Saturday, January 4, 2014

Learning Aussie Rules football

One of the true surprises of the journey abroad has been how much I've enjoyed Australian Rules Football or Footy as it's affectionately known.  Footy is like a religion here and as soon as you can talk the game, striking a conversation with men (and often women) gets a whole lot easier.

NAB Bank was playing the below commercials this year which I love.  In very simple terms, it explains the game.  I think it's pretty cute.

There are 4 posts.  Kick it through the middle two posts:  A goal - 6 Points.  Kick it between the outside posts: A behind: 1 Point  Hit one of the two middle posts:  A behind - 1 Point.  Hit an outside post - No points  Ok now you know how to that?

Then you've got the mark.  Kick the ball at least 10 meters and if a player catches it he is awarded a mark.  A mark is basically a free kick that the opposing team cannot go beyond where the mark was taken.

There are lots of other rules...but if you can get the scoring and the mark, then you can watch and enjoy quite easily.

When moving to Perth, there will be charlatans who will try to convince you to cheer for the West Coast Eagles.  Don't fall for this nonsense.  When in Perth, cheer for the Fremantle Dockers and all will be well with the world.  (No bias to see here folks - move along)
Joking aside, we have two teams in WA, West Coast and Fremantle.  The rivalry is not as strong as hockey's Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers that I grew up with, but it does show up.  West Coast has won grand finals and has overshadowed Fremantle for a long time.  That is, until this year.  This year Fremantle was a dominating team and went to the Grand Final only to beaten by the very strong Hawthorn Hawks.

Showing Dockers pride during the finals
Angie and I got to go to a game in a company box which was a truly awesome experience.  The field is massive, different at each stadium, and holds a huge number of people.  The Subiaco Oval, where Fremantle and West Coast play, holds 43,500.  The MCG (Melbourne Cricket Grounds) where the Grand Final is played each year holds 100,018 (yes, 100,018)

Our first game at the Subiaco Oval - Fremantle Won!

Every regular season game (1 per week as a general rule, played Friday, Saturday or Sunday) for both Fremantle and West Coast is on Freeview television. (it's normally got a minor time delay, which you can avoid by lining Rupert Murdoch's pockets with money and getting Foxtel)  I've added a few good videos below for your viewing pleasure.

I've you've made the journey to Australia, or are intending to and enjoy sports, I highly suggest giving the game a shot.

Best goals and marks of the year


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