Glossary of Terms
- advantage paid
- umpiring decision in which play continues after an infringement
If the team with the ball is infringed upon; rather than stop play to award the free kick, the umpire allows play to continue so as not to disadvantage the attacking team.
- aerial ping-pong
- australian rules football
national rugby league slang
- australian football league
The organisation which replaced the Victorian Football League in 1990 and which regulates the national Aussie Rules football competition.
- aussie rules
- the national football code
The national game, also shortened to rules.
Aussie rules is played between two teams of eighteen players on an oval-shaped field, often a modified cricket ground.
- back pocket
- a playing position deep in defence
Either of the two players who defend the areas on either side of the goal front.
Back pocket players need to have good spoiling skills and usually, quality back-pockets 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 or play on a forward of similar size and speed. Others are 'mid-sized' defenders, with enough height and strength to contest or spoil marks and enough mobility to fulfil the first role.
Back pocket is not an exclusive position. Tall defenders (i.e. full back/centre half-back) may play in the back pocket to match up effectively on a tall forward playing in the forward pocket.
- ball-up ∼ bounce
- a method of restarting play at a neutral contest after a stoppage within the field of play.
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.
They are performed by a field umpire throwing the ball firmly into the ground such that it bounces directly upwards several metres into the air.
The ball-up executed in the centre circle at the beginning of each quarter and after each goal is known specifically as the centre bounce, which are contested by one nominated ruckman from each team, who attempts to direct the ball to a teammate.
- a large crêpe paper and sticky-tape banner.
Constructed by each team's cheer squad and hoisted before the start of a match and typically showing an encouraging or celebratory message to the team.
As the players take to the field, they run through the banner, breaking it. 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 concept of the australian rules banner is unique in world sport
- encourage , support , cheer on
We were there to barrack for the home team.
- 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 ∼ big white sticks
- the goal posts
He's kicked it through the big sticks.
- bomb ∼ up and under
- a high kick.
Used to describe a very long kick, especially one designed to just 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 before it comes down are rarely deliberately used in Aussie rules.
When they are used they are generally known as up and unders.
- boundary rider
- a commentator
One who works from the sidelines of the field or 'boundary'. It is a recent extension of the far earlier aussie use of the term boundary rider – one who rides round the fences of a station, checks their status, and repairs them when broken.
- The role of the boundary rider is to 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.
- captain ∼ skipper
- a player who has additional roles from a regular player
They are an onfield leader (second to the coach) who has various roles including to inspire the players and sometimes address umpires and the media.
A coin toss between the captains determines which end of the ground each team will kick to. The away captain calls — the winner makes the choice of end.
This decision usually depends on weather conditions — the direction & strength of the wind gives a significant advantage.
Addressing the Players
Before the game and during the quarter & half time breaks the captain will address the players in a huddle.
Whereas the coach address typically discusses strategy and field positions, the captain's address is usually purely motivational.
The umpires will visit the rooms of each team before a game and advise the captains on any rule interpretations that they will be strict on and what they will and won't tolerate.
The captain is the only player who is allowed to question or discuss an umpires decision.
Any other player who does so can be penalised or reported. A captain may also be reported if he becomes abusive.
The captain will take a role in media relations on behalf of the team.
The captain may be asked to participate on the selection committee to determine which players make the squad.
Representative for the players
The captain represents the players.
If a player does something detrimental to the playing group (such as inappropriate behaviour like taking drugs), the captain will act in the interests of the other players and request that the club take appropriate action.
The captain may request the game to be stopped for a head count to determine if the opposition is fielding too many players.
Traditionally the captain and coach hold up the premiership cup before it is handed to the players.
The captain is required to make a speech, including thanking the opposition team.
When a coach appoints multiple captains, the following captaincy roles may be appointed.
Co-Captain Multiple Captains.
Vice-Captain Second to the Captain.
Deputy Vice Captain Used only when both Captain and Vice-Captain are injured.
- come on!
A sporting barrackers cry.
Carn the Blues!
- centre half forward
- a key position on the half-forward line
The centre half-forward's role is usually the most demanding of any player on field, with a tall frame, good marking skills, strength and most importantly, athleticism, required.
The directly opposing player is a centre-half-back.
- A centre half-forward who is strongly built and specialises in charging packs is often categorised as a power forward.
Usually the best backman will be used to cover a quality CHF, unless the opposing full-forward is so good they take priority. Thus, an attacking team with a solid combination of both centre half-forward and full-forward will seriously stretch a defence.
- centre line
- a set of positions on a footy field.
It consists of three players, two wingers either side of a ruckman in the centre.
- chewie on your boot!
- a cry intended to disconcert a footy player taking a kick
- chicken wing tackle
- a move from rugby league
A player locks an opponent's arm so that he or she cannot legally move the ball.
- It became a controversy after Kangaroos' skipper Brent Harvey was chicken winged in 2009 and suffered a dislocated elbow that caused him to miss months of play.
In July 2012 Carlton captain Chris Judd was involved in an incident in a game against North Melbourne. North player Leigh Adams had been tackled by another player and was lying on the ground. Judd grabbed his arm and pulled it backwards in the chicken wing style.
Judd was widely criticised and was cited for misconduct and suspended for four games by the tribunal.
- a turnover or a silly mistake made by a player
Its vague description in statistical tables is "errors including frees against".
- Examples of clangers include
- Any disposal or deliberate knock-on that goes directly to an opposition player
- Any free kick conceded
- Dropped marks or fumbles under no pressure
- Stepping over the line when kicking in after a behind
a term coined by champion data founder ted hopkins
- coast-to-coast goal
- scored by delivering the ball the full length of the oval without the defending team getting a touch
It can only be scored after one team scores a behind.
- After the ball is returned into play from the goal square, the ball is travelled to the other goal by kicking, handballing, marking, and running with the ball without the defending team touching the ball.
- a dangerous high tackle
It occurs when a running player is stopped by an arm to the chest or neck and usually gets knocked backward onto their back.
