Variations of Australian rules football

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"Recreational Football" or "Rec Footy" is an Australian Football League endorsed non-contact variety which uses tags to replace tackling and encourages participation of both sexes.

Variations of Australian rules football are games or activities based on or similar to the game of Australian rules football, in which the player uses common Australian rules football skills. They range in player numbers from 2 (in the case of kick-to-kick) up to the minimum 38 required for a full Australian rules football.

Some are essentially identical to Australian rules football, with only minor rule changes, while others are more distant and arguably not simple variations but distinct games. Others still have adapted to the unavailability of full-sized cricket fields. Other variations include children's games, contests or activities intended to help the player practice or reinforce skills, which may or may not have a competitive aspect.

Most of the variations are played in informal settings, without the presence of umpires and sometimes without strict adherence to official game rules.

Participatory Varieties[edit]

AusKick taking place during the half time break of an AFL game at Telstra Dome.

Auskick[edit]

Further information: Auskick

Auskick is a national program in Australia to develop and promote participation in Australian rules football amongst children, and has proven to be popular with both boys and girls.

The program, devised in 1998 and begun in Victoria under the name Vickick. It was supported by the Australian Football League, the national professional competition for the sport, who began to roll it out nationally.

It has also seen variations overseas including Viking Kick (Denmark).

A Melbourne University Mugars player jostles for best position in an overhead Marking contest, while a tackled Darebin Falcons player lies down.

Women's Footy[edit]

Women's Australian rules football (also known as Women's Aussie Rules, Women's footy, Women's AFL or in areas where it is popular, simply football) is a fast-growing sport.

Although it is a contact sport, women's Australian rules is sometimes played with modified rules. It is less brutal on the body than women's American football, women's rugby league or women's rugby union and offers more physicality than women's soccer, as well as requiring both hand and foot co-ordination. It is a fast-paced team sport and is played by women of all shapes and sizes.

It is played at senior level in Australia, United States, England, New Zealand, Canada and Japan. At junior level, it is also played in Papua New Guinea, Argentina and South Africa. At schoolgirls level, it is also played in Tonga and Samoa.

Masters Australian Football[edit]

Masters Australian Football (also known as Superules) is a sport based on the game of Australian rules football for players aged 35 years and over. The sport first commenced officially on 21 September 1981, after being founded by John Hammer in 1980 in Nhill, Victoria.

Modifications to the rules reduce the physical impact of the game for older players. It is played by over 119 teams throughout Australia and around the world.

The variation to the game is also dubbed "Superfools" by some followers and players.

Lightning football[edit]

Further information: Lightning football

Lightning football is a generic term to describe variations of the game played over a shortened length, usually about half of the length of a full match. Lightning football may be played under otherwise unchanged rules, but in recent lightning matches staged by the AFL, experimental rules such as awarding a free kick against the last player to touch the ball before it goes out of bounds have been trialled.

Lightning matches are often used, particularly at junior or amateur level, to play an entire tournament inside a single day or weekend. These tournaments are typically known as lightning premierships or lightning carnivals.

Modified Field or Player Numbers[edit]

9-a-side[edit]

9-a-side Footy is played informally by Aussie Rules clubs but not yet an official sport in its own right.

9-a-side games are sometimes played on half size fields that are typically rectangular with 9 players on the field at any one time, typically consisting of 3 forwards, 3 backs and 3 centre players. Often two games are played at the same time on a single Australian Rules or cricket field. Other times, 9-a-side makes use of the full space of the field when a full complement of players is not available. This variety is a more open, running variety of Australian rules.

A minimum of 18 players are required in total, but many teams field unlimited interchange benches.

Rules are the same as Australian rules football. Limited and non-contact versions of 9-a-side Footy are also played by both men and women's leagues.

Examples of official tournaments held under these rules include the EU Cup and Bali Nines.

Samoa Rules[edit]

Samoa Rules is a game derived from Australian rules football that has also been played in Samoa. The game is played on rugby fields and each team consists of 15 players per side.

Unlike Australian rules football, player movement is restricted to zones (similarly to Rec Footy). There is a line across the centre that backs and forwards can not cross. Onballers are allowed to go anywhere.

