Yesterday I went to my first AFL game. AFL stands for Australian Football League and man, it is one intense game to watch. I went with my roommate from Germany, who is one of the coolest people I have ever met, as well as her two friends that are studying from Malaysia. So there we were, one American, one German, and two Malaysians who had no idea how the game worked, but heck we were determined to find out. I literally had no knowledge of how “footy” – which is what Aussies call it – was played. All I knew was that they ran around in short shorts and tackled each other to the ground without wearing any sort of padding. Luckily for the four of us, the woman in front of us could obviously detect our foreign accents, and turned around to give us a few hints about the game. I could’ve taken up a whole half asking her questions, but lucky for her I had my Aussie mate to text my questions to and bother instead. I’ll break it down for you guys back in the states, so that when you come visit me, you won’t be as lost as I was.

-       Each game consists of 4 quarters.
-       You can kick and throw the footy to your teammate, and the ball is never dead.
-       A clean tackle is considered in between your shoulders and waist, but any hit outside of that will result in a foul.
-       There are four goal posts, which create three areas to score points. The middle area is worth six points, and the two outside areas are worth one point.
-       To score a point, it has to be kicked through any of the goal posts, and a player can get as close as they need to kick the footy through
-       If the footy goes out of play, there are referees in bright yellow jerseys who throw the ball in over their shoulders, behind there head, so they aren’t biased to where they are throwing it into.
-       Time doesn’t stop

To play footy you have to be in awesome shape, because you are constantly reacting and sprinting to wear the footy is going next. It bounces in weird places, and the players always have to be on their toes to be able to pivot to wherever they need to go. Perhaps one of the most amazing things about AFL is how large the field is. It is a huge oval – approximately 164 yards long, 147 yards wide. Can you imagine having to cover all that distance?

Even though the game was awesome, that isn’t what I’m going to remember the most. The thing I will remember from yesterday is the ticket man I dealt with. One of the student coordinators at VU that I’ve become friends with, offered me four free tickets for Sunday’s game, and said she would put them under my name to pick them up. However when I got up to the booth to claim my tickets, the man said there was nothing under my last name. He obviously knew I was American, and I looked helpless because I had no idea what to do. He told me to wait a second, and about a minute later he came back with four tickets. He had printed out new tickets, and gave them to us for free. I mean how wonderful is that? I realize that a lot of variables went into that situation – he could’ve been having a bad day, I could’ve thrown a fit when the tickets weren’t under my name – but instead, that was the outcome. Always try and keep a smile on your face my friends, because you never know what it will bring you. 


Vicki Hayford
08/05/2013 7:08pm

Great blogs! Keep 'em coming!!!


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