- This type of tackle can cause serious injury and is almost always a reportable offence.
It is similar to the clothesline move used in professional wrestling but involves more speed with the players running in open space and therefore, higher likelihood of the hand or arm damaging the tackled player's throat.
- a condition affecting the collingwood football club to describe their finals losses
The term is a play on the words Collingwood and Collywobbles, meaning a state of intestinal disorder, usually accompanied by a rumbling stomach.
It is an affliction which causes them to consistently lose premiership matches, referring to the period between Collingwood's 1958 and 1990 premierships.
During that time, Collingwood reached the Grand Final in eight seasons, resulting in eight losses plus one draw which resulted in a replay, which was lost.
- This era was dubbed as the colliwobbles because Collingwood sometimes lost by small margins. It is a specific term for choking when done by Collingwood.
The era ended in the 1990 Grand Final, when Collingwood defeated Essendon.
Nevertheless, the term remains in common usage to describe any upset losses by Collingwood in finals.
the term was coined by lou richards
- deliberate out of bounds
- a rule which results in a free kick against the offending team
The official rulebook used by the AFL states:
A Free Kick shall be awarded against a Player who intentionally Kicks, Handballs or forces the football over the Boundary Line without the football being touched by another Player
The Laws of Australian Football 2016
The rule has a long history in Aussie rules footy, dating back to the 19th century. Prior to the 1883 season, a rule was introduced to award a free kick against a player who deliberately kicked the ball out of bounds from a kick-in after a behind.
The rule at this time read almost identically to its present form, stating that a free kick shall be given when a player wilfully kicks or forces the ball out of bounds while in play.
The rules were introduced largely to put an end to the disliked strategy of kicking the ball out of bounds as a means of timewasting.
The rule has existed in the Laws of the Game more or less unchanged ever since, with the exception of the period from 1925 until 1938, during which time the rules provided for a free kick to be paid against the last player to touch the ball before it went out of bounds, whether it was deliberate or not.
Although the rule has been largely unchanged, the strictness of its application has varied over time.
A specific directive to apply the rule more strictly was introduced for the 2016 AFL season in an attempt to reduce the number of boundary throw-ins.
- an unpleasant , contemptible person
He's a real drop-kick.
From the Aussie Rules term for a drop-kick and punt.
rhyming slang: drop-kick and punt for cunt
- referring to a player deceiving the opposition to gain an advantage
A dummy is used to evade a tackler by feigning a movement, then changing direction suddenly to escape the opponent who has been fooled by the move, believing he is going to pass, shoot, or move in a certain direction, instead doing something entirely different.
- fifty metre penalty
- applied to a number of infractions
When paid, the umpire calls time on, measures out fifty metres from the mark by running in a straight line towards the goals and setting the new mark, unless the player is already within 50 metres of goal, in which case the mark becomes the exact centre of the goal line.
- Arguing with, disputing the decision of, or using abusive language towards an umpire.
- Scragging the player who has taken a mark – that is, to tackle the player or impede him from taking the kick as quickly as he would like. This rule has been applied more stringently since 2006 to give defensive players less time to flood the defence, and to keep the game more flowing.
- Failing to return the ball quickly and on the full to a player who has been awarded a free kick.
- Wasting time, deliberately or inadvertently, by kicking the ball forward after one's team has conceded a free kick.
- Using unnecessary roughness against a player who has already taken a mark.
- Running over the mark – the man standing on the mark cannot move forward, and must respond if called to recede by the umpire.
- Running through the mark – other defensive players who are not standing on the mark may not run across the imaginary line between the man standing the mark and the man taking the kick, unless following his direct opponent.
- Entering the protected area – defensive players may not impede an opponent by entering or remaining within the corridor of space extending ten metres either side of the imaginary line between the man standing the mark and the man taking the kick, and extending backwards, unless following his direct opponent.
If any free kick is paid against the defensive team while a mark or free kick is to be taken, the umpire either pays the free kick to the violated player at the spot of the foul, or awards a 50-metre penalty to the player with the ball, depending upon which penalty brings the attacking team closer to goal.
Any free kick resulting from an interchange infringement or a line-up has an additional 50-metre penalty applied to it – these are the only circumstances under which a 50-metre penalty is automatically applied to a free kick without further infringement.
- final eight
- an eight-team championship playoff tournament
The AFL final eight system is an eight-team championship playoff tournament developed and adopted by the Australian Football League in the 2000 season. The eight teams, which are ranked or seeded in advance of the tournament, participate in a four-week tournament, with two teams eliminated in each of the first three weeks. The grand final is played in the fourth week between the two remaining teams, with the winning team awarded the premiership.
Under this finals system, the final eight teams are broken up into two halves of four teams which are in turn split into two pairs each. The higher a team's position on the ladder, the greater benefits they receive.
The top half of the ladder has two key advantages. These teams only need to win twice to reach the Grand Final (either a Qualifying or Semi-Final and a Preliminary Final), and they have the benefit of the double-chance; since the Qualifying Final is non-elimination, losers still have a second chance to reach the Grand Final by winning their two other Finals.
Teams in the top six get the benefit of at least one home final; the top two teams play two home finals.
A team's final rank in the home-and-away season also determines their pairings for the first week. In the Qualifying Finals, 1st place plays 4th place and 2nd place plays 3rd place; in the Elimination Finals, 5th place plays 8th place and 6th place plays 7th place. The better a team's rank, the more advantageous (or less disadvantageous) the matchup. After the first week, matchups are determined directly by the results of the previous week.
- The system is designed to give the top four teams an easier road to the Grand Final than the second four teams. The top four teams need to win only two finals to reach the Grand Final, while the second four teams need to win three. The two winning teams of the top four receive a bye in the second week of the playoff and then play at home in the third week, and the two losing teams play at home in the second week.
- First and second host their first two finals.
- Third and fourth visit for the Qualifying Final but then host their next final.
- Fifth and sixth host their Elimination Final and visit any other finals they reach.
