Talk:Australian rules football/Archive 1

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Archive 1

The Irish connection

Mmmm, it is very similar to Irish football, I wonder - was there significant Irish immigration in Australia at the time. {end sarcasm} Australian Rules = Irish Football played on a cricket pitch. It's ironic that us Aussie's love to play up AFL's uniqueness, yet it's uniqueness that gives away the fact that it's a bastardisation of an immigrant sport that's only played in one other country in the world. - CS

  • This sort of comment shows a lack of understanding of the history of all football codes. No one says that Australian Football wasn't influenced by other codes, in fact, the reverse is true. It was codified in 1859, which in the context of all the modern codes of football, is very early indeed. It didn't just appear out of thin air, in fact, we know a lot about the people that first played it and who first formulated the rudimentary rules. Almost without exception, they had had exposure to the English public school system - which is where we are to find the roots of almost all the modern football codes. However, during the 1840s and 1850s, they all had their own separate and different rules. So Australian Football is unique in that it was codified so early in the piece and that it was an amalgam of the experience of various wealthy Australians in the English public school system. The biggest influence was clearly the Rugby school (and those who know both sports well will also be familiar with a lot of the shared terminology that is used that is not to be found in the other codes). However, all these different school rules can be categorised roughly into two groups: those that relied predominantly on kicking the ball (precursor to Association Football) and those that relied predominantly on running with the ball (Rugby). Both Australian and Gaelic football share the characteristic that they are a combination of both groups - but that doesn't mean that one influenced the other - it's simply what they both got out of the various rules that were doing the rounds at the time. It is worth mentioning that the modern version of Gaelic Football was codified a good 30 years after Australian Football. All football historians have found no evidence of Gaelic football being an influence on Australian football. This is unsurprising - remembering that the first ones to play the game all had an English public school background - how many of them were going to put their hand up and say let's play this Irish game I know! This is not a partisan view, it is simply what we know of the history of the game. Remember also that the first recorded game of Australian Football was between two wealthy protestant private schools - it is unlikely that any Catholics took the field that day! --pippudoz - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 07:11, 15 November 2005 (UTC) ps I am Catholic.
    • Some have suggested that the influence was more in the other direction, i.e. that Gaelic was based on Aussie rules! There is some evidence for this, e.g. the GAA was not founded until the late 1880s and I know that Archbishop Thomas Croke, one of the founders, was in New Zealand in the 1870s, where he had the opportunity to see "Australasian rules" being played. So maybe it was a "two way street". I will have to get hold of a history of Gaelic football one of these days. Grant65 [[User talk: Grant65| (Talk)]] 09:44, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

I appreciate both your points. Am I driven by a partisan viewpoint? Perhaps, though to be honest I don't really enjoy either game being mainly a follower of rugby league. I'm just dumbfounded by the vehemence towards the idea that the game has Irish roots. And I can't help but think this was driven historically by the very real Irish/English divisions that existed in Australia up until the first wave of Southern European migration last century. The rules of Irish football may not have been codified until 30 years after Aussie Rules, but the game was played 100's of years previously. To dismiss out of hand, that a game familiar to a large (ethnic) part of a new society, had no influence on the development of a game with practically identical rules within that society is laughable. And then to "draw a long bow" to claim that the game is "originally" Australian because the natives were sometimes seen to kick a stuffed wombat around is ludicrous. Would you also deny the influence of African music on rock and roll because europeans played string instruments before exposure to African rhythms?

  • But...we can trace the influences of rock and roll directly to African music (or afro-american at least) - but the evidence for an Irish influence just isn't there. Please note, I am not saying there were no influences from other codes, I have already stated that the Rugby School provided the greatest influence, but there is zero, I repeat, zero evidence of a Gaelic influence. Lastly, the rules of both Aussie rules and Gaelic football are not similar at all. The pig skin gets moved around the park in a similar manner, but that is where the similarity ends. --pippudoz - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 09:00, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
Zero evidence except our eyes, Pippu ;-) I blame Geoff Blainey for perpetuating this idea that Tom Wills wasn't influenced by Irish football (or Marn Grook). The fact is, no one knows what rules were used in the game that Blainey pushes as the "first" game (between Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College on August 7, 1858,) and they may had bugger all to do with the ones that the Melbourne FC devised the following year. I know those two schools have played ever since, but that doesn't mean they still use the same rules they did in 1858. Grant65 | Talk 14:28, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
  • "the rules of both Aussie rules and Gaelic football are not similar at all" Let me assure you, my friend, that the games are closer in rules and style than the two rugby codes that people from the southern and western states seem to commonly lump together. "zero evidence of a Gaelic influence" - again I can only shake my head, it is amazing that a code of football can generate such a fierce and defensive parochialism.
    • It's funny that I should be accused of parochialism when I am trying to direct everyone to the available evidence - rather than simpy relying on the superficial similarity between Gaelic Football and aussie rules. I can assure everyone that if you wanted to do an in depth analysis of the rules of both codes that you would find more dissimilarities than similarities. And it's not just Geoff Blainey, even as a kid growing up in the 60s I was aware that the first game of footy took place in 1858 between Melb Grammar and Scotch, and that a letter had appeared in the paper around the same time imploring cricketers to take up footy over the winter to keep fit. As I have said before, we know a fair bit about how and why footy came to be played in Melbourne, and the personalities involved - but it is equally true that we do not know all that much about that first game. What I can be confident of is that it would have looked nothing like either aussie rules or gaelic of the modern age but rather more like a version of rugby a la Tom Brown's Schooldays (was that his name? you know what I mean). And it is instructive that I should refer to him, because that book is set in the English public schools of the 1840s and without doubt, that is the source of the Aussie Rules that was played in 1850s and 1860s - all the main pioneers of aussie rules had attended these schools. In other words, like all the different rules of football at that time, there was a constant tension between running with the ball and kicking the ball - so it should not surprise any of us that all the codes have an element of each to varying degrees. You might say that soccer doesn't (i.e. running with the ball) - but in fact the goalkeeper is allowed to run a short distance with the ball and kick it from his hand a la Gaelic/Australian style. What is the significance of that? Because the precursors of Soccer allowed that to happen to a far greater degree. Read the Cambridge Rules and Sheffield Rules. These are basically the rules of Aussie rules as they were codified in 1859! So don't just rely on the superficial similarity of Gaelic football and aussie rules - dig a little deeper and look at the prevailing environment of the 1840s and 1850s - aussie rules, indeed all the modern football codes, can only be truly understood in that context. ρ¡ρρµ δ→θ∑ - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 00:16, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
Pippu, you say: "I can assure everyone that if you wanted to do an in depth analysis of the rules of both codes that you would find more dissimilarities than similarities." But rules on paper are just that, rules on paper; the two games are clearly similar in the way they are played. Can you imagine a compromise/hybrid (like International rules) between Aussie rules and either code of rugby? Or soccer and rugby? I'm sorry, I know it's an institution, but the 1858 game between Melb Grammar and Scotch was not the first time any kind of football was played in Melbourne, and since we don't know what rules they used, it has as much to do with Aussie rules as a game of rugby (codified in 1845) or soccer. IMO, Wills' letter to Bell's Life is the beginning, as was the experimental game played in the Richmond Paddock (Yarra Park) as a result, three weeks later. The same day Melbourne Grammar played a St Kilda team. This was one week before the Grammar-Scotch game was played (with Wills as referee). "What I can be confident of is that it would have looked nothing like either aussie rules or gaelic of the modern age but rather more like a version of rugby a la Tom Brown's Schooldays...." Agreed. "[W]ithout doubt, that is the source of the Aussie Rules that was played in 1850s and 1860s..." It is one of the sources, yes. For example rugby and Aussie rules in the 1850s both had 20 players per team.
"[T]he precursors of Soccer allowed that to happen to a far greater degree. Read the Cambridge Rules and Sheffield Rules. These are basically the rules of Aussie rules as they were codified in 1859!" Sheffield, yes. IMO, the key is not "kicking v running"; it is the lack of an offside rule, which is what sets the Sheffield rules, Aussie rules and Gaelic apart. That is a very Irish thing — it was in hurling before any of these codes of football exited. Cambridge had an offside rule. And not quite enough time elapsed between the Sheffield rules (1857) and Wills' experiments of 1858, for the former to have influenced the latter. So I suspect that it was either a case of parallel evolution or they were both influenced by a common "ancestor". NonFreeImageRemoved.svg Grant65 | Talk 16:27, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Are we in disagreement on any of these points? All I am saying is that the Gaelic influence on aussie rules is inconclusive (at best!) and that all the modern football games can be traced back to the various english public school games of the 1840s and 1850s. Funny you should mention composite rules of aussie rules/rugby - I believe that in 2008, to mark the 150th anniversary of the first recorded game of our national game (however it may have been played back then), we should try and recreate the rules of 1858, and it would basically be a composite aussie rules/rugby game, and the AFL should challenge the Wallabies (or anyone else for that matter) playing these composite rules. You first read the idea here folks, don't forget it! Re a hybrid soccer/rugby game - I am all for it, because the end result would undoubtedly look better than either of them! Flag of Sicily.svg ρ¡ρρµ δ→θ∑ - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 22:09, 20 December 2005 (UTC) ps one of our compatriots told me to stop using the western bulldogs logo, so hopefully my new icon is more acceptable.


