can try to stop players with the ball with a ‘tackle’, which means to try to hold them.
Below is a list of some free kicks that are given during the game. A free kick is awarded to the opposition for the following:
- Pushing an opponent in the back
- Tackling an opponent around the neck
- Throwing the ball
- Being tackled fairly by your opponent and then dropping the ball
- Being tackled by your opponent when you don’t have the ball
- Kicking the ball out of bounds on the full
- Running with the ball for more than 10 metres without bouncing it on the ground.
Umpire: The umpire is the same as a referee. This is the person who controls the game.
Kick: When you pass the ball using your foot.
Mark: When you catch the ball when someone has kicked it to you.
Handball: When you pass the ball by hitting the ball out of one hand with the other hand.
Tackle: When someone has the ball, and you catch hold of them between the waist and the shoulders.
Goal: When you kick the ball between the main goalposts, you get six points.
Behind: When you kick the ball between the tall goal post and the short goal post you score a ‘behind’ which is worth 1 point.
Free Kick: A free kick is given when a player breaks a rule, and the umpire stops the play, and you can take your kick.
Barrack: If you support a team, we say you ‘barrack” for that team. For example – “Who do you barrack for?” “I barrack for the Western Bulldogs”.
“White Maggot”: Slang for an umpire wearing white. This is not a nice thing to say, it is a way of abusing the umpire.
Ball: Short for holding the ball – called by supporters to ask the umpires to pay a free kick for holding the ball.
Sausage Roll: A slang for a team scoring a goal. It is a type of rhyming slang. Other examples are: “dead horse” for tomato sauce or “bag of fruit” for suit.
Clanger: This is when a player makes a mistake.
Screamer/Speccy: A high mark taken over one or more players.
Premiership: This is what a team wins if it wins the last game of the year, the Grand Final.