- Seventh and eighth visit throughout the finals.
- a short stick with a bunch of crêpe paper streamers in team colours
Used in barracking at Aussie Rules footy matches.
- a tactic making it difficult for the opposition to score
It involves the coach releasing players in the forward line from their set positions and directing them to the opposition forward area, congesting the area and making it more difficult for the opposition to score.
- It is commonly deployed to protect a lead, to stop a rout or as a counterattack tactic based on rebounding the ball to an open forward line.
This is possible due to the lack of an offside rule or similar restrictions on players field movements.
This defensive tactic is often bemoaned by spectators and generally regarded as "ugly" football.
Flooding first became an offensive tactic when Rodney Eade became the Sydney Swans head coach in 1996.
In order to give star forward Tony Lockett the most room on the small Sydney Cricket Ground he had the team play an extra "line of three" in defence when the opposition had the ball, creating a set-up with 9 defenders, 6 midfielders and three forwards.
The idea was to create a forced error and turn-over, followed by swift movement to Lockett who had ample space to lead into.
This was similar to Denis Pagan's "Pagan's Paddock" which gave Wayne Carey wide space to manoeuvre in.
The Swans used this tactic to great effect in 1996, reaching the Grand Final, and subsequently in 2005.
Terry Wallace became infamous for the "superflood" that he employed in the Round 21 game between the Western Bulldogs and Essendon at Colonial Stadium in 2000. Wallace successfully quelled the Bombers' scoring power and defeated the team which had won the previous 20 games by playing 14 of the 18 men on the field in the defensive zone for the entirety of the game, and often with all 18 players taking up positions in the 50 metre arc.
- the players in the positions of ruckman, ruck rover, and rover
These three players are so-called because they follow the ball around the ground, as opposed to playing in a set position.
They cover more ground than any other player on the field
- forward pocket
- a key position on the field of play
The main target in the forward line when attacking.
The forward pocket is designed as either a role for a second full forward (also known as a third key forward) or for players who are smaller but faster and more agile and capable of kicking brilliantly on the run (this is the more traditional forward pocket).
- Many forward pockets, like rovers, are quick thinking and opportunistic crumbing players. This means that they need to be short enough to pick up the ball quickly after it hits the ground from a contest, think and move quickly to evade potential tackles, and kick or set up a goal.
Crumbing forward pockets do not exclusively crumb the ball. Sometimes, they lead for the ball like full forwards, so they have to be competent at marking the ball. Some forward pockets can even jump so high that they can contest marks, despite their lack of height.
- free kick
- a penalty awarded by a field umpire
Given to a player who has been infringed by an opponent or is the nearest player to the opposition team member who has broken a rule.
- full back
- a key position in defence
The fullback position has always been a purely defensive role, with the ability to accelerate and change direction quickly with the aim of stopping the full-forward from getting the ball and scoring.
The fullback often starts a chain of passes up the ground move the ball out of the back and down the field quickly.
- The defensive aspect of the position remains important. Spoiling the ball is also of utmost importance. The fullback often kicks the ball back into play after a point has been scored, although some teams prefer a midfielder or the small back pockets for this role, freeing the (typically taller) fullback player to attempt to mark the kick in.
- full forward
- a key position on the field of play
Full forwards are good at one-on-one contests with the opposition and are the main target in the forward line when attacking.
As well as contesting marks with their strength, full forwards will try to run into space (this is known as leading, leading for the ball or leading into space), to shake off their defender and take an uncontested mark. It is a position with a focus on kicking goals.
- This means that the full forward needs to be fast, but only in short bursts.
Some teams have experimented by playing a smaller and faster player (possibly a former forward pocket or flanker) at full forward in order to beat the defender with speed rather than strength.
In Aussie Rules, where players do not stick to a single position, the full-forward is often referred to as a Key Forward and can often switch positions with the centre half-forward for team balance reasons.
- the Gabba
- the brisbane cricket ground
- Located in the suburb of Wooloongabba, it is the home of the Brisbane Lions.
- scored when the ball is kicked by an attacking player completely between the goal posts
The ball may not contact or pass over the goal post, touch a player on the defensive team, or be touched by any part of the body of an attacker other than the foot or lower leg. The ball may be punted, drop kicked, or kicked off the ground if the ball is loose. The ball may cross the goal line at any height from ground level up to an infinite height, and may bounce before crossing the line. A goal scores six points. The goal structure consists of two posts at least 6 metres in height and spaced 6.4 metres apart. There is no crossbar and no net.
- The alternate method of scoring is a behind, which scores one point; if the ball passes between the goal posts but is not awarded a goal by the above provisions, it scores a behind.
- a player who catches the opposition unawares and scores a goal
It usually describes a forward player, particularly a player in a forward pocket, who is small and nimble.
A goalsneak may use his pace and cunning to snatch a goal after a running play where a larger player would use brute strength and height to mark the ball.
- a type of kick which results in the ball moving erratically along the ground
The point of the grubber is to make the ball roll and tumble across the ground, making it hard for the defending team to pick up the ball.
- Its properties make it hard to handle, giving it both high and low bouncing. On random occasions, the ball can uncannily sit up in a perfect catching position.
- guard of honour
- formed by players for those who are leaving the field
It is most often seen after a landmark game or a players retirement game.
After playing in the little league at half time of senior matches, the junior players line up to form a guard of honour for when the players return to the field.
- Fremantle formed a guard of honour for Fitzroy's last match in 1996.
Melbourne and Essendon formed a guard in 2005 to honour Indian Ocean tsunami victim Troy Broadbridge.
Collingwood and North Melbourne formed a guard of honour in 2006 for retiring player Saverio Rocca, who forged a successful goalkicking career at both clubs.
- a type of shirt worn by footy players
It is typically sleeveless, although long sleeves may also be worn. The word "jumper" is also used to describe a guernsey.
- The typical guernsey features the player's number on the back, the colours of the player's team, and the team logo. Sponsor logos may also appear on the guernsey.