Are there really no older professional teams? I have found some older cricket teams but don't know if they are professional or not. ---rmhermen

well, its older than soccer. thats good enough for me.

In fact, professionalism was not allowed by the VFL until its Rule 29 of 1911 (although under-the-table payments may well have occurred), and Melbourne FC was famous for being amateur for many years afterwards, so I don't think this can be justified. Grant65 10:28, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I understand and appreciate the writer's enthusiasm for the sport, but the last sentence in partciular needs to be rephrased to be less partisan about its alleged superiority over other variants of football.

No, I agree with the author of the article. Where he says there are other leagues in Australia, he is not referring to variants of the sport, he is referring to other groups of teams who play each other- other divisions, so to speak. For instance, in Western Australia, there is the WAFL- the West Australian Football League. More people are interested in the AFL than regional leagues like WAFL, therefore AFL is more popular. I don't think the author's comment at the end is unjustified, or biased at all. -- Mark Ryan

By the way, I wrote a bunch more stuff for this article months ago that seems to have been lost by somebody's errant revision. I hope the new wikipedia software will support a complete revision history. . . Robert Merkel

I saw some games on TV in the US. Who's the guy in the white suit who waves around flags when a goal is scored? Shouldn't this be mentioned in the article somewhere?

The Goal Umipre

I like the diagrams, but the font is much too small. Daniel Quinlan 08:31, Aug 2, 2003 (UTC)


What is the difference between summer and winter in Australia, that the same fields are used but for different sports? -- Error

um... the weather! You are obviously from a small country like england where the climate is basically the same in every location within the country. Australia is a big country. In melbourne you may be able to get away with playing in summer, most of the time, but in Brisbane you'd be carried off the field in a coffin! Summer is hot (avg 29 degrees C but it reaches 40) winter is cold (avg 20 degrees C). That's the difference. Factoid Killer 14:06, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
No way in Melbourne - plenty of days over 30 and one or two up to 40. That's why the players train in ice vests when they're training in summer, even in Melbourne. Now, Hobart on the other hand...--Stevage 16:36, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
You can have as many extreme days as you like but the average summer temperature for melbourne is still 22 degrees which is only 2 degrees warmer than the average winter temp for Brisbane.
Indeed, even Canberra is has hotter summers than Melbourne. Nearly as hot as Brissie.

I have to take issue with the following -

"All of the original VFL clubs are still in existence, with the exception of South Melbourne Football Club who in 1982 relocated to Sydney and became known as the Sydney Swans and the Fitzroy which merged with the Brisbane in 1996 due to financial difficulties."

Does "exist" mean the club no longer plays in the VFL/AFL, or no longer exists? Fitzroy still exists as an amateur club. RoyalDave


The history section on this page needs to be corrected to bring it into line with the information on this site, but I'l leave that to the Aussies. Mintguy (T) 14:21, 9 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Mintguy has a point, although I've said to him elsewhere Talk:Football, I think is wrong on the early history. In fact, a lot of the histories of Aussie rules available on the web seem to be terrible and contradictory. We have a great opportunity to do better :-) Anyway, I've expanded and updated the history section. In particular, I've addressed some inaccuracies, such as (1) the role of H.C.A. Harrison, which seems to be exaggerated by almost everyone except serious historians; (2) the previous omission of the experiments at the Richmond Paddock, and (3) the "significance" of the game between Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College in 1858. To name a few. Grant65 18:10, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I just had another look at Blainey's A Game of Our Own (1990; there is a 2003 edition, which I haven't seen yet), and Rob Hess & Bob Stewart's More Than A Game (1998). The latter book provides a few more details: they say that "a rugby ball" was used in the experimental game on July 31, 1858; that people of various backgrounds were involved, and; that rules were supposed to have been formulated afterwards, although these have not survived.

Hess & Stewart barely mention the Melbourne Grammar v. Scotch College match on August 7. Blainey is a prolific promoter of that game (cynics might say because of his own background), but he doesn't discuss the rules either. (However, it is known that Wills did umpire that game.)

Re. the other drafters of the 1859 rules, Hess & Stewart say that, like Wills, Hammersley and Thompson were ex-Cambridge University, and Smith was Irish and had attended Trinity College in Dublin. (There are some similarities between the Cambridge rules and Aussie rules, see Football#The Establishment of Modern Codes of Football.) Hess & Stewart say Harrison was not involved. They also cite a letter to a Melbourne newspaper in 1864, suggesting that the English Football Association rules of 1863 had been by influenced by the Melbourne FC rules! Grant65 10:28, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Grant. You've just reminded me of something with that last sentence. Some time ago I tried to find out about early proponents of Association football in Australia but I found virtually no information about this. I did find out that early bodies subscribing to the FA rules included the Southern British Football Association in New South Wales, the Anglo-Australian Football Association in Victoria and the British Football Associations of Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania. But I couldn't find any dates relating to the establishment and/or demise of these organisations. Mintguy (T) 10:56, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Mintguy, see the latest comments on my talk page. Grant65 13:19, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)~

The article states that the VFA was formed in 1877, but the list of teams is incorrect. For example, Essendon is not listed as a team in the VFA in 1877, but they finished fourth in that year.

There is also no mention of the earlier Victorian competition that preceded the VFA. B.d.mills 12:54, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)


I think the section on the rules could be expanded. Basic information like the number of players is lacking, and can only be deduced from studying the images. Abigail 10:48, Mar 11, 2004 (UTC)

It seems that I am far from the only one who has mixed up the various games played in 1858. [1] Mintguy (T) 13:13, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Length of the Game

Seems an obvious thing to have, yet it's currently missing. As far as I know it's four quarters of thirty minutes, but I don't know who keeps time and whether it can go over thirty, or what happens if the scores are level at full time. Aussie input welcome! Deadlock 19:45, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

Good point - done! Revisions welcome. --pippudoz - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 10:09, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
Thanks - I now understand why when the clock showed 10 minutes the commentator said we were half-way through the final quarter of the GF highlights I saw. The quarter eventually ran to 32 minutes... Deadlock 23:18, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
      Each quarter runs for 20 minutes. Over time is what causes the game to go past the 20 minute mark. Overtime can be caused by a number of factors such as 

-the umpire returning the ball to the center to be bounced and resume play (30-40sec. each time) -a player getting injured and needing to be carried off the feild (3-6min) -A player taking a long time to have a shot at goal. (1-2min.) etc. Overtime is usually no more than 10 minutes which may have contributed to confusion about 30 minute quarters. Time is keept by an offical time keeper independent of the players and umpire. Only the umpire can call for the clock to be stoped which is what causes overtime.

