Terms in Aussie Rules Football

glossary of terms

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


odd bounce
in part due to the shape of the ball
image Where rotation or spin induces an unexpected bounce direction.
off the ball
a physical confrontation between two or more opposing players
Which occurs away from the main contest.
one percenter
a variety of defensive actions which benefit the team
These rarely show up in any typical statistical analysis of a game but are highly valued by coaches, supporters and spectators alike.
1 spoiling
Preventing an opposition player from taking clean possession of a pass from a team-mate, most usually done by punching the ball away from the contest.
2 smothering
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 player who smothers the ball is generally seen diving across in front of the kicking player, hoping to trap the ball as it is kicked. This action sometimes leads to turn-overs, but not always.

3 knock-on
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.

4 shepherding
The legal act of preventing an opponent from obtaining possession or tackling a team-mate by using his body to push, bump or block an opposing player who does not have possession of the ball and is no further than 5 metres away from the ball at the time.
5 chasing
A chase is the act of making a long pursuit behind an opponent who is running with and bouncing the ball, even if he never catches up and tackles his opponent.
A chase puts pressure on the opponent to kick while running quickly and/or while unstable, decreasing the likely accuracy of the kick. Hence, coaches will consider a chase to be a one percenter.

6 hurrying
Hurrying (or corralling) an opponent is the act of putting them off balance without laying a tackle, while he is taking his kick or handpass. Like the chase, this increases the likelihood of a turnover, and is often considered to be a one percenter.
7 bumping
A bump or hip and shoulder is the act of using the side of the body and running into an opponent with force - under some circumstances. The bump is a type of strong shepherd, but players can also legally bump their opponents out of the way as they run to collected the ball. A bump to an opponent is legal, provided the bump does not ride high and contact an opponent's head. A bump in the back is illegal under the "push in the back".
8 blocking
A block or screen is a more subtle way to shepherd in a marking contest, and while it is often technically illegal, it will almost never be penalised. The most common way to block is to run between a leading forward and his pursuing opponent, slowing down the defender so that the forward will take his mark uncontested.
off the ball
a physical confrontation between two or more opposing players away from the main contest
off the side of the boot
a kick that misses the proper top surface of the boot
Which is between arch and toe, hit with the sloping angle of the foot resulting in a deflected or winged shot.
a player who follows the ball anywhere on the ground
Also known as a follower.
the area outside the field of play where spectators sit or stand
out on the full
a kick that travels across the boundary line without first being touched by a player or hitting the ground
This will result in a free kick to the opposition team, taken by the player closest to the point at which the ball crossed the boundary line.
the ground on which an australian rules football game is played
Derived from the common shape of the ground, which is often a modified cricket oval.
over the line
called when any part of the football goes over the boundary line
over the mark
a player who crosses from their side of the mark when a free kick is being taken
Is said to have gone over the mark.If the attacking player does this, they are told to play on; a defending player who does this is penalised with a fifty metre penalty.

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