Unlike sports such as association football and American football, the surnames of Australian rules footballers do not appear on their shirts. Aussie rules football is unique in referring to the player's shirt as a "guernsey" with most other sports referring their respective uniforms as a "jersey".
As an extension of this tradition, the expression "to get a guernsey" is a metaphor for being selected for something or to gain recognition for an achievement.
- a type of mark
Where the player seems to hang in the air.
- have a go
- to make a gutsy effort
The great Aussie barracking cry.
Have a go ya mug!
- the middle
He's dobbed it straight through the hey- diddle- diddle
rhyming slang: diddle for middle
- high flyer
- an adept at taking high marks
- the game of aussie rules footy
- half-back flank
- a position on the half-back line
The half-back line consists of two half-back flankers and the centre half-back.
The half-back flank was traditionally a defensive position, where reliability and toughness were more important than attacking flair.
- In the modern game, these attributes are combined with the ability to run and carry the ball as well as take on the opposition in a counter-attacking style.
Half-back flankers are the first line of defence and key players in winning the ball, creating and assisting in attack.
- half-forward flank
- a position on the half-forward line
Standing wide of the centre half-forward, the half-forward flankers provide an alternate target for balls coming from the midfield.
The directly opposing player is a half-back.
- Half-forward flankers usually move the ball into the forward line along the flanks. They might kick the ball into the forward line, pass the ball to another running player, or have a shot at goal themselves.
These days half-forward flankers usually push into the midfield and, rather than being a specialist position, half-forward flank can be played by centres, wingers, rovers/ruck rovers, or even attacking half-back flankers.
- the primary means of disposing of the football by hand
It is executed by holding the ball with one hand and punching it with the other.
A player typically punches with his dominant hand; i.e. a holding the ball with the left hand and punching with the right hand is considered a right-handed handball.
- In order to be a legal method to dispose of the ball, the player holds the ball with one hand and punches the ball away with the clenched fist of the other hand.
- holding the ball
- an infringement of the rules
The rule results in a free kick being awarded against a player if he fails to correctly dispose of the football upon being tackled by an opponent, although not under all circumstances.
The rule provides the defending team a means to dispossess a player who is running with the football, as well as preventing players from slowing the play.
- The holding the ball rule dates to the formative years of the game.
It has a long history as one of the most contentious rules in the game and one of the most difficult to umpire consistently, in large part due to the several points of umpire discretion involved in its interpretation.
Under the 2015 release of the Laws of Australian Football, holding the ball (officially holding the football) is covered by Laws 15.2.3 through 15.2.6.
Three specific variations of the rule apply depending upon how the player came to be in possession of the ball.
- holding the man
- an infringement of the rules
This occurs when a player is tackling his opponent without the ball. If the team whose player committed the infringement plays on, then a free kick will be awarded.
However, if the team whose player was tackled without the ball plays on, then the advantage is paid.
- This type of infringement of the rules
- a tactic after a behind is scored
In contrast to other sports, it is a specific tactic used by the team kicking in or after a delayed stoppage.
All players in the backline gather together about fifty meters from goal. Then, the players individually lead away from the huddle in all directions.
- The technique means that there will be several leading players, making it difficult to defend the first kick-in. It also allows teams to run set plays for the second and third kicks.
The huddle was developed during the 1970s, and is still used today by many teams.
- interchange bench
- a team position
It consists of players who are part of the selected team but are not currently on the field of play.
At AFL level, each team is permitted four interchange players and a maximum of ninety total player interchanges during a game.
Players have no limit to the number of times they may individually be changed; an interchange can occur at any time during the game including during gameplay.
- The four players named on the interchange bench in the teamsheet (submitted ninety minutes before the game) must be the four interchange players who start on the bench. They may be substituted immediately if the coach wishes.
- key position player
- one who plays in the main forward or defensive roles
These make up what is known as the "spine" of a team. Key positions on an aussie rules field are usually deemed to be centre half-forward, full-forward, centre half-back and full-back.
- KPPs are usually tall and strongly built.
- a pastime and well-known tradition of footy fans
It is used as a warm-up exercise of many Australian rules football clubs and has been the beginnings of many clubs in far-flung places.
It has long been a pitch invasion tradition in the breaks immediately after official Australian rules football matches, although as professionalism in the Australian Football League increased, the practice was discontinued at most of AFL venues.
In its "markers up" form, it is the usual casual version of Australian rules (similar to the relationship between backyard/beach cricket and the established forms of cricket).
- It is a recognised Australian term for kick and catch type games. Although not a sport in itself, the term is used to describe a social exercise played in parks, fields, streets, back yards and also as a playground game that requires at least two people.
- kicks after the siren
- an allowed kick
If a player takes a mark or is awarded a free kick shortly before the siren sounds to end a quarter, the player is allowed to take the kick after the siren. Often, the result of this kick is of little consequence, but if the player is within range of goal, any score will count towards the final result.
- Laws of the Game Committee
- The AFL serves as the sport's governing body, and is responsible for controlling the Laws of the Game with the advice of the Laws of the Game Committee
- the magpies , an afl team from collingwood , melbourne vic
Car'n the maggies!
- mallee bull ∼ fit as a mallee bull
- superbly fit , strong , and healthy
- Named after the rural district in victoria known as the Mallee.
mallee boy by john williamson
- man in white
- an aussie rules umpire
Less affectionately known as a white maggot.
- catching or taking control of the football
A Mark is taken if, in the opinion of the field Umpire, a Player catches or takes control of the football before it has passed completely over the Boundary Line, Goal Line or Behind Line within the Playing Surface and after it has been Kicked by another Player a distance of at least 15 metres and which has not touched the ground or been touched by another Player during the period when the football was Kicked until it was caught or controlled by the Player.
- one percenter
- a statistic relating to a variety of actions which benefit the team, but are infrequent or defensive
- 1 spoiling
The tactic of punching the ball away from an opposing player.
A defensive action which involves using the arms or body to get in the way of an opponent's kick as it leaves their boot.