Rugby League

To explain my last edit: it's not accurate to say that Aussie Rules was "developed as an alternative to Rugby", with a link to Rugby League, because Aussie Rules was invented long before there was any such thing as "Rugby League" and before there was even much Rugby Football outside Rugby School. Neither would it be accurate to describe Aussie Rules as an offshoot of Rugby. See Football#The_Establishment_of_Modern_Codes_of_Football. Grant65 (Talk) 21:09, Apr 12, 2004 (UTC)

Australian Rules Football <-> Australian Football League

I added a section today, under the "Future teams" heading. However on re-reading it seems that the entire "teams" section, as well as my additional section, should really go in the Australian Football League article. However I figured if this was right, someone would have done it already. Ideas anyone? -- Chuq 00:16, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Yes, I think it should go on the AFL page.Grant65 (Talk) 18:50, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)
I moved both the future teams article, as well as the Hall of Fame section to Australian Football League. I beleive that the Hall of Fame does not belong because it is the AFL Hall of Fame. The teams and leagues section needs serious editing and splitting up before it can be moved to other articles - a job for another day. Bjmurph 09:47, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
Actually it's the "Australian Football Hall of Fame" (but it's already been moved back in the article). Flag of Australia.svg plattopustalk 13:03, May 5, 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I accept I was wrong in this assumption, however, it still may not belong in this article. Perhaps it should be removed from both this page and the AFL page, and moved to it's own, to remove the duplicate entries. Bjmurph 13:17, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
Possibly a good idea, assuming there is enough to write about it. If there is a HOF article in its own right, then obviously both the AFL and ARF articles should link to it, but in the meantime it should reside under Australian Rules Football, not the AFL. Flag of Australia.svg plattopustalk 15:44, May 5, 2005 (UTC)

I would like to see the names of the 12 AHoF "legends" (at least) remain in this article, as there were very few mentions of players when I originally added the HoF section. A separate article on the HoF would still be a good idea, as it has a lot more members than just the 12 legends. By the way, almost none of the legends had article when I added that list and Wikipedia is still short of articles on Aussie rules players. (Except for the fan contributions on current players like Chris Tarrant etc.) Grant65 (Talk) 00:17, May 6, 2005 (UTC)

It seems silly to have the Hall of Fame information duplicated on both this page and the AFL page. I agree that it needs its own page but perhaps there should be some consensus about where it really should go? My vote, fwiw, is to leave it on this page in preparation for moving it to its own page later.--The Brain of Morbius 07:45, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

There is nothing wrong with having duplicate material on different pages, when appropriate. If anything I think the HoF material should be removed from the AFL page, since the HoF is about the whole history of the game and not just the AFL, but there may be opposition to that. Grant65 (Talk) 11:48, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)
Yup the HoH should be in this article. On the other hand, the "Notable VFL/AFL records" section should be removed from this article if duplication is an issue between the two pages. - Squilibob 07:25, 1 December 2005 (UTC)


The article indicates that the IAFC is the official administrative body for Australian rules football internationally but I think you would get a very different view on that from the AFL, who see themselves as the official international representative body for the sport. If someone can come up with a statement from the AFL that it recognises the IAFC as the official international body though, I'd be happy to retain the reference. --Roisterer 04:05, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The AFL certainly see themselves as the universal governing body, and I don't think I've seen any official AFL statements regarding the IAFC but I can guarantee they wouldn't be positive. Flag of Australia.svg plattopusis this thing on? 18:36, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)
The IAFC is not recognised by the AFL. No doubt the IAFC would say "who is the AFL to recognise us or not?" They would have a point since the AFL in recent years has shown itself as strangely reluctant to promote the game in countries such as Denmark where the game has grown of its own accord.Grant65 (Talk) 18:50, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)


Anyone want to have a go at adding the new centre circle into the diagrams? --The Brain of Morbius 02:48, 5 May 2005 (UTC)


Is this section really necessary or appropriate?

Neither - it's vandalism, now reverted.--The Brain of Morbius 06:32, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

What is a "clearance"?

When I watch AFL football on TV, I often hear the announcers talking about "clearances" and "disposals", which events are also tabulated among the statistics. Unfortunately, no one ever bothers to tell us Americans what those terms mean. I decided that a Web search would provide me the answers. Actually, I have searched extensively; and, though I did find here a definition of "disposal", I am still at a loss for an exact definition of "clearance". I suppose that a clearance has occurred when the ball is kicked a long ways, but I suspect field position has something to do with it. I don't know if a hand pass can count as a clearance.

I hope that someone who knows will add to the article a definition of "clearance".

DrHow 15:17, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

A clearance is more correctly known as a "centre clearance", and refers to when the ball is kicked out of the centre square to the advantage of one team or the other directly from the centre bounce after a goal or at the beginning of a quarter. So if there's a stoppage in play in the centre square leading to an umpire bounce, the ensuing kick out of the square is NOT a clearance; but if it occurs as a direct consequence of the centre bounce it is.
Not sure where exactly to put that in the article as yet, but I'm sure someone will think of a way! --The Brain of Morbius 05:10, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
I think that is a pretty good definition, but in modern day commentary I am pretty sure they have extended the term to mean a clearance from any stoppage. In modern day footy, the team that can win the most clearances from all forms of stoppages will nearly always win the game and thus the frequency of the use of the term. Also, it can mean a handball if it has effectively cleared the area of the stoppage to the team's advantage, so a handball that went nowhere and resulted in another ball up would not be counted as a stat. --pippudoz - (waarom? jus'coz!) 12:03, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

Latest edit

The latest anonimous edit looks like a bit of POV mischief from a banana bender with taped back ears and no neck who doesn't mind sniffing the odd backside. Anyone with sufficient powers out there agree on a roll back? --pippudoz - (waarom? jus'coz!) 08:53, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Pippu, absolutely agree to that. Be bold. You don't need special powers to roll-back, just go to the edit history and select the previous edit (the good one) and press edit and save. You will get a warning that you're going to overwrite the current version but just say OK to that. -- Iantalk 12:59, 14 September 2005 (UTC)


Re the Brain's most recent edit, that wasn't me that deleted that line that he has restored, but I always thought that it was inaccurate in relation to the ACT (i.e. Canberra). In fact, Canberra was an aussie rules stronghold until at least 1982 because the first two generations of public servants came predominantly from Melbourne. With time this balance swung more to Sydney and then around 1982 the Canberra Raiders joined the then NSWRL. Rugby league certainly has overtaken aussie rules in general popularity (if you are counting TV ratings) but in terms of participation I would think that it would be roughly on par with aussie rules and rugby union, and all three are likely to be behind soccer. In terms spectators attending games, I imagine the ACT Brumbies currently outstrip all, the Canberra Raiders only get about half, and for some of the three or four games the Kangaroos play in Canberra, they will often get more than the average Raiders game. All in all - I think it is not an accurate statement about Canberra (not to mention that in souther NSW, aussie rules is stronger than rugby league). --pippudoz - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 06:53, 27 September 2005 (UTC) ps I am a Canberran.

This was the passage I restored (in bold):
Australian rules which was invented in Melbourne, is the predominant winter sport in all states of Australia in which it is played with the exception of Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT, where Rugby league is the predominant sport.
I think that's fair enough Pippu. I've not spent much time in Canberra but my understanding of Aussie rules history there is much as you describe. However it must be said that the AFL match crowds in Canberra in recent years have been very small in comparison to the Raiders' and Brumbies'. Whether or not that would change if an AFL side was based there is a matter for conjecture but not in a WP article. About the only thing disputable about the passage is whether union or league is more popular in the ACT.
Without the bold section above, the passage reads as though Aussie rules is predominant in all states of Australia, which is of course not the case, despite recent progress.
Perhaps the par could be rewritten to note Aussie rules' predominance in southern NSW but I'm not convinced that's warranted; to all intents and purposes the par is fine for mine. --The Brain of Morbius 07:07, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
Brains - thanks for the reply - perhaps it's ok as it is but I wasn't suggesting that aussie rules was bigger than league or on par, but that even one of the other two codes may have been just as big (depending on the criterion you are using) - I'm just not sure that league is way out ahead of the other three in Canberra. The interest in the raiders has really waned since the Brumbies came on the scene - but that needs to be tested over a long period because I am not sure the average Canberran would suffer say 5 or 6 years in the bottom 4. Correct also in saying that it is too early to judge the Kangaroos experiment. --pippudoz - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 09:58, 27 September 2005 (UTC) p.s. check out our main page at scn:pàggina principali! All invited!

