Australian rules football

Australian rules football

Variety of football played between two teams of 18 players. The field is oval, 145–200 yd (135–185 m) long, with four goalposts at each end. A six-point goal is scored when the oval ball is kicked through the two central goalposts. A one-point “behind” is scored when the ball is kicked over the behind line extending between the central and outer goalposts. The game's finest spectacle is the “mark” in which competing players leap, sometimes riding on the back of an opponent, in order to catch the ball directly from the kick of another player. The player making such a catch is awarded a mark, an unhindered kick from behind the spot of the catch. The sport was developed in Melbourne. The Victorian Football League was established in 1896 as the first professional league. It was renamed the Australian Football League in 1990 to reflect the addition of franchises outside of Victoria state.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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