Glossary Of Terms


back pocket
a playing position deep in defence
Either of the two players who defend the areas on either side of the goal front. They need good spoiling skills and are noted for their hardness. They generally play on the smaller, faster forward pockets and let the fullback play on the stronger full forward.
Some are small, fast players, whose role is to clear a loose ball from defence. Others are mid‑sized defenders, with enough height and strength to contest or spoil marks, and enough mobility to play on a forward of similar size and speed.
It is not an exclusive position. Tall defenders may play in the back pocket to match up effectively on a tall forward playing in the forward pocket.
five goals
Colloquialism for 5 goals scored by one player.
short for ‘holding the ball’
Usually yelled by spectators when an opposition player is tackled in possession of the ball.
a method of starting play at a neutral contest
Performed when the umpire judges that the ground is too soft for a bounce, he will throw the ball upwards several metres into the air.
Until 1886 the ball was thrown into the air to start a quarter but in 1887 the bounce, now a traditional part of footy, was introduced.
banana kick ∼ checkside punt
a kick which causes the ball to swing in the air
The ball is held with ends pointing to 2 and 8 o-clock (for a right footed kick) and is kicked off the outside of the boot with the ball bending away from the body, spinning in the opposite direction to the swing of the leg. This opens up the face of the goals to give a larger goal face.
a large crêpe paper and sticky-tape banner.
Constructed by each team's cheer squad and hoisted before the start of a match. Typically showing an encouraging or celebratory message to the team.
By tradition the captain (or a milestone-achieving player) leads the team when breaking the banner. Tracing its origins to the 1930s, it has become standard at all AFL matches.
the banner is unique in world sport
encourage, support, cheer on
The Victoria Barracks were adjacent to the South Melbourne Cricket Ground and St. Kilda Cricket Ground, both used as football grounds.
A group of boys were always first to notice the Barrack Personnel walking across the playing fields to support their team, and would cry out:
footy slang since the 1890s
a score of one point
Occurs when the ball passes over the line between a goal-post and an outer or behind post, which are shorter than goal posts and stand each side of them.
big sticks
the goal posts
He's kicked it through big white sticks!
bomb ∼ up and under
a type of kick
A very long kick, especially designed to gain field position, not as a pass to a specific player.
Due to the requirement of kicks to travel more than 15 metres before a mark can be awarded, high short kicks intended to send the ball relatively straight up so players can get under it are rarely deliberately used.
When they are used they are known as up and unders.
boundary rider
a commentator
One who works from the sidelines of the field. They have access to the players, coaches, and medical staff on the interchange bench and during breaks in the game to provide commentary and any injury concerns. They also interview players, coaches, and medical staff after the match. It is a recent extension of the far earlier aussie use of the term – one who rides round the fences of a station, checks their status, and repairs them when broken.
a method of starting play at a neutral contest
They are performed by a field umpire bouncing the ball firmly into the ground such that it bounces directly upwards several metres into the air.
When executed in the centre circle (at the beginning of each quarter and after each goal) it is known as the centre bounce, which is contested by one nominated ruckman from each team.
Until 1886 the ball was thrown into the air to start a quarter but in 1887 the bounce, now a traditional part of footy, was introduced.

Glossary of Terms

Australian rules football has developed a unique and rich terminology. This list is an alphabetical glossary of terms, jargon and slang.

Positions on the Oval