The crowd at the last Raiders match (v Manly) was 10,366;[2] the AFL Kangaroos biggest crowd this year was 13,481:[3]

Record crowd figures at Canberra's 2005 AFL games have virtually guaranteed the ACT will remain the Kangaroos' interstate home beyond next year.
An average 12,180 fans attended the Kangaroos' three premiership games this season, boosted by a 13,481 gate at the annual blockbuster against Sydney in round two.
Manuka Oval's 2005 AFL attendance total was 36,538, breaking the previous record of 34,105 set in 2001.

On that basis you I think it have to be said that Aussies rules is at least equal to rugby league, and is growing at the moment. When the Western Force smash the Brumbies, expect union to decline in the ACT as well ;-) Seriously, with a population of 300,000, it's not a bad effort to get 10,000+ to both league and AFL games. According to the Governor-General the Brumbies get an average crowd of 22,500.[4] A competitive AFL team based there would come close to that I think.Grant65 (Talk) 22:27, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Fair enough, Grant, but are you aware that one of those matches was entirely bought out by Foxtel, who supplied free tickets to anyone who wanted one as part of a Foxtel/Fox Footy/AFL promotion in Canberra?
Perhaps we'd better take this discussion to BigFooty ;) --The Brain of Morbius 23:20, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
BigFooty oh yeah, you'll get some bipartisan discourse there... In my experience, as a 1971-1982 Canberra schoolboy (neatly the pre-Raiders period) AR was non-existant. But that was just our school, I'm sure some schools played it. But I'd agree with Grant, an AFL team would outdraw than the Raiders, as league fans are notorious for their unwillingness to show up at games, and AR fans the exact opposite. Doesn't help the Raiders have played a crappy brand of football for about 8 years either. On the Brumbies, they're only playing a six game season, probably more people showed up at Raiders games this year, despite their pitiful form.--Paul 10:01, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
I confirm what Brains says about the free game. All in all, I think it is a reasonable rewrite - but re the ACT - we might revisit it this time next year! --pippudoz - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 03:02, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
The average 2005 crowds for comparison. Rugby Union 22,895; Rugby League 12,404; Aussie Rules 12,149. Based on crowds alone, Union should rightly be most popular in ACT. League gets good TV ratings but this may also be because the games are broadcast more regularly (Super 14 matches are not held as often). Aussie Rules may be catching up, but by average crowds and ratings it is still 3rd overall. Canberra memberships for both the Kangaroos and Sydney Swans may have nearly doubled in 2006, but still total less than 1,000 [5] [6]. I think a lot of people confuse Aussie Rules long-time strong presence in southern NSW/Riverina as extending to Canberra. It is more the case that Canberra's proximity to Sydney holds sway. --Biatch

Aussie rules in Australia

The Sport in Australia article is the current Wikipedia:Australian Collaboration of the Fortnight - just wondering if anyone here would be interested in adding to the Aussie rules section? (or any other section) thanks --- Astrokey44 04:32, 18 October 2005 (UTC)


The Rules section is getting rather long and unwieldly, especially the holding the ball subsection (which I started, when it actually was "easily summarised"), so moving it to another article seems like a good idea. But the name of such an article is an interesting topic - I would suggest "Australian Football Rules", just to confuse people (and to make User happy). Possible alternatives are "Australian Rules Football Rules", or "Rules of Australian Rules Football", or even "Australian Rules". Seriously, probably the best name would be "Rules of Australian Football", regardless of whether you think that Australian Football is a good name. Incidentally, my copy of the rulebook has on the cover "Laws of Australian Football", so maybe thats an even better one (or "Laws of Australian Rules Football" come to think of it). If someone else wants to actually move the stuff, that would be good, or I'll probably do it in a week or two when I have more time. Of course the alternative is to just delete half the stuff, but that's probably not a good idea.

On an unrelated note, exactly how high is "elbow height"? Bjmurph 17:39, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

If you can get hold of an old video of Dipper playing, that will give you a pretty good idea - the range is from throat level to black eye level. --pippudoz - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 22:10, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Actually, I was refering to the thing about the goal umpire signalling with hands at elbow height, but you've illustrated my point anyway. Maybe Belly-button height is a better description? Bjmurph 06:37, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
As a formerly accredited goal umpire, I can tell you that the upper arms should be vertical and the lower arms horizontal, making it the height of the elbow when standing with arms by your sides. JPD (talk) 08:58, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Laws of Australian Football sounds good to me, since that's what they're called. Law of Australian Rules Football if anyone really wants to kick up a stink. JPD (talk) 17:58, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
ok I moved it across to Laws of Australian Football. Probably still needs a good short paragraph in this article Astrokey44 23:21, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Attendance Record Cop-Outs and Factoids

Aussie Rules fans go to games. Rugby league fans watch games on tv. Using attendance records as a means to determine popularity is severely flawed. Put simply, it's a cop out.

Another copout is the state count. Try adding up the populations of the AFL states in comparison to the non-AFL states! You have more than 50% of the entire country's population when you aggregate NSW and Qld populations alone.

I'm not suggesting that RL has higher popularity, just that AFL popularity in comparison is incredibly overstated by the non-NPOV wording in this article.

Now for the backup stats. This is from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. State populations as of june 30 2003...

I've even given you the benefit of the doubt on NT being an AFL zone! I'm not convinced.

Non AFL States and Territories... NSW: 668 6644 Qld: 379 6775 ACT: 322 850 Total: 10 806 269

AFL States and Territories... Vic: 4 917 394 SA: 1 527 421 WA: 1 952 286 Tas: 477 094 NT: 198 351 Total: 9 072 546

Sorry to Burst your bubble AFL Fans! Factoid Killer 13:53, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

I'm not really sure what you're trying to say, since your arguments are as dodgy as the ones you are apparaently debunking, not to mention noone ever used a state count to prove anything. Aussie Rules is the most popular code of football in Australia, by any measure (eg [7]). I tend to agree that stating it is the most popular sport is probably going a bit far, but the rest of the paragraph is fine. If anything, it understates the popularity of Aussie Rules in the NSW Riverina. Keep in mind also, that this article is about the sport, not about the AFL. JPD 14:37, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

The standard measurement of popularity used by the ABS is game attendance and participation. This doesn't accurately measure the popularity of a sport. It's perfectly valid to refer to the AFL alone in this argument since QAFL, NSWAFL, WAFL etc are not telecasted nationally if at all. The popularity section boasts the # of states where the game is the most popular sport and mentions attendance. That's fine except it doesn't mention anything about television viewership nor the populations of those states and territories mentioned. In this respect, the reader has no way to quantify the popularity accurately and the article implies that the sport is phenomenally more popular than it is. I know AFL fans can become extremely obsessive so we can't really expect an truely NPOV article on the subject without outside help. In a few weeks i'm going to be back in australia. I intend to do some research and provide an NPOV article based on cited sources. Wikipedia's NPOV policy is not negotiable in any article. Furthermore, this article is loaded with original material and lacks the appropriate citations expected from a Wikipedia article. These rules apply to AFL fans too! Factoid Killer 09:49, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
The paragraph describes the geographical spread of the popularity of Aussie Rules.
That's right it does and it stops short of actually providing any evidence of the sports popularity at a national level leaving the reader believing that an extremely large majority of people follow the sport in comparison to other sports.Factoid Killer 12:46, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
It does not "boast the # of states where the game is the most popular sport".
It implies it! Show me where the term 'Geographical spread' is used in the article!Factoid Killer 12:46, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
If you read the paragraph as a description of the game's popularity, rather than assuming it was trying to make ridiculous claims, it might make more sense to you.
I did read it as a description of the games popularity. That's the problem!Factoid Killer 12:46, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
Your argument about other leagues is nonsense.
My argument regarding other leagues validates my legitimate claim to use the term AFL and to limit my research to AFL whilst investigating the popularity of the sport of Australian Rules Football. Unless you believe there are a significant number of followers who only follow the local state level games and bear no interest in the AFL then my argument is still valid.Factoid Killer 12:46, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
I didn't mention the ABS, so I'm not sure what you are referring to.
I'm referring to the governing body that is usually considered to be the authority on statistics in Australia and dismissing their statistics as invalid. Not everything I have to say is necessarily an argument debunking you. Get over yourself.Factoid Killer 12:46, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
The Sweeny Report that I mentioned uses as a criteria simply whether a person claims to be interested in the sport.
Where is that mentioned?Factoid Killer 12:46, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
Is that broad enough for you? There is more to life than television,
Nice Straw Man! Factoid Killer 12:46, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
but if you want to add information on the viewing figures, then do that.
Television viewership is far more valid than game attendance since viewership represents a much higher number of followers. I think it would be a very valid statistic to add if you're going to make a comparison between the popularity of AFL in comparison to followers of other sporting bodies.Factoid Killer 12:46, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
The fact that the SANFL and WAFL are not telecast nationally doesn't mean that they don't show evidence of the popularity of the code. JPD 10:17, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
See my previous comment regarding that particular argument.Factoid Killer 12:46, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

