Every country has a sports passion and Australia is no exception. It is Aussie Rules Football!The Exchange Teachers Club organized for us to watch a professional AFL game; Fremantle Dockers vs. St. Kilda (from Melbourne, Victoria) at the Subiaco Oval in Perth. Along with some 35 483 fans, we cheered on the home team on a warm sunny Saturday afternoon.
Dockers 56 - St. Kilda 102
The game has evolved from its origins in Gaelic football from Ireland to it's own professional Australian League. The purpose of the game is to kick the football through the middle upright posts to get 6 points - called a goal. If you miss the middle uprights, but get the football through the outside post it is worth one point. Tackling and rough play are an essential part of the game. Hand passes are punched, not tossed. Players can run 15 steps before bouncing the ball. Players (and referees) are super fit because they run, run, and run up and down the 200 metre oval playing field. Kicking can also be used to pass, score or get rid of the ball. Marking is where you cleanly catch a kicked ball (usually by jumping higher than your opponent). You then you get an open kick from your marked spot, hopefully through the posts.
To see the first quarter of the game click on the AFL website to view live footy in action.
We loved the game, it was unfortunate that the home team was soundling beat by the visitors. Great seats - fourth row from the front and 26 degrees in the sunshine.
Sorry for the quality. Our camera is not the greatest for video taking, but it does get the atmosphere of the stadium right. The second video has a goal attempt and you can see the ball hitting the posts.
A special thank you to our next-door neighbours for being with the boys for they day. Caleb and Jackson are already asking when we will go away again so they can hang out with the girls!