Glossary Of Terms


a spectacular overhead mark
Alternatively known as a screamer or a hanger and regarded by many fans as the epitome of skill.
Typicallly it involves a player jumping up on the back of another player known as the stepladder in order to take the mark. It has become a much celebrated aspect of the sport.
Many of the winners of the AFL's annual Mark of the Year competition could be considered speckies. Commentators will often call an individual mark a contender in reference to this competition and it's likelihood to win.
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 tactic of team play
It is the legal act of preventing an opponent from obtaining the ball or tackling a team-mate.
A player uses his body to push, bump or block an opposing player who does not have possession of the football and who is no further than 5 metres away from the football at the time when the shepherd occurs.
See one-percent for more tactics of team play.
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.
describes the player over which another player marks to take a specky
In the past, fullbacks have been renowned for inadvertently acting as stepladders.
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.
The term don't argue describes what a commentator imagined the ball-carrier might be saying as he shoved his opponent in the face or chest, and is used as a noun.
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.
The stiff-arm fend is particularly effective because its force is applied down the length of a straight arm, directly into the shoulder. This puts the arm bones exclusively under compressive axial stress, the stress to which bone is strongest, and ensures that minimal torque is applied to the shoulder joint. As such, the force that can be applied by a stiff-arm fend can easily repel or topple an oncoming defender.
The same techniques are practised by some schools of martial artists when striking or punching; by ensuring that the direction of the force is directly down a locked, straight arm, martial artists can punch through bricks and tiles without damaging their arms.

don't argue was coined in australia
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.


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