By the way, I noticed you didn't comment on my suggestion that this article is loaded with Non-NPov original material with little or no source citation to back it up.Factoid Killer 13:01, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Sources should definitely be added. If you have any more examples of POV sections, then please point them out, but please try to avoid reading things that aren't there. I have agreed with you that the wording "most popular spectator sport" is possibly misleading, and regarded as the national sport is dodgy, and have changed the article accordingly. I'm not sure what you are getting at with the rest of your comments. You do seem to think television audiences are important, so if you have some sources about them, please tell us, rather than complaining about the existence of other statistics. No one at all has implied that the ABS figures give an overall indicator of the popularity of the sport, they have simply used them for what they are valid for, so I am still not sure what you are referring to. I will say again that the main purpose of the section is *not* to make comparisons with other sports, but to describe what popularity the code has. This means stating where it is and isn't dominant and mentioning attendance rates, participation rates and television audiences without trying to draw conclusions about which figures are most relevant. The reader can do that for themselves. Lastly, please don't try to break up my comments, as how you did it last time obscured the points I was making. JPD 13:32, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

I will say again that the main purpose of the section is *not* to make comparisons with other sports, but to describe what popularity the code has. I have to disagree with you there. How can you demonstrate the popularity of a sport without benchmarking it against other sports. Saying Austrlian rules is very popular, or even the 'most' popular sport is like saying, 'my piece of string is very long' or 'I have the longest piece of string'. As someone reading the article I want to see how much more popular the sport is overall and in comparison to the sport that comes second in the popularity contest. Having said that, nothing annoys me more than when Aussie Rules fans pull out their pencil and eraser on a rugby league article and insert the term 'Aussie Rules' in as many places as they can get away with! That's not what i'm trying to do here and generally speaking, I like to discuss potential edits prior to making changes to a page.

I will, as you suggest, add some sources, citable statistics and non-npov wording to the article.Factoid Killer 13:44, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Please don't post comments in other people's posts, it makes it hard to tell who's said what.
Why measure popularity by majority per state? The popularity of sports doesn't respect state borders, especially when it comes to the AFL. For example:
Total viewers (in thousands) and broken down by five largest cities.
STATE OF ORIGIN RUGBY LEAGUE QLD V NSW 1ST GAME. Total 1,733. Syd 813; Mel 128; Bris 726; Ade 32; Perth 34.
STATE OF ORIGIN RUGBY LEAGUE NSW V QLD 2ND GAME: Total 1,758. Syd 959; Mel 106; Bris 652; Ade 22; Perth 19
STATE OF ORIGIN RUGBY LEAGUE QLD V NSW 3RD GAME: Total: 1,863. Syd 952; Mel 251; Bris 593; Ade 32; Per 35
2005 NRL GRAND FINAL Total: 2,563. Syd 1,188; Mel 506; Bris 778; Ade 49; Per 42
2005 AFL GRAND FINAL Total: 3,386. Syd 991; Mel 1,202; Bris 341; Ade 341; Per 511
Interesting to note that almost as many people in Sydney watched the AFL grand final as watched the NRL event. You could argue that it was because the Swans were playing, but that doesn't explain the lacklustre figures for league outside of Sydney and Brisbane, e.g. the relative figures in figures in Perth and Adelaide for Origin 2 and the AFL GF.
That site doesn't have stats yet for the last Socceroos game. Every source I have seen says that soccer is the biggest sport in terms of participation (probably because because of the number of kids, including girls playing), but Aussie rules is second and it also gets the biggest attendances and TV audiences, by a significant margin.
Oh, by the way, official attendance at the WAFL grand final was 22,570.[8] ;-) Grant65 | Talk 14:28, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Why measure popularity by majority per state? The popularity of sports doesn't respect state borders, especially when it comes to the AFL. For example:

Didn't suggest we do but your suggestion reinforces the meaningless nature of the state based stats when trying to draw a conclusion from a national standpoint. If you'd read my comments you'd see I actually suggested using viewership as the main component of such an argument. So thanks for backing my argument and supplying some usefull stats. I'd like to see some of the viewership stats in the article.

Every source I have seen says that soccer is the biggest sport in terms of participation (probably because because of the number of kids, including girls playing), but Aussie rules is second Well the ABS disagrees.

This link includes all forms of exercise as well as sports. Aussie rules doesn't even rank in the top 10. Soccer is number 10...

This article is limited to organised sports and shows stats for children alone. Aussie Rules is ranked 6th after swimming, soccer, netball, tennis and basketball

Oh, by the way, official attendance at the WAFL grand final was 22,570.[6] ;-) Grant65 | Talk 14:28, 22 November 2005 (UTC) Perhaps you can explain the relevance of this point. I don't get it.

Factoid Killer 15:03, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

You are being extremely inconsistent, one minute you say what the ABS says is crap, the next you're using their statistics to prove your point. The most recent version of the sweeney report, mentioned above, which uses participation as well as watching and attending, gives swimming as the most popular sport, with tennis, cricket and AF tied on second. Taking only TV (your favourite statistic) AF is the highest. Again, it contains many forms of exercise as well. If you want to read it - And please stop editing other peoples comments, it's just confuses things. bjmurph talk‽ 15:22, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Posting bits of other peoples things to reply to is confusing too. bjmurph talk‽ 16:12, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
Inconsistency doesn't cover it. The WAFL reference was a light hearted reference to your enigmatic comments about the state Aussie rules comps, which I still don't understand. (The WAFL games are telecast, by the way, live on the ABC. I would guess the SANFL and VFL games are as well.)
I gladly defer to the ABS, which also shows Aussie rules to be the number one spectator sport:
MAIN SPORTS ATTENDED, 12 months ending April 1999
Sport; Persons ('000); Attendance rate %
Australian rules: 2,509.2; 16.8
Horse racing: 1,756.4; 11.8
Motor sports: 1,574.3; 10.6
Rugby league: 1,501.1; 10.1
Cricket: 942.5 6.3
Soccer: 621.2; 4.2
Harness racing: 534.8; 3.6
Basketball: 526.0; 3.5
Rugby union: 446.2; 3.0
Tennis: 444.0; 3.0
Dog racing: 276.4; 1.9
Netball: 248.7; 1.7
...unless we accept the "argument" that league fans would rather watch it on TV. But I don't buy it. Logically the biggest problem for league in terms of its following is not Aussie rules but rugby union, which was established first and (I'm guessing) has been growing in popularity since professionalism was (officially) allowed. Grant65 | Talk 15:33, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
I think that the League people watching TV is a moot point, because I'm yet to see a statistic that shows the NRL TV viewing greater than the AFL TV viewing. bjmurph talk‽ 16:12, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
I haven't at any point suggested that Rugby League has higher ratings or is more popular. All I have suggested is, if you are going to say Australian Rules is more popular, this should be correctly sourced and sourced in a way that shows how much more popular it is in comparison to other sports.

