Talk:Australian rules football

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Good articleAustralian rules football has been listed as one of the Sports and recreation good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
November 5, 2007Featured article candidateNot promoted
April 12, 2021Good article nomineeListed
Current status: Good article


"making it the oldest of the world's major football codes" Actually it seem the first set of rules came from Rugby school for what's called rugby — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:58, 9 January 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I strongly agree with you, Publishing a set of rules does not a football code make -- if it were so, Rugby (as you note) would be the world's oldest code, dating from 1845 -- followed by the Cambridge rules of 1848 (which substantially formed the basis for Association football (soccer) in 1863). However, I consider that a game is codified when a formal ruling body is inaugurated -- in the case of Australian football, that is 1877 -- preceded by Soccer (1863) and Rugby (1871). However, I'm not going to be the person who starts an editing war here.
I continue to be disappointed with some so-called Australian football historians, who attempt to 'enhance' the game's history. Thank heavens for researchers Greg de Moore and Gillian Hibbins! Peter Eedy (talk) 01:46, 1 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
VERB: codifies, codifying, codified
1. Arrange (laws or rules) into a systematic code.
the statutes have codified certain branches of common law
as adjective codified ‘in the United Kingdom there is no codified constitution
1.1 Arrange according to a plan or system.
this would codify existing intergovernmental cooperation on drugs
from the Oxford English Dictionary. Spinrad (talk) 09:23, 5 October 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Professionalism outside Victoria (Western Australia?)[edit]

The article states "New rules such as holding the ball led to a "golden era" of fast, long-kicking and high-marking football in the 1880s, a time which also saw the rise of professionalism, particularly in Victoria and Western Australia[citation needed] (where the code took hold during the colony's gold rushes)". Which is not cited. I don't think anyone would argue that the game in Victoria was becoming professional by the 1890s, however several sources seem to indicate that the WAFL resisted going professional well into the 1920s in contrast to the VFL and SAFA which went professional much earlier. I'm not sure if this statement refers to the WA Goldfields League (since it talks about the gold rush) which was very strong and separately governed or the WAFL (but still of a roughly equivalent standard). In any case, I think its probably more accurate to include South Australia than Western Australia here.--Rulesfan (talk) 04:42, 28 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I wrote that. I'm fairly sure Pennings touches on early professionalism in WA in vol 1 of Origins of Australian Football, but I don't have the book on me currently. Perhaps he was referring to the goldfields, but I think there's evidence of professionalism in WAFL in the 19th century, despite attempts to stamp it out. - HappyWaldo (talk) 01:58, 29 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Quick Trove search 1 2, but I think it's best to stick to reliable secondary sources if we can. - HappyWaldo (talk) 02:01, 29 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Feature image appropriateness[edit]

The current feature image looks more like a game of rugby and shows none of the unique attributes of Australian Rules. The players could be throwing the ball. There are no goal posts, no kicking or jumping for the ball and is taken from an angle in which no players are depicted offside ... plus it is an AFL match, and the AFL is not the only league in which the sport is played.

Ball is in dispute in Hawthorn-Essendon AFL match.jpg

--Rulesfan (talk) 03:19, 27 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, that's a poor image. Do you have a better one? HiLo48 (talk) 03:45, 27 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well the ones that were there previously worked fine. --Rulesfan (talk) 04:26, 27 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New South Wales playing it in 1866???[edit]

Uncited statements appear to have crept into this article and also the Australian Rules Football in New South Wales article that the game started there in 1866 (at the same time as Australian rules football in Queensland). Documentation on the game in Brisbane and Queensland is substantial with more than 10 clubs established by the 1870s but there appears to be zero evidence that anything but rugby played in Sydney and newspapers generally reported the Carlton vs Waratah match in 1877 as the first match of the code in the colony. Even the Albury Football Club (on the border of VIC) was not formed until 1876. Please provide some evidence that it somehow appeared without any mention over a decade earlier! Rugby was well established in Sydney in the 1860s and I find it very hard to believe that there wouldn't be some written account of the Victorian game being played there during this time. --Rulesfan (talk) 04:32, 27 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Secondary source added. Rugby wasn't "well-established" in Sydney in the early to mid-1860s, nor any other football code. Sydney was then a footballing backwater compared to Melbourne. But there are quite a few references in Sydney newspapers to local clubs adopting the Victorian code by 1866, this being just one example: "Prior to last year foot-ball had fallen into almost total disuse; but the game having been revived, there is a good prospect of this vigorous sport being generally patronised. ... The rules adopted by the Sydney club, and it is understood by the Australian club, are the same as those under which the game is played in Victoria." - HappyWaldo (talk) 07:04, 27 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fascinating! So according to this there was a "Sydney Football Club"?? formed just after or around the same time as the Brisbane Football Club??? I was under the belief that this was a rugby football club. --Rulesfan (talk) 08:06, 29 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The effect of Australian Nationalism on its international expansion[edit]

This has been removed from the article, although it was cited by independent resources. It is a very important story as it explains why the sport is so small internationally having previously spread so widely. Although little has been written on the subject (due to the exact same reasons), the exclusion policy the VFL/AFL implemented in 1906 to protect its primacy in Australia is the key reason why it remains the only place the game is played professionally!

