Australian rules football – also known as Australian football, Aussie rules, football or footy – is a full contact sport played between two teams of eighteen players on an oval-shaped field, often a modified cricket ground. Points are scored by kicking the oval-shaped ball between the middle goal posts (worth six points) or between a goal and a behind post (worth one point). If you hit one of the posts, that’s also one point.

During general play, players may position themselves anywhere on the field and use any part of their bodies to move the ball. The primary methods are kicking, handballing and running with the ball. There are rules on how the ball can be handled: for example, players running with the ball must intermittently bounce or touch it on the ground. Throwing the ball is not allowed and players must not get caught holding the ball.

A distinctive feature of the game is the mark, where players anywhere on the field who catch the ball from a kick (with specific conditions) are awarded possession. Possession of the ball is in dispute at all times except when a free kick or mark is paid. Players can tackle using their hands or use their whole body to obstruct opponents. Dangerous physical contact (such as pushing an opponent in the back), interference when marking and deliberately slowing the play are discouraged with free kicks, distance penalties or suspension for a certain number of matches, depending on the seriousness of the infringement. The game features frequent physical contests, spectacular marking, fast movement of both players and the ball and high scoring.

… in Germany

Australian Football is played in Germany since the foundation of the Frankfurt Football Club in 1995. The Australian Football League Germany was founded in 1999 and is the official organisation for Footy in Germany. Every year, teams from all over Germany compete for the German premiership flag. In 2004, the Redbacks won the title. And since 2019 there is a women’s league in which the Redcats take part.

Given the fact that Germany is lacking large cricket fields and that footy is competing many other major sports, the game mode is slightly adjusted from the original AFL format. In Germany, the teams often play on smaller fields (100m to 130m in length) in a 9-a-side format against each other. The following video explains the most imporant characteristics for the German league (German language only).

You can get up to speed with the local rules by reading the following file.