To BJMurph You are being extremely incosistent, one minute you say what the ABS says is crap, the next you're using their statistics to prove your point.

OK feel free to quote me out of context! What I said was that the ABS doesn't provide statistics that will tell us which sport is more popular or how popular Australian sports are in comparison to one another. Where i've used abs stats it has been specifically in relation to participation in sport.

The most recent version of the sweeney report If you'd bothered to read my comments you'd see that I do view the sweeny report as a solid source and that my only gripe is with the fact that none of the stats from said report are included in the article!

gives swimming as the most popular sport, with tennis cricket and AF tied on second Ah. So are you now saying that Aussie Rules isn't the most popular sport in Australia? Or have I misunderstood your point?

And please stop editing other peoples comments, it's just confuses things Well firstly, I didn't edit anyone elses comments. I merely inserted my comments amongst theirs so it would be obvious which point i'm addressing. After doing that ONCE I was asked not to so I didn't do it again. Your statement implies that i've continued to do this. This is a false accusation and a clear attempt at the ad hominen fallacy. A dirty debating trick. If what you're actually referring to me copying and pasting the arguments i'm commenting on, I fail to see how that makes it more confusing. In fact i'd say it's making it more difficult for yout to confuse the issue. You sure are trying hard though aren't you?

To Grant65 Inconsistency doesn't cover it. The WAFL reference was a light hearted reference to your enigmatic comments about the state Aussie rules comps, which I still don't understand. My comments suggesting that it's ok to look at AFL popularity alone to get an idea of the popularity of the sport as a whole? Again I will say, unless you think a significant number of those WAFL supporters don't support the AFL, there is no need to look at those numbers. This is yet another attempt at a straw man argument.

I gladly defer to the ABS, which also shows Aussie rules to be the number one spectator sport: I don't dispute these stats at all. Only the context in which they are used. These stats don't in any way conclusively suggest that Aussies rules is 'more popular' than every other sport in Australia. They merely show that Aussie rules gets more attendence at its games. Any level headed person can see that. If you can't i'd suggest your judgement is clouded by the love of the game to the extent that you are incapable of taking a pragmatic approach to the subject.

Logically the biggest problem for league in terms of its following is not Aussie rules but rugby union And yet another straw man argument. This discussion has nothing to do with rugby league. This discussion relates to the non-npov way in which Aussie Rules is represented in this article as Australia's most 'popular' sport.

Please read the prior discussion before adding anything further to this discussion. And please cease using dirty debating tactics. I'm familiar with all of the logical fallacies. We might even improve this article as a result!

Factoid Killer 16:28, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

You'll notice I had already struck out the comment about editing other peoples comments, I wasn't reading it properly. And I will now say the same about the ABS comment, but with your interjections and stuff, I was finding the page hard to read. Perhaps if you made sure your comments were on a new line after the person you're quoting (maybe indented)(bold is good though).
You have indeed misunderstood my point, I beleive the article claims that Australian Football is the most popular spectator sport (or if it doesn't, it did, and should). The Sweeney report includes participation. bjmurph talk‽ 16:49, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Another example of out of control non-NPOV

Cricket is the most common summer spectator sport in Australia, and is usually played on the same grounds as Australian Football. In the past, many elite-level footballers played representative cricket, but the increasingly professional nature of the game made this impossible by the 1980s. Of the other organised sports or physical activities played by aussie rules footballers in Australia, outdoor cricket is the most popular.

I think we're forgetting what the CG part of MCG stands for!Factoid Killer 10:01, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

I think you're forgetting what the article is about. JPD 10:20, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
You must be pretty desperate for a valid argument if, in order to gain one, you have to resurect a comment I already admitted was incorrect and subsequently deleted in order to gain one!
I did not see that you had deleted your comment, as it edit conflicted with my edit to the previous section and was quite confusing. At any rate, it is not normal to delete comments from the talk page. To avoid confusion, you might like admit on the talk page that you misread the sentence, rather than just deleting your comment. JPD 13:12, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
I admitted it in the history where the deletion was recorded. The entire section became pointless but since you're not going to let it die I decided to take some time to go through the first part of the article. I'm not finished yet...
Could you please assume good faith? The edit conflict was quite confusing and I did not realise that you had deleted it. I did not imply that you did not admit it, I simply suggested that it would have been less confusing to admit on the talk page. I am perfectly happy to let it die now that I understand you retracted the comment. I am not perfectly happy to accept your accusation that I deliberately resurrected it. JPD 13:40, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
OK good faith it is. I even deleted the accusation.... well i thought that was funny. I originally thought the sentence was suggesting that cricket is played on an Aussie Rules field. That would qualify as non-NPOV. Saying they're played on the same field is not.

:::::It seem that you added this paragraph just before I clicked edit, so I hadn't read it when I wrote the above. The explanation for the 6 minutes, if you want it, is that I clicked submit when I had finished my edit to the earlier section, and then worked on something else. When I came back to the window, I saw that it had not been submitted due to an edit conflict. How much of the six minutes was between your edits and my original submission and how much was between my first submission and my second one, I don't know. You can see that my "resurrection" of your comment was part of the edit I made to the earlier section. JPD 13:53, 22 November 2005 (UTC) This was a response to your now deleted accusation - I am still having trouble keeping up with you, but I think we understand the original problem now, so let's leave it at that. JPD 13:56, 22 November 2005 (UTC)


Openning Paragraph

Spectacular high marks ("speccies") are regarded as one of the game's main attributes as a spectator sport. From who's 'point of view' is it spectacular?

Spectators. That's why it says " a spectator sport". If this is "POV", then you presumably believe that some other attribute of the game is more important to spectators. Which? Stevage 14:52, 16 December 2005 (UTC)


Domestic Migration I'm a northerner and a rugby league fan, experientially I can't deny that AFL seems to be Australia's most popular winter sport and is growing in popularity. This point should be made though:

  • In the states that support AFL pre-dominantly, that sport is followed with an unmatched level of passion, akin to a religion or way of life for many. It is not only accepted, but expected that you follow an AFL team, and it does not matter whether you are a truck driver or a lawyer the game is loved by everyone. In NSW on the other hand, following rugby league can sometimes be considered low-brow by your intellectual types, uncool by your hip types and thuggish brutality by your vegan types. Factor in the class divide where your elite private schools play rugby union only, and breed staunch union supporters and you can see you're behind the eight ball already. And then there is domestic migration, which in Australia tends to move in a north eastern direction meaning people brought up speaking the language of AFL move into NSW and Queensland and increase the supporter base for the code in those states.
  • With relation to the above, this affects media coverage of the respective sports in Sydney. There are two reasons for this, the average union and AFL fan in NSW has a higher expendable income than the average rugby league fan (sorry no references), leading to these sports being able to attract 'high-end' sponsors and advertisers. In a vicious cycle, these 'high end' company's are often run at the highest levels by graduates from the aforementioned elite schools and we know where their loyalties lie. (In a quick aside, my personal opinion is that in Australia, rugby union would be as much of an anachronism as royal tennis, if it weren't for the elite private schools keeping it alive all these years.) Good sponsorship like this leads to greater exposure, even if the actual level of support doesn't warrant it. The Sydney Morning Herald is a prime example. This paper concentrates on union and AFL at the expense of rugby league, it also has a very poor circulation compared to the other major Sydney paper, the Daily Telegraph.

-- 00:54, 25 November 2005 (UTC)Regards CS----- 00:54, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Very true. And i'm happy to admit I came to this page knowing it would be loaded with non-npov statments due to the incredible level of fanaticism with the sport. The level of fanaticism can only be compared to sports such as soccer in europe and GAA sports in country areas of Ireland (GAA sports are not popular in dublin where everyone just follows british soccer). When visiting Melbourne many a cab driver has become upset with me when my response to the question 'which team do you follow?' is the Brisbane Broncos Factoid Killer 09:28, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

In doing so, you managed to find several "non-npov statements" that were perfectly npov when they were read sensibly. You might have understood what was being said better if you didn't start with the assumption that it would be inappropriate. I agree with you that there are several vague unsourced statements, but that is not the same as POV-pushing. JPD 10:45, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
That may be the case but either way, my presumption has allowed me to play devils advocate to the benefit of the article. Factoid Killer 11:41, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

attracts more interest than any other winter sport This comment is backed up by an excellent citation. The citation has a great deal of information that could aid the reader to quantify the popularity of Australian rules football in comparison to other sports. However, none of that information is included in the article!