A knock-on is using the hand, either clenched or open, to tap the ball to the advantage of a team-mate, without ever taking possession of the football (except out of the ruck). It has the same advantage as a quick handpass or kick, but is not recognised as a disposal because the player never has possession. (Australian football knock-ons, which help the team, are not to be confused with rugby football knock-ons, which are negative.)
- a player who is free to follow the ball anywhere on the ground
- an australian rules football oval
- a football
- a type of kick
Abbreviated form of drop kick & punt.
- push in the back
- an illegal tackle or interference
The rule is applied in two different circumstances: tackles and marking contests.
The umpire signals a push in the back by holding both hands open, palms facing outwards, in front of his chest, then making a pushing motion outwards with them.
However, his action often reflects the push which is being penalised so a push in a marking contest will see the umpire push his hands outwards, while driving a player into the ground will see the arms pushed further downwards.
- a passageway for players to access the ground at a football field
- a very high kick
- recycled player
- a player continuing a career at another club
The term recycled player is used to refer to senior players who, unwanted by their original club, continue a career at a second.
- Recycled players are generally delisted by their club at the end of the season, and are then selected in the preseason draft by another.
Alternatively, a recycled player is traded from his original club to a new club; since he is no longer wanted by his original club, his new clubs usually needs only to part with a fourth or fifth round draft selection, or another recycled player, to obtain him.
Recycled players have somewhat of a stigma attached to them, and it is considered that if they are seen to have played poorly at one club, they will not find things much better at another club.
However, many recycled players work through this and go on to moderate success at their new clubs.
- a follower
One of three players so-called because they follow the ball around the ground, as opposed to playing in a set position.
In modern football, the rover, ruck rover, centreman and wingmen are often grouped together as midfielders.
- A rover's role is to lurk around centre bounces and stoppages to receive the ball from a ruckman or ruck rover and complete a clearance.
Rovers are typically the smallest player on the ground.
- rookie list
- a means to maintain additional players
The rookie list is a means for Australian Football League (AFL) clubs to maintain additional players outside of the 38-man primary or senior list. Rookie listed players are not eligibile to play in AFL home-and-away or finals matches unless they are elevated to the senior list, either to replace a retired player or a player with a long-term injury.
- typically a tall and athletic player
The ruckman is one of the most important players on the field. They are often key to coaching strategy and winning centre clearances which result in the most goal kicking opportunities (inside 50s).
The ruckman's job is to contest with the opposing ruckman at centre-bounces, boundary throw ins & ball-ups.
Traditionally, ruckman have simply been tall players with limited skill and speed, whose only job was to provide a contest in the ruck.
In recent times, however, ruckmen have become faster and more skilled, so they can play as an extra midfielder in between ruck contests.
With no offside or knock on rules, the ruckman can tap the ball in any direction.
Before a bounce down or ball up, ruckmen confer with the onballers (rovers and ruck-rovers) to pre-determine the direction of the tap so that they can position themselves to best receive it to the team's advantage.
- When a ruckman beats his opponent by contacting the ball, it is called a hit out and measured as a statistic and performance indicator of effective ruckwork.
Although the ruckman is the primary player to score hit-outs, sometimes tall key position players fill in for the ruckman around the ground if the ruckman cannot run to make the contest in time.
- The ruckman usually uses his height (typically players are over 200 cm tall) to palm/tap the ball down so that a ruck rover or rover can run onto it.
The ruckman needs to be able to control the ball by palm tap or fist with outstretched arms.
The ruckman must rely on his vertical leap; rucking often involves vigorous mid-air collisions with the opposing ruckman.
Rucking is one of the most physically demanding positions on the ground, both in terms of fitness and body contact. As a result of the high level of physical contact of clashing with opponents in the air, many ruckmen have large physiques or bulk up to prevent injury.
As well, due to the use of knees when jumping, many ruckmen wear protective thigh and shin padding, whereas players in other positions rarely do.
Coaches often field more than one ruckman and rotate them due to the physical pressure of the position and the endurance of having to run to ruck contests around the ground.
- ruck rover
- a follower
One who roves around the ruck, as opposed to playing in a set position.
The ruck rover's role is to be directly beneath the flight of the ball when a ruckman taps the ball down, allowing an easy take away or clearance from a stoppage.
- running bounce
- a skill necessitated by the laws of the game
A running bounce (or simply bounce) occurs when a player – while running – bounces the ball on the ground and back into their hands.
The rules of football state that a player running on the field with the ball must take a running bounce or touch the football on the ground at least once every fifteen metres, irrespective of whether the player is running in a straight line or otherwise.
If they run too far without taking a running bounce, the umpire signals running too far by rolling their clenched fists around each other and pays a free kick to the opposition at the position where the player oversteps his limit.
- While the distance of 15m is explicit in the rules, the lack of markings on the ground makes it impossible for umpires to accurately judge these free kicks. Regular watchers of football generally have a feel for the average time between running bounces which "feels right", and umpires usually penalise players when they exceed this by more than a few steps.
Instead of executing a running bounce, players may bend over and touch the ball onto the ground. It must be touched with both hands or a free kick will be rewarded to the opposing team.
This has the disadvantage of taking much longer, increasing the risk of being tackled by an opponent, but it has the advantage of reducing the risk of making a bad bounce and dropping the ball.
This technique is often used on rainy days when the mud or water on the ground makes a regulation bounce much more difficult, but is also used by some players, particularly in lower levels, who have yet to master the running bounce.
- rushed behind
- a defence tactic
It occurs when the ball passes through the goalposts and was last touched by a defending player.
A rushed behind scores one point against the defending team, but also prevents the attacking team from scoring a goal, worth six points.
- Rushed behinds are statistically credited to no player; scoresheets will simply include the tally of total rushed behinds credited to a team's score.
Since 2009, it has been illegal in AFL matches for a defender to deliberately concede a rushed behind when he is not under any pressure from the attacking team.
