Terms in Aussie Rules Football

a rough guide

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


up there Cazaly!
a cry of encouragement
Originally directed at VFL legend Roy Cazaly, a South Melbourne ruckman in the '20s and '30s. He had incredible athletic prowess and a huge lung capacity. 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. In 1996 he became one of 12 inaugural Legends of Australian Football. His team mates and later the public would yell Up there Cazaly!, encouraging him to leap higher for hit-outs and marks. In the '40s the expression moved into the vernacular with the Diggers when going into battle, and in the '70s, the saying was turned into a pop song that reached Number ① on the Australian charts.
mike brady’s hymn to football
one of the enforcers of the laws and adjudicators of play
An official who adjudicates the game according to the Laws Of The Game, the official rules of Australian Rules Football. There are four different types of umpires and one type of steward in a typical game. field umpire
Also known as a central umpire, responsible for controlling general play, and is positioned within the field of play. The only type of umpire permitted to award free kicks or initiate stoppages in play, and executes ball-ups to restart play.
Since 1993, professional level AFL 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
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.
They 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
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.
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.
uncontested possession
a possession achieved without having to engage in a contest
a player that can play numerous roles or positions