"Faced with the growth of British sports and their increasing professionalism in Australia and growing interest around the world in the Australian game the Australasian Football Council (led by the VFL) implemented a domestic policy for game development in 1906. The Council's policy reflected the strong Australian nationalism of the time "one flag, one destiny, one football game" - that as the national code, all matches should be played under an Australian flag, with an Australian manufactured ball where possible on Australian soil, by the whole nation.[1] The Council believed it could better defend its premier position in Australia by allocating all its promotional resources to grow its marketshare in New South Wales and Queensland whilst its coexistence with rugby and the promise of a universal football code was part of its ambition of keeping growth of the game in Australia under its national (and international) control. While it allowed voting member New Zealand to send a team to the 1908 Melbourne Carnival, the policy meant no touring sides and the phasing out of financial support which stymied the game outside Australia creating significant financial and logistic barriers for overseas sides to compete. The nationalistic policies were reinforced by the 1908 Prime Ministerial speech of former player Alfred Deakin delivered at the opening of the 1908 carnival[2] and would underpin the governing body's international policy for more than half a century."

--Rulesfan (talk) 02:52, 4 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What page or pages of The Ball is Round mention the 1906 policy being implemented in response to "the growth of British sports and their increasing professionalism in Australia and growing interest around the world in the Australian game"? I found the page with the slogan "one flag, one destiny, one football game", but there is nothing in that section of the book about the game's status overseas or the increasing professionalism of "British sports" in Australia. - HappyWaldo (talk) 03:14, 4 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lead picture[edit]

A ruckman leaps above his opponent to win the hit-out during a ball-up.
Ruckmen contesting a ball-up

Frankly i'm not Australian and don't know much about this game so my opinion, as a person who is just getting acquainted with all this. As far as I understand, my attempt to change images to a more compromise one is blocked by the user HappyWaldo. No sweat. My thoughts on why the right picture is better than the left picture:

1. It's portrays the game as a team game, not just two players from teams.

2. It's neutral and potentially harmless, unlike the left picture. As a person who has studied body language and the human subconscious perception of it, I can say that in the left picture: one player clearly "dominates" the other, one looks like a floating Atlantean who controls the ball unconditionally, and the other is like a loser, with his uncomfortable face and back that serves only "stand" for the leg of that Atlas. One moment, but this moment is aggravated by different races of players, forming an unfair hierarchy between "white player" and "black player" subcontiously when you look at this close. Perhaps this photo is appropriate in an article about a specific player, but definitely not as the main picture of the whole game.

Just my thoughts, y'all do what you want with it. TyronMcLannister (talk) 12:02, 5 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The lead image for gaelic football also focuses on two players only, and no one is rushing out to change it. American football is similar in that it's more like a highlight involving two players than a generic image of team play. It seems your issue with this image is that it appears borderline mythic, and has racial implications. Well, we all have our biases, but I think Australian football reaches greater aesthetic heights than any other football code. The spectacular mark being a prime example, which is illustrated here using this image, showing one white player reducing another to a stepladder. Meaning, the race of players is incidental. Maybe if all the images on this page showed one race dominating another, it would be a bit suss. - HappyWaldo (talk) 13:00, 5 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see that you are well versed in the specifics of this game and want to interest readers with an aesthetically expressive picture at the beginning of the article, I agree with this and fully support these intentions. However, of all the other expressive pictures the most controversial one is inserted. I'm interested not only in making it interesting for people to read this article, but also in they don't have possibility to grow stereotypes and race expectations from this. With respect TyronMcLannister (talk) 13:57, 5 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As I pointed out, the article includes an image of a white player performing an equally impressive aerial feat. And the lead image is not of a spectacular mark (if it was, it would perhaps rival Ablett's mark of the century), but shows a ruckman winning the hit out during a ball up. Search ruckmen+ball up on Google Images and you'll find many similar contests. As striking an image as this one is, it is not all that unusual. We're just lucky that it's available to use under Commons. - HappyWaldo (talk) 01:06, 6 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Official Name (Again)[edit]