In the event that a defender does this, the umpire awards a free kick to the attacking team on the goal-line at the spot where the defender conceded the score. The defender may still deliberately concede a rushed behind if he is under pressure from an attacker.
- screamer / speccy
- the spectacular overhead mark in aussie rules
- Regarded by many fans as the epitome of skill, a spectacular mark (alternatively known as a screamer or a hanger) is a term for a type of mark.
The typical spectacular mark involves a player jumping up on the back of another player in order to take the mark, or catch.
- The spectacular mark has become a much celebrated aspect of the sport. Many of the winners of the Australian Football League's annual Mark of the Year competition could be considered 'speckies', and commentators will often call an individual specky "a contender" in reference to this competition and the mark's likeliness to win it.
- set shot
- a kick for goal
A set shot is a kick for goal in which the player can 'set' himself, rather than have to quickly react during the play.
A set shot occurs when a player has been awarded a free kick, or has taken a mark within kicking range of the goal (typically inside the fifty-metre line in front of the goal). There is always one opponent allowed to be "on the mark" (the place where the mark was taken), who can attempt to distract the kicker by gesticulation or verbal intimidation.
The game clock continues to run during the preparation for a set shot, although time on may temporarily be blown to return the football to the kicker.
- Players are given up to thirty seconds to begin their approach for a set shot (the kick itself may be taken outside the thirty seconds if the approach is commenced); umpires will call play on if the player does not begin his approach within this time.
This rule was introduced in 2006; prior to 2006, players had no formal limit on how long they could take (the umpire could at his discretion penalise the player for time-wasting, but this was rare), and the new rule was commonly known as the "Lloyd rule" after Essendon full-forward Matthew Lloyd, whose set shot ritual was one of the longest in the AFL.
Lloyd was known for his ritual when taking set shots at goal. Almost every time he took time to go far back on the mark, pull both his socks up, then grab some grass and throw it into the air to measure the wind and take a very long run up before kicking. In 2006, the AFL introduced a "shot clock" to limit the amount of time that players had to take set shots; although Lloyd's ritual was not the longest in the league its quirks made it so well known that the rule became commonly known as the "Lloyd Rule".
Lloyd adjusted his ritual to fit into the new rule, and still retained the most famous aspect (throwing grass) until the end of his career.
From 2016 in the Australian Football League, the thirty seconds will be counted down on a shot clock visible on some ground scoreboards.
- a "one percenter" skill
Shepherding is the act of legally pushing, bumping or blocking an opposing player who is no further than 5 metres away from the football from gaining possession of the ball or reaching the contest.
- Through shepherding, Australian football players are able to influence the movement of their opponents.
The prevalence of shepherding is distinctive in Australian rules football as it is an illegal form of play in many other codes of football where it is subject to obstruction rules. It is completely banned in soccer. In rugby, it is illegal to tackle or obstruct any player not carrying the ball. Ice hockey allows body checking only on a player in possession (until the puck reaches any other player), as does gaelic football. The concept of shepherding, however, is very similar to blocking in American Football.
Under the Laws of Australian Football, a player can shepherd an opposition player when the ball is within five metres, with the exception of contests where players contest the ball in the air, i.e. marking contests and ruck contests, or when the ball is not in play.
In marking and ruck contests, no shepherding is allowed. Players may not make high or low contact during a shepherd, nor hold their opponents; free kicks should result from any of these infractions.
Nevertheless, there have been a number of incidents in the professional Australian Football League which have caused controversy and have resulted in the rules regarding shepherding to be more strictly applied behind play.
Shepherding is an important aspect of team play.
Because shepherding can be applied regardless of whether the player is in possession, this gives players the choice of "playing the man" and not the ball. In circumstances where two players contest a loose ball, a player in an inferior position or with a weight advantage might decide to take his opponent out first and then to retrieve the ball.
Others, however, may have no intentions for the ball at all and simply aim to hurt their opponent. Although correct technique can be taught, given the high speed all directional nature of the game, the decision to make the ball the primary objective and the execution of a bump is often a split second tactical decision and left to player instinct.
The decision process effects the way players are perceived. A player may be commended for their protection of their teammates, setting up play and controlled aggression. At the same time players who bump but do not contest the ball too often can be seen by some as "dirty" and unsportsmanlike
- a head-on charge that knocks an opponent to the ground
- snap kick
- a kicking technique
Players use a tilted grip and kick around the body to cause the ball to spin sideways. The snap kick usually occurs when a player is kicking for goal.
- It is used a lot when kicking from a tough position (such as forward pockets). There can be variations of the kick, such as over the shoulder in front of goal. Sometimes players would kick it lightly from the pocket when there is no player near the goals, causing the ball to bounce in through its special spin.
- squad number
- a number on the back of a guernsey
In Australian rules football, players traditionally wear numbers on the backs of their guernseys, although some competitions (the WAFL is one example) may feature teams who wear smaller numbers on the front, usually on one side of the chest.
The number being worn is usually not relevant to the player's position on the ground, although occasionally a club will allocate the Number 1 guernsey or an otherwise prestigious number to the team captain (such as the Richmond football club, which allocates Number 17 to its team captain in honour of Jack Dyer, who wore that number with distinction). Port Adelaide assigns Number 1 to the team captain.
In these situations, it is usually customary for players who relinquish the captaincy to switch to another squad number.
- AFL clubs generally do not retire numbers (although Geelong temporarily retired the Number 5 between 1998 and 2005 after the retirement of Gary Ablett Sr.), but instead will often choose to give their more prestigious numbers to highly touted draftees or young up-and-coming players who are shown to have promise and may share certain traits with the previous wearer, such as position or playing style. For example, as of 2010, Michael Hurley inherited the Number 18 jumper left vacant by the retired Matthew Lloyd, effectively keeping the No. 18 guernsey in Essendon's goal-square for another era.
Sons of famous players will often take on their father's number, especially if they play at the same club. Sergio Silvagni and his son Stephen both wore Number 1 for Carlton, Matthew Scarlett wears his father John's Number 30 at Geelong.
