Australian Rules football is one of the most fast