Melbourne would not be Melbourne without football

by Stephen

A visit to Melbourne, in winter, is not complete without going to an Australian Rules football game. Melbourne literally lives and breaths football. For Melburnians, it’s a way of life. Colloquially, the game is known as either Aussie rules, or just plain footy.

Each team is made up of 18 players, with a game’s length lasting for four quarters of 20 minutes (plus stoppage time) each. The aim of the game, like other football codes, is to get the highest score to win. As the game is played on a modified cricket ground, it is a very athletic game. For people unfamiliar with the game, the scoring may seem confusing. A goal is worth six points, when kicked through the two tall centre posts. If the ball goes through either side of the tall centre posts, it’s classed as a behind, that’s one point. A score of 2 goals and 3 behinds would be denoted as: 2 3 15, or sometimes as 2 3 (15)

Below are a selection of the many photos that I took at today’s game (August 23, 2014), between the Essendon Bombers and the Gold Coast Suns. My team are the Essendon Bombers.

The goal posts at the Coventry end of the ground
The goal posts at the Coventry end of the ground
The tunnel leading to the field, from Essendon’s dressing room
The umpires walk on to the field
The Gold Coast Suns run on to the field
The Essendon Bombers run on to the field
Pre-game warm up and practice
The ball is bounced in the centre, and the game starts
Players fight for the ball
Essendon scores a goal
Essendon scores a goal
Don the Sash!
It’s third quarter time
Essendon wins the game. Red ‘n’ Black and Damn Proud

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Catherine 8th October, 2014 - 19:31

Great photos! I’m not really into watching sports, but would love to see a big game just once – I bet the atmosphere in a stadium like this would be pretty exciting!

Stephen 9th October, 2014 - 10:34

Oh, there’s nothing like the atmosphere of being at a stadium full of people, cheering on a team. Just to give you an idea, it’s quite common for Aussie Rules games to bring in 40-60,000 people. And some games, between popular teams, can bring in 80,000+. Grand Final day, 100,000+ is the norm.

Kelly 6th February, 2015 - 22:06

I completely agree – I always recommend travellers to go to an AFL game when they’re visiting Melbourne! I’m an Essendon supporter too! 🙂

Stephen 6th February, 2015 - 22:45

Don the Sash! Even though cricket is my favourite sport, Aussie Rules Football comes a very close second! Are you intending to go to any games this year?

Planning my first long distance ride: Sydney-Melbourne, 2016 | A Thousand Miles... 29th August, 2015 - 13:01

[…] outside of Melbourne). On one of the weekend days, it’s now become a tradition to go to an AFL match or two. After going to a match a week ago, while my brother-in-law and I were walking back from the […]


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