In contrast, some sons of famous players also prefer to take on other numbers in the hopes that it will reduce the burden of having to fulfill high expectations. Notable examples of this are Gary Ablett Jr. at Geelong (who wore Number 29 instead of his father's Number 5) and Jobe Watson at Essendon, who passed up Tim's Number 32 in favour of Number 4.
Clubs will often feature retiring champions "passing on" their famous guernsey numbers to the chosen successors, usually in ceremonial fashion, such as a club function or press conference.
The highest number worn in a VFL/AFL game is number 65 by Andrew Witts of Collingwood for seven games in 1985. With the demise of Reserves and Under 19's teams it is highly unlikely that any player will play senior football in a number as high again.
- stiff-arm fend ∼ don't argue
- a tactic employed by the ball-carrier
The ball-carriers run towards defenders who are attempting to tackle them. By positioning the ball securely in one arm, the ball-carrier can fully extend his other arm, locking his elbow, and outstretching his palm.
Then, the ball-carrier pushes directly outwards with the palm of his hand onto the chest or shoulder of the would-be tackler. The fend is a pushing action, rather than a striking action.
- A stiff-arm fend may cause the tackler to fall to the ground, taking him out of the play. Even if the tackler keeps his feet, it becomes impossible for him to complete a tackle, as he cannot come close enough to wrap his arms around the ball-carrier.
A well-executed stiff-arm fend can be a very powerful offensive weapon.
Ball-carriers in Australian football must be careful to avoid fending opponents in the head or neck, otherwise they will concede a high tackle free kick.
- super goal
- a method of scoring
A super goal is a method of scoring used in the Australian Football League's pre-season competition. Under the rule, a goal scored from a distance greater than fifty metres is awarded nine points, instead of the regulation six points.
- This innovation is not used during the premiership season.
- wrapping , holding or wrestling a player to the ground
The player being tackled must have possession of the ball. Players not in possession of the ball are not allowed to be tackled, and will receive a holding-the-man free kick if tackled.
As there is no offside rule in Australian rules football, players can be tackled from any direction, and are often blindsided.
For this reason, the sport allows players to shepherd and bump their opponents within 5 metres of the ball, to protect the ball carrier.
- Perfect Tackle – when a player lays a tackle on an opponent that has had prior opportunity to dispose of the ball and in the process makes it impossible for their opponent to dispose of the ball.
For example, if a tackler pins an opponent's arm, then the opponent cannot possibly handball, and if they pin both arms, then it is nearly impossible to legally execute a kick.
- Bump (Hip & Shoulder) – a tactic for both dispossession of the player with the ball and also impeding players involved in a contest but not in possession of the ball.
Arms are not used in a bump, which must be made side-on using the hip and/or shoulder.
- Diving Tackle – when a player leaves the ground in attempting to tackle.
- Sling Tackle – a player slung to the ground in a tackle
- Chicken Wing Tackle – when one arm is pinned in a tackle.
- Gang Tackle – when the player in possession is tackled by more than one opponent at the same time.
- Broken Tackle – when a player is able to break free of a tackle
- Coathanger – high contact to the head, usually by a stiff arm, which causes a player to land flat on their back.
The penalty may be a free kick if deemed accidental or a reportable offence which may result in suspension.
- High Tackle – any tackle which infringes on the opponent's shoulder, neck or head.
The penalty is a free kick.
- Push in the back – any tackle from behind which forces the player forward, into the ground, or both.
The penalty is a free kick.
- Spear Tackle – a tackle in which a player lifts another player into the air and drops them such that they land on their back, head or neck.
Spear tackles have caused serious injury including spinal damage, dislocations, broken bones in the shoulder or neck, and death.
It is a reportable offence, and players found guilty face the tribunal and possible suspension with at least a two match ban.
- Perfect Tackle – when a player lays a tackle on an opponent that has had prior opportunity to dispose of the ball and in the process makes it impossible for their opponent to dispose of the ball.
- a defensive player
Whose task is to prevent an opposition midfielder from having an impact on the game.
- tall timber
- a very tall footballer
Collingwood have got some tall timber amongst their forwards.
- time on
- allocated for extra play
The portion of each quarter allocated for extra play which could not occur due to time being stopped.
- Each quarter has a specific length of playing time, which can vary in different forms of the game, but at senior level is usually 20 minutes.
When the umpire stops play for a score, ball-up, boundary throw-in, injury, the blood rule, to award a 50-metre penalty or to reset play for a mark or free kick, he raises one hand above his head and blows his whistle; this is called blowing time off. This tells the timekeeper to stop his clock and stop counting down playing time.
When the umpire again raises his hand and blows his whistle, called blowing time on, or when the ball is bounced or thrown in, the timekeeper starts his clock again.
- torpedo ∼ torp, torpie, screwie, barrel
- a kick in which the ball spins around its axis
A punt kick that rotates the ball around its long axis, which is aligned with the direction the ball is travelling.
In flight, the ball spins about its long axis, instead of end over end (as the drop punt does) or not at all (as a typical punt kick does), making the flight of the ball more aerodynamic, but more difficult to mark. Regarded as the type of kick with the longest distance, but the lowest chance of being accurate.
Also known as screw punt or spiral punt, the kick has become less common since the 1980s, as modern tactics have meant that accuracy has become typically more important than distance in field kicking; as such, coaches now prefer the use of the drop punt, and discouraging the use of the torpedo in general field play as a comparatively low percentage kick.
The kick may still be seen when a player needs additional distance.
- Gordon Rattray, who played his football with the Fitzroy Football Club between 1917 and 1928, is credited as the first player to use the torpedo punt.
With extra distance, this type of kick is also more difficult to accurately judge depth.
If kicked correctly, a torpedo can travel up to 80 metres, while a normal punt will travel slightly less far.
- up there Cazaly!
- a cry of encouragement in aussie rules football
Originally directed at VFL legend Roy Cazaly, a South Melbourne ruckmen in the '20s and '30s.