In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) rugby union is arguably more popular. Arguable by whom? Who is being quoted here? Where's the source to back this up? Looks like heresay to me.

I am not a rugby fan but I live in Canberra and I can tell you that Rugby Union (at the elite level) easily attracts, on average, more spectators per game. It's a non contest so drop it.
Sorry not good enough. I expect more than anecdotal evidience to back a claim like this. Where are the numbers? Who are you quoting? 09:13, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
It's probably true, it does need to be sourced, but more to the point, does it really need to be in the article? The point is that in most of NSW, Qld and ACT, AF is not the obviously dominant code as it is in other areas. For this context, it doesn't matter what the dominant code is. JPD 09:48, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

In recent years, there has been a boom in Australian Football in Brisbane, and this appears to be closely linked to the success of the Brisbane Lions, who won three premierships in a row (2001-2003), and were runners-up in 2004. Who is being quoted here? Where is the citation and stats to back up the claim? Looks like an assumption based on anecdotal evidence to me.

We can look at Brisbane Lions membership and crowd attendance (through the roof), and participation rates of school-age children in the Brisbane metropolitan area, especially in the Auskick program.
That would be a good start. In addition, can we find out the rise in television ratings? Since the first premiership win? Maybe the immigration stats. I'm originally from Brisbane and recall a time when the only attendance the Brisbane Bears received consisted of southern immigrants who were there to see the opposition play. It has been suggested that those AFL fans had children and their children follow the Brisbane Lions. This largely accounts for the grown in support for the sport in Brisbane prior to the first premiership win. I'll see if I can track down a quote or source for this. 09:13, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

In both the ACT and south-western NSW, Australian Football has rivalled the two varieties of rugby in popularity over many decades. Over many decades? I find that difficult to believe. And again I ask, where's the source of this information?

This is a stupid question, it is common knowledge, like the sky is blue. Southern NSW has alsways been Aussie rules territory, some of the best players in history have come from Albury and Wagga. In fact in the 1996 grand final, the two captains of the opposing teams both came from Wagga. As for the ACT, only someone who doesn't know the history of Canberra would query this fact.
This is a stupid suggestion. It doesn't matter if it is common knowledge. You are breaking wikipedia's rules by including original material and not providing a source. Having said that, I did misread the quote and thought it was suggesting all of NSW. I agree it is common knowledge. I've been to wagga wagga and albury. However, I stand by my comment that this needs to be sourced.

With nearly 400,000 participants, Australian Football is also one of the most played sports in the Australia. Great. Now the participation section. Easily verifiable by the Australian Bureau of statistics web site. One problem. It's a pretty vague comment. One of the most played sports and successfully manages to leave people assuming certain things. How about stating the its rank? It might be interesting for people to know that soccer, netball and basketball all have higher participation rates and Australian Rules football. And that in adults, sports such as golf, darts,billiards and pool have higher participation rates. This is exactly how i'd word an article if I were expressing point of view and pushing an agenda.

Australian Football is also now played in more than 20 countries around the world. This fails to express how unpopular the sport is in those 20 countries?

Does it really need to address popularity (surely general popularity was covered in a previous section that mentions the game is only popular in Nauru and PNG ? In any case it is a simple statement of fact - no more, no less. --Biatch


The most powerful organisation and competition within the game is the elite, professional Australian Football League (AFL)

Oh they're elite. Is that another non-NPOV comment? how about quoting somebody saying that?

  1. Stating a rank is completley meaningless when there is so much of an argument over what that rank is. The very fact your arguing illustrates that "one of the most popular" is the most neutral thing we can say.
  2. It does not matter how unpopular it is, it is saying how many countries it is played in. Does it say, "AF is the best sport ever, with national leagues in 20 countries"?
  3. We don't need a quote to prove the AFL is the elite league - to quote Macquarie, "a group of people with the most power, money, education etc." elite is just an adjective. Would you argue the AFL does not have the most money of any organisation of the game? And they set the rules, how much more power can you have?

I notice that all your arguments come from the sections that were removed from the intro. They are terefore summarising what should have been further into the article. I was not a fan of the leagues section, seeing as there is a teams and leagues section further in.

bjmurph talk‽ 15:38, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

No I merely read through the first few paragraphs looking for non-npov statements. I stopped at the leagues section due to time constraints. I intend to go through the remainder of the article. I don't want to go making changes without discussing them first. That sort of thing leads to reversion and wasted time.
  1. With regards to rank, there is no dispute regarding the ranking as a participant sport. The ABS provides these figures and even if we disputed it, it wouldn't matter. You can still say "the ABS says...".
  2. How popular it is in those countries is very interesting and usefull information. The absence of this information can be interpreted as non-npov writing.
  3. As for your 'elite' comment, there should be nothing in this article that can be interpreted as 'original material'. Everything in this article is supposed to be sourced from somewhere. This rule applies to all wikipedia articles. This one is not an exception.

Factoid Killer 16:41, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

I just took a look at the article for the first time since writing this and see that the issues i brought up have been addressed. I'm impressed. I think the article is better as a result. Still needs more verifiable citations and quotations.Factoid Killer 17:01, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

I wasn't trying to say anything about your comments, rather that until a few weeks ago, everything up to and including the leagues section was in the intro. I haven't liked it is(or like it was), and have felt it sub par, but not quite sure how to go about fixing it.

  1. Fair enough
  2. I still think that this is ok— perhaps your use of the word unpopular got my back up (fails to mention the degree of popularity...?) My understanding is that it is quite popular in some countries, esp. the US. Shouldn't be too hard to find references
  3. And I still think you're taking this one too far— Everything in the article must be sourced, but that does not mean that everything in the article must be directly quoted from somewhere (granted, "elite" is possibly not the best word)

bjmurph talk‽ 17:08, 22 November 2005 (UTC) (stop editing the page while i'm trying to post!!!!)

  1. The participation information should not have been removed from the page. I think it is fair enough to say it is one of the most played sports, as the definition of sport differs from survey to survey. (A lot of people swim, a lot less swim compeititively), but we should definitely give the figures from the ABS. The emphasis should be on the nubmers, not the comparison.
  2. Including "amateur" probably makes enough difference, but you were being a bit fussy to start with - don't read too much into a sentence. At any rate, more detail is given later in the article.
  3. I think the relevant definition of elite here is “The best or most skilled members of a group: the football team's elite.” It would be POV to declare individual players elite, or possibly even to call the VFL the elite league in the past, but in modern days the structure of the game is such that saying the AFL is the elite league is as undisputable as calling the Premier League the elite competition in English soccer. We don't need to have sources for the word "elite", simply for the fact that it is the top-level competition. JPD 09:48, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
  1. Re: the word elite. OK I agree that the word elite can be used in a non-npov context. However, in the sentence it's being used here, it is redundant. It becomes POV at the point that the same point is repeated a multiple number of times in the same sentence. I'm happy for them to be called either the most powerful organisation or the elite organisation, but not both. What if instead of saying 'The NRL is the elite governing body for the sport of rugby leage in Australia' I decided to say this 'The NRL is the most powerful, vigorously supreme, almighty and elite governing body of the sport of rugby league in Australia'?Factoid Killer 14:47, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

You have a good point. I guess I feel that the meaning of elite being used here is the one that refers to the skill level of the competition, rather than the power and money of the organisation (governing body). It would be good to rewrite/split the sentence to that it adequately reflects both aspects. JPD 14:54, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

  1. Re: the word elite. Geez, if you really want one, the NAB (sponsors) obviously think it is elite, because they drop the word about 5 times in this article [9]. If guess if it wasn't elite, you could probably walk up and get a game, which is obviously not the case. --User:Biatch


