Aussie Rules Football History

I was looking for a thread about the history of footy, couldn’t find one so thought I would set this thread up and save the St. Francis thread from being derailed but it looks like it’s too late.

Anyway, today I learnt that we won two premierships without winning a grand final - the first one is obviously the first VFL premiership, but we also played round-robin in 1924, something I didn’t know until today.

We lost to Richmond in the last round but because we finished on the top of ladder on percentage, and we had won the minor premiership, we couldn’t be challenged to a grand final, thus the premiership was ours.

If you have any interesting facts, share them away!

Here are three:

When the game first started back in 1858, time wasn’t kept, so there were no quarters, etc. The first team to kick two goals won.

Doug Fraser & Alex Lang hold the record for the longest suspension (99 weeks) for bribery (both Carlscum players, BTW).

Gil, Vlad & Fitzpatrick are flogs. :grin:


Wow…I hadn’t heard that 3rd point before.

Things make so much more sense now.

1 Like

They would only make sense if they were indicted. :wink:

Despite the lack of respecy he got in the discussion in the other thread, @Mero is the poster we want in here.
Official jumper historian of the AFL for many many years.
Knows what he’s on about.

Also @Alan_Noonan_10 cos he remembers when all of it happened.


So you’re looking for a thread about the history of footy" ?

Jesus wept tears of blood.

We haven’t got just a thread — if you opened your eyes you’d see that we’ve already got a whole Board devoted to our history.

Mods, can you please move this thread to the

Stargazer Memorial EFC History Board


Wonder if Noonan knew John Wren?

1 Like

Happy to contribute, and agree with Perce, this belongs in the Starry History Board

That said, here are the original rules as written down by Wills, Harrison, Bryant, Hammersley & Thompson.

  1. The distance between the goals and the goal posts shall be decided upon by the captains of the sides playing.
  2. The captains on each side shall toss for choice of goal; the side losing the toss has to kick-off from the centre point between the goals.
  3. A goal must be kicked fairly between the posts, without touching either of them, or a portion of the person of any player on either side.
  4. The game shall be played within a space of not more than 200 yards wide, the same to be measured equally on each side of a line drawn through the centres of the two goals; and the two posts to be called the ‘kick-off’ posts shall be erected at a distance of 30 yards on each side of the goal posts at both ends, and in a straight line with them.
  5. In case the ball is kicked behind goal, any one of the side behind whose goal it is kicked may bring it 20 yards in from of any portion of the space between the ‘kick-off’ posts, and shall kick it as nearly as possible in a line with the opposite goal.
  6. Any player catching the ball directly from the foot may call ‘mark’. He then has a free kick; no player from the opposite side being allowed to come inside the spot marked.
  7. Tripping and pushing are both allowed (but no hacking) when any player is in rapid motion or in possession of the ball, except in the case provided for in Rule VI.
  8. The ball may be taken in hand only when caught from the foot, or on the hop. In no case shall it be lifted from the ground.
  9. When the ball goes out of bounds (the same being indicated by a row of posts) it shall be brought back to the point where it crossed the boundary line, and thrown in at right angles with that line.
  10. The ball, while in play, may under no circumstances be thrown.

The rules have certainly evolved greatly from the originals.

The one that really caught my eye was number 8:

“The ball may be taken in hand only when caught from the foot, or on the hop. In no case shall the ball be lifted from the ground.”

So presumably the teams had to kick it off the ground all the time, like soccer, until it happened to bounce up and someone could take it “on the hop”, or as a mark.

No wonder it was a low-scoring game. That and the field being 200 yards wide, and presumably more than 200 yards long.

It really does seem like soccer/rugby/british bulldog.
It sounds like there was no handball at the time, but people were just punching the loose ball further.
The kickout from twenty yards out makes me smile. As does the directive to kick it straight up the ground.
There was obviously a mess of players waiting at the kickout and it would have just been a maul, which would have made a mark in that situation pretty noteworthy.

I’ve never had a vodka martini until just now and I’m a little ■■■■■■ to be honest.

1 Like

Baldick is on tv but he’s at Uluru. I’m not sure why.

Anyone want to discuss Aaron Francis in here? Seems like a good spot to do it. His thread got derailed.


Big red has some serious talent.

1 Like

Wonder how @Diggers is travelling after imbibing a/several vodka martini/s?

Certainly our great game has Irish heritage? .

The same roots as Gaelic. Cept in the colony perhaps only rugby balls and ovals were available to play on? That’s my guess as how it came about.

Whereas in Ireland the same(today’s gaelic footy) evolved with soccer balls and rectangle pitches.

Aussie rules history? Can we include JD?

1 Like

The rules written in 1858 predate rugby & soccer. The ball used was a pig’s bladder encased in leather & the first game was played on a paddock, 40 men per side, with trees used as goalposts.

Football using a pig bladder and 2 teams moving it on opposite directions has been played since medieval times.

Soccer existed, because we know it was banned, in the 1600s in England.
While we might not know what the rules were at the time, it’s fair to say there probably were some.
Wills played Rugby Football at Rugby. They must have been playing to some agreed set of rules.

1 Like