He had incredible athletic prowess and a huge lung capacity.
In 1996 he became one of 12 inaugural Legends of Australian Football Hall of Fame. A relentless self-improver, Cazaly shaped the game’s development, applied his own theories to fitness, training and teamwork, and coached teams to premiership success.
- His team mates and later the public would yell up there Cazaly! to encourage him to leap higher for hit-outs and marks.
The expression moved into the vernacular with the Diggers on World War 2 battlefields when going into battle.
In the '70s, the saying was turned into a pop song, Mike Brady’s hymn to football that reached number 1 on the Australian charts.
- one who adjudicates the game
An umpire is an official in the sport of Australian rules football who adjudicates the game according to the "Laws Of The Game", the official handbook of Australian Rules Football.
- There are four different types of umpires and one type of steward in a typical game of Australian Football:
Field umpire - the field umpire (also known as a central umpire) is responsible controlling general play, and is positioned within the field of play. The field umpire is the only type of umpire permitted to award free kicks or initiate stoppages in play, and he executes ball-ups to restart play.
Since 1993, professional level Australian Football League matches are policed by three field umpires. Amateur, suburban and semi-professional matches can be policed by any number from one to three field umpires.
Goal umpire - Goal umpires are responsible for all adjudications relating to the goal-line, to determine whether or not a ball has scored a goal, behind, or failed to cross the goal-line.
Goal umpires also serve as the official score-keepers for the match. A goal umpire signals a score at his end of the ground by raising their index fingers in front of them at waist height, using one for a behind and two for a goal; then, the goal umpires at both ends wave flags to each to confirm and record the score. After each quarter, the umpires check their scores, and confirm that the ground scoreboard matches the official score.
There are generally two goal umpires in each game at all levels, one at each end of the ground; occasionally, the use of two goal umpires at each end of the ground has been trialled.
Goal umpires traditionally wore a white jacket, black trousers and a broad-brimmed hat, however caps and shirts have replaced the hats and jackets.
Boundary umpire - the boundary umpire is responsible for determining when the ball has left the field of play, and whether it has done so on the bounce or on the full. The boundary umpire is responsible for throwing the ball back into play when it has left the field of play (a throw-in), and he assists the goal umpire when there is a set shot for goal by standing and observing from the behind post.
In the professional level Australian Football League, there are four boundary umpires in each match with two umpires sharing control of each side of the ground. At lower levels, there are typically only two or three boundary umpires.
Emergency umpire - particularly in professional matches, an emergency umpire may be provided specifically to be used as a replacement if an umpire is injured. The emergency umpire can also monitor the play from the bench for behind-the-play incidents, and can enter the field if required to break up scuffles and fights between players and enforce the blood rule. Like field umpires, they have the ability to report (or in lower levels eject) players.
Emergency umpire - Oversees other officials, such as club runners, and interchanging of players.
Interchange stewards - although they are not officially an umpire, there are two of these at a match. They oversee the interchanging of players, and make sure no more than 18 players per team are on the field at any one time. Where league rules permit, stewards can report to the emergency umpire to allow free kicks to be paid for interchange infringements.
- the perth cricket ground, a major afl stadium in wa
An acronym for the Western Australian Cricket Association.
- a position either side of the centre
The wingers control the open spaces either side of the ground.
They need to be highly skilled, especially in kicking.
Wingmen also require considerable pace and stamina, as they run up and down the ground linking play between defence and attack.
- youth system
- a league with no attachment to any senior club
The AFL has a youth league established underneath its senior league.
The players that play in this competition are then chosen to play for senior clubs through the AFL Draft.
- zone defence
- a tactic after a behind is scored
It was introduced into Australian football in the late 1980s by Robert Walls and subsequentially was used effectively by Essendon Football Club coach Kevin Sheedy. It revolutionized the game.
The tactic is used from the fullback kick in after a behind is scored.
The side in opposition to the player kicking in places their forward players, including their full-forward and center half forward, in evenly spaced zones in the back 50-meter arc.
This makes it easier for them to block leading players and forces the kick in to be more precise, in effect increasing the margin for error which can cause a turnover and another shot at goal.
- As a result, the best ways to break the zone are for the full-back to bomb it long (over 50 meters), often requiring a low percentage torpedo punt, or to play a short chipping game out of defense and then to switch play as opposition players break the zone.
The latter has negated the effectiveness of the tactic since the 1990s.
Another kick-in technique is the huddle, often used before the zone, which involves all of the players from the opposition team to the player is kicking in huddling together and then breaking in different directions. The kicker typically aims in whichever direction that the designated target (typically the ruckman) runs in.
- originally called district football
Zoning (originally called district football, or electorate football in South Australia) refers to a system whereby a geographical area is reserved exclusively for one club.
Zoning has been historically an important part of most major Australian football leagues, being usually justified as necessary to ensure a reasonably equitable competition.
- Although the more even distribution of top country players at the beginning of the 1970s was such that the SANFL and WAFL quickly adopted country zoning, its gains were very short-lived.
Carlton, Richmond, Hawthorn and North Melbourne won every VFL premiership between 1967 and 1983, a period of dominance not known in any other era, as strong country zones gave these clubs lists more powerful than any club could build without zoning.
In contrast, the clubs with the worst zones, Melbourne and South Melbourne, took eight wooden spoons between them in that period. South Melbourne played only two finals in 1970 and 1977, whilst Melbourne did not play a final until 1987, after country zoning had been abolished.
Some writers on VFL history have argued that the inequalities created by country zoning were much greater than those created by club wealth beforehand and that some clubs lost many players they would have gained were players able to move to the club nearest to them. Most significantly, St Kilda’s return to the bottom of the ladder in the mid-1970s after a period of success from 1961-1973 has been related to its loss of many players to Hawthorn from the Frankston area, which was already becoming part of metropolitan Melbourne when country zoning began.
Defenders of country zoning have argued that it provided greater incentive for VFL clubs to look for players in country leagues, and that its abolition has meant that this incentive has been lost.