Should this article be renamed from "Australian rules football" to "Australian Rules Football"? It seems to be that the former sounds like a statement about a person in charge of football :) But in all seriousness, the latter is the correct title, is it not? The history in the redirect appears to show the reverse was done on 11 November 2004, I but cannot think why. "rules" (uncapitalised) implies something other than a title. -- Iantalk 02:27, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Hi Ian - I agree it needs to be looked at, I don't understand either why it was changed to lower case. It has to be either Australian Rules Football, or simply Australian Football (remembering that the league is called the Australian Football League). ρ¡ρρµ δ→θ∑ - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 03:06, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
Hi Pippu - long time no speak! Definitely not "Australian Football"! I always played "Aussie Rules" or "Australian Rules Football". Regards -- Iantalk 04:18, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
I too played "Aussie Rules" or "Australian Rules Football" (in amongst kick-to-kick, waxing, going for speccies and having pot shots at goal from impossible angles). All I can add is that I have noticed a trend over the last 10 to 15 years to use the term "Australian Football", and indeed some of the major leagues around the country (and maybe even some club names), that may have once had the term "Rules" in them, have dropped it of late. I accept that this is just a gut-feel and I have not surveyed anyone - either way, Australian rules football is not acceptable. --ρ¡ρρµ δ→θ∑ - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 04:50, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
I don't understand why it's not acceptable. The "Australian" part is the only part that refers to a proper noun, the rest should be uncapitalised in the same way we refer to "American football", "Association football", etc. We don't play "Netball and Basketball", we play netball and basketball. There's nothing about the name of the sport that demands capitalisation except for the bit that is named after a country, even if only for consistency's sake. Whatever our own opinions surely we should follow WP convention at least.--The Brain of Morbius 05:07, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
  1. When I was playing in the junior ranks (rare for a queenslander) our sport was referred to as 'Australian Footy' which was a cut down version where you couldn't kick the ball off the ground. The senior players played a game called 'Australian Football'. That's how it was officially termed.
  2. It doesn't matter how you want the capitalisation to work, it is a wikipedia standard to capitalise only the first letter of the first word.Factoid Killer 09:20, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
Not quite true - if the title as a whole is a proper noun (eg New South Wales), then obviously each word has a capital letter. However, the convention is (correctly) that names of sports are not proper nouns, hence rugby league and Australian rules football. It is true that the game is often called simply Australian football, but the version with "rules" is at least as common and less ambiguous. The name of the AFL is irrelevant, as I'm fairly sure that there the sport is simply refered to as "football", with "Australian" referring to the league. JPD 10:04, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
if it's a wikipedia convention - fair enough - but I still maintain there has been a big push over the last 10 to 15 years to call it simply Australian football, also, I can't help thinking that that is the normal encyclopaedic entry - but I'm definitely not going to die in a ditch over it! ρ¡ρρµ δ→θ∑ - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 11:28, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
There may have been 'a push', but I don't think that's the standard term yet. I call it "Australian football" when explaining it to foreigners, but that's still a bit of a neologism.
  • I've done a bit of research and thought this through a bit more and have to backtrack and agree with User:JPD. ie. leave as is. I apologise for bringing this up. -- Iantalk 18:26, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

External links

I notice that some of the lists in the article have been columnised, drawing attention to something I was planning to raise earlier - should we really have that many external links listed? Most of them seem to be fairly good sites, but we aren't meant to be a link directory. The links at cricket have been deliberately kept at a much smaller number, so maybe someone should do a bit of a cull here? JPD 17:40, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't think it's too bad. I agree it's as long as it should be, and maybe could be tightened slightly, but don't think a drastic cull is necessary.--Cinephobia 11:20, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Bah :p Many links, but none to me --Paul 14:36, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

I recommend doing what they do at Association football: have only high-level links in the main article, and place other links in more relevant articles (e.g. the articles on the actual organisations the refer to). --Daveb 09:17, 30 November 2005 (UTC)


The lengthy discussion regarding padding has been moved to Talk:Australian rules football/padding; to see it in its original context prior to the move click here


I ask again: are these the very best photos we can get our hands on of the great Australian game? The one photo we show, looks more like the old Sun "Spot the Ball" competition. C'mon, let's lift our game! ρ¡ρρµ δ→θ∑ - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 22:57, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Don't worry mate, footy season coming up soon, plenty of opportunities coming up. Cheers, Rogerthat Talk 08:07, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
I've uploaded some pictures I took at a match between Essendon and the Lions in June last year. They're not great, but are better than what is there now. I haven't added them in yet, I'll leave that for someone else to do. They could also possibly be re-cropped and resized, I can do this if someone asks. Locations: Australian_rules_01.jpg, Australian_rules_02.jpg, Australian_rules_03.jpg --Joshd 15:25, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
I've cropped the one with the banner, uploaded it as Image:Footybanner.jpg and put it in the section of this article mentioning the banners. JPD (talk) 11:09, 2 March 2006 (UTC)


Well, this article is pretty good, so congrats to the people involved. I do feel however, that it glorifies the sport a bit much, I know it is popular, but this article is a tad misleading, reading through it, it reads as if AFL is the be all and end all of Australian sport. Im not here to bag AFL by any means, and I know that there are sources provided and so on, but I do feel the article is not really written in a NPOV. Forever young 03:51, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

About once every few months, someone comes along questioning the stats about the TV audiences, participation, live crowds, membership, etc. Rather than go through all of it a gain in tedious detail, could you please highight a few areas that are POV, especially via direct quotes from the article. ρ¡ρρµ δ→θ∑ - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 05:20, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't call it non-NPOV, but the Popularity section, particularly with it positioned as the lead item (in front of what the game actually is, and its history) and its length, reads more like a fan site than a encyclopaedia --Paul 09:31, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
that's a fair point - I am wondering whether it has always been there at the start, or whether it snuck in there during some of the many reorgs of the article...ρ¡ρρµ δ→θ∑ - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 11:54, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
in fact I just checked a version I edited on 25 September 2005 and noticed that there was no section on the popularity of the game - so clearly it has been added in since - nothing wrong with that, but as you correctly point out, it may be best appearing after the game is actually described - I have to agree with you on that one - anyone else? ρ¡ρρµ δ→θ∑ - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 11:57, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
I believe the intro understandably said something about where the game was played, which then became a lengthy explanation of it's popularity in Australia, etc, which became so long it was correctly made a separate section from the intro. I agree that it shouldn't really be at the beginning. JPD (talk) 19:17, 19 February 2006 (UTC)


A few soccer fundamentalists are hijacking the term football in Australian articles. See, for example, [[Category:Football_in_Australia]]. We need concerted action to stop this. Grant65 | Talk 10:16, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Put the category up for renaming. That name can't really be justified, so you should get support. JPD (talk) 11:40, 22 February 2006 (UTC)


I propose a section in the article on some of the tactics and terminology used in the game, drawing from Australian Rules slang and Category:Australian rules football terminology. Any thoughts or suggestions on this? Rogerthat Talk 11:18, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

The article is already quite long. If we were to add anything like this, we'd have to prune the rest of it, I think. If things are covered in another article, they don't need to have too much detail here - the attendance records could be removed, for example. JPD (talk) 11:44, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Please vote a poll on references to Aussie rules in the Football article. Grant65 | Talk 03:37, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

External links

I've just reverted the additional of a generic football forum a couple of times. Could someone more knowledgeable go through and trim the external links? -- Chuq 06:45, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

All the links that you have removed were definitely aussie rules specific, so I don't understand your edit summary. However, there were way too many links. I have cut quite a few, but there are still more than there should be going by Wikipedia:External links. JPD (talk) 09:45, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, one was SANFL, one was North Melbourne, one appeared to be a Coke promotional site.. and one other. -- Chuq 12:47, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

I've added the following text in a comment in the external links section - feel free to change if you don't think it is appropriate: Please DO NOT add other external links here unless they offer something specific that isn't available at any other site. There are hundreds of unofficial fan sites and they can not all be listed here. Preference will be given to links added by editors who contribute content, as opposed to editors who sign up specifically to promote a particular website. -- Chuq 00:32, 3 April 2006 (UTC)