I hardly edit on Wikipedia any more, because of various reasons I won't go into, but I came across the current intro and the word "officially" has been removed. The game is referred to as Australian Football in the Laws of the Game throughout this document, which is the official publication about the rules of Australian football. I would have thought this was enough for it to be officially called Australian Football. And the AFL are, by default, the controlling and governing body for the game, whether anyone likes it or not. The old (archived) link informs the reader that the name Australian Football is the official name of the sport, but some genius at the AFL decided to remove it when overhauling its website. The word official was used in the page for almost 12 years (~June 2009 to April 2021), before an anon editor changed it last year at the end of April (see here), who either didn't read the archived link or just didn't like the name "Australian Football" being referred to as official, and this change seems to have just went under the radar. Just wondering what the regular editors think, and whether the word should be re-introduced, I personally think it should be, but as I said at the beginning of this post I hardly ever edit on WP, and so I believe this should be discussed, thankyou? – Marco79 09:00, 21 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hey guys, just to add top of the page to avoid confusion with "basic" rules and gameplay. I would like to add distinguish basketball & gaelic football. Some people may be colourblind as well just to pick up on basics on how to play (co-ordination) etc.. through reading & writing visuals. Thoughts, thanks. BGetmefood (talk) 11:20, 28 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No one would search "Australian rules football" and expect to find any other topic. Therefore the distinguish template does not belong on this page. - HappyWaldo (talk) 11:32, 28 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Shared history and Australia has played cross-code with Gaelic football. They have played an exhibition game/s in China & New Zealand. Define no one and what they want to expect? As I said the distinguish can help with reading & writing & people who are colourblind, especially because it's wikipedia. More thoughts. If yes I will re-add the distinguish. Thanks BGetmefood (talk) 11:20, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No. See my response above. - HappyWaldo (talk) 11:50, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with HappyWaldo. What you are trying to do is not what the Distinguish template is for. HiLo48 (talk) 03:42, 30 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You don't get the point though do you? This is talking of the sport (Australian rules). Not the AFL which is a league. If it was a league I'd be editing the AFL wikipedia page and adding the distinguish page there. Do not undo my edits because my suspicions tells me you are a sock puppet of the same account.BGetmefood (talk) 01:22, 1 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No. And you have just lost further credibility by again changing the article without gaining consensus here. HiLo48 (talk) 02:34, 1 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's hard to get the point when nothing you type makes sense. Either way it might be wise to give up this little crusade, unless you want to get blocked. HappyWaldo (talk) 03:15, 1 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What do you mean by nothing I type makes sense? I think it would be wise to give up the crusade until we can gain further consensus. Like I said if I wanted I would edit the AFL page and distinguish it between the NBA but I won't. This is talking the sport itself of Australian rules football which derived from basketball & Gaelic football rules & yes most of the uniform where sleeveless attire. Those are the two sports most similar sports to Australian rules except the sport is played on round cricket ovals which is already explained in the article. Want further consensus before adding distinguish though. ThoughtsBGetmefood (talk) 06:46, 1 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Australian rules football which derived from basketball & Gaelic football rules" Nope. Read the origins section. - HappyWaldo (talk) 07:01, 1 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
BGetmefood, I think everyone's made it pretty clear to this point why adding the distinguish template is unnecessary (you need to stop saying "Thoughts[?]" at the end of each comment), and no, not only does nothing you type make sense, but I'm sorry, it's bordering on gibberish. As stated above, nobody would search for Australian rules football expecting to find basketball, Gaelic football, soccer, etc., or vice versa, and that's pretty much all there is to it; nobody else has mentioned or is getting this confused with the AFL. I think if you continue down this path without presenting an adequate reason for why the distinguish template is necessary, it may get to the point where we just stop responding to this thread, and adding back the template before this happens could get you blocked, as you've been warned enough times. Please read WP:LISTEN and considering leaving this be. 4TheWynne (talk contribs) 07:59, 1 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with the majority view here to exclude the distinguishes. Notwithstanding the distinguish template is clearly inappropriate as its purpose is to differentiate words which are easily mis-spelled as each other; but I'd also oppose any other hatnote templates (viz. for and about) because I don't see Australian rules football, basketball or Gaelic football as being credibly confused for each other. Aspirex (talk) 11:42, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ David Goldblatt (30 August 2007). The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football. Penguin Books Limited. ISBN 978-0-14-191154-0. OCLC 1004977972.
  2. ^ Judd, Barry; Hallinan, Christopher (1 December 2019). "Indigeneity and the Disruption of Anglo-Australian Nationalism in Australian Football". Review of Nationalities. 9 (1): 101–110. doi:10.2478/pn-2019-0008. eISSN 2543-9391. S2CID 215770426.


There is absolutely no mention in this article of the equipment required to play (or lack thereof). Most Australian rules players wear sleeveless guernseys and short shorts. Virtually every player wears a mouthguard when they take to the field. All players are required to wear football boots with cleats. Rucks often wear shin pads. Some players wear helmets and thigh padding.

This from the soccer article:

The basic equipment or kit players are required to wear includes a shirt, shorts, socks, footwear and adequate shin guards. An athletic supporter and protective cup is highly recommended for male players by medical experts and professionals. Headgear is not a required piece of basic equipment, but players today may choose to wear it to protect themselves from head injury. Players are forbidden to wear or use anything that is dangerous to themselves or another player, such as jewellery or watches. The goalkeeper must wear clothing that is easily distinguishable from that worn by the other players and the match officials.

This from American football:

Football is a full-contact sport, and injuries are relatively common. Most injuries occur during training sessions, particularly ones that involve contact between players. To try to prevent injuries, players are required to wear a set of equipment. At a minimum players must wear a football helmet and a set of shoulder pads, but individual leagues may require additional padding such as thigh pads and guards, knee pads, chest protectors, and mouthguards. Most injuries occur in the lower extremities, particularly in the knee, but a significant number also affect the upper extremities. The most common types of injuries are strains, sprains, bruises, fractures, dislocations, and concussions. Rulesfan (talk) 10:43, 11 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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