The Vailima Six-Shooters' Championship began in Samoa in 1998 under these rules, becoming known as Samoa Rules. A number of Samoa Rules players went on to represent Samoa in the Samoan national Australian rules football team, known as the Bulldogs.

Metro Footy[edit]

Further information: Metro Footy

Metro Footy (or Metro Rules Footy) - a modified version of Australian rules football rules played on gridiron football, rugby or soccer fields, predominantly in the United States of America. The reasons for the development of Metro Footy was partly due to there being few grounds large enough for traditional Australian Rules matches, but also to allow competitive footy to be played with small playing numbers, allowing for better recruitment possibilities.

Teams typically consist of 9-a-side on a 110 x 50 meter field. The teams that play feed into larger 18-a-side Australian Rules representative teams that participate in leagues such as the MAAFL or tournaments such as the USAFL National Championships and also provide the opportunity to introduce new American players to the game of Aussie Rules.

Several clubs from the United States Australian Football League participate in Metro Footy.

Recreational Varieties[edit]

Recreational Football.

Rec Footy[edit]

Further information: Rec Footy

Recreational Football (also known as Rec Footy or Recreational Footy) is a non-contact version of the Australian rules football game sanctioned by the Australian Football League. It is a more accessible version of Australian rules football that people can pick up and play with some degree of skill and ability and it is directly aligned to the traditional game of Australian rules football. It is a mixed competition, accessible to players of both sexes, all shapes and sizes and requires minimal equipment to play, but is suitable only for those above Auskick age.

The after game kick-to-kick tradition at the Melbourne Cricket Ground is a rare sight. Following an AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and Port Adelaide Power, 16,000 fans were let onto the hallowed turf.

Kick-to-Kick[edit]

Further information: Kick-to-kick

Kick-to-kick is a pastime, a well-known tradition of Australian rules football fans, and a recognised Australian term for kick and catch type games. A common format is for one person in a group to kick to a second group; whoever marks the ball kicks it back to the first group. In its "markers up" form, it is the usual casual version of Australian rules (similar to the relationship between backyard/beach cricket and the established forms of cricket).

Although not a sport in itself, the term is used to describe a social exercise played in parks, fields, streets and back yards, and requires at least two people.

Touch Aussie Rules[edit]

Touch Aussie Rules is a non-contact version of Australian rules football that is currently played in London, UK and organised by Aussie Rules UK.

All skills are used in Touch Aussie Rules, including kicking, marking, handballing and bouncing.

Hybrid Codes[edit]

An international rules football match at the Telstra Dome in Melbourne, Australia, between Australia and Ireland.

International Rules Football[edit]

Further information: International Rules Football

International rules football (Irish: Peil na rialacha idirnáisiunta; also known as inter rules in Australia and compromise rules in Ireland) is a hybrid code of football, which was developed to facilitate international representative matches between Australian rules football players and Gaelic football players and is played between Aussie Rules and Gaelic clubs worldwide.

Austus[edit]

Further information: Austus

Austus is a sport which was started in Australia during World War II when U.S. soldiers wanted to play football against the Australians. Because American Football is rarely played in Australia and Australian rules football is rarely played in the USA the players wrote up composite rules consisting of throwing, which isn't allowed in Australian rules football and kicking which is rarely used in gridiron. The name comes from the first four letters of Australia (AUST) and the initials of the United States (US).

The game has rarely, if ever, been played since.

Samoan rules[edit]

Further information: Samoa rules

A hybrid of rugby union and Aussie rules.

Universal Football[edit]

Further information: Universal football

Universal football was a proposed hybrid sport of Australian rules football and rugby league, trialled at the Sydney Showground in 1933. The game has not been played since that time[citation needed].

Following negotiations between the New South Wales Rugby League and Victorian Football League a report, including a proposed set of rules, was prepared by the secretary of the NSWRL, Harold R. Miller. A trial game was held in secret, but the plans were never instituted.

The game was designed to be played by teams of 14 on oval fields. The off-side rules of rugby league applied within 35 metres of the rugby league-style "H"-shaped goalposts. Hand passes could only be made backwards, though knocking-on and regathering were permitted. Players could be tackled anywhere between the knee and the shoulders. The Australian rules style of mark was kept. Tries were worth two points and conversions kicked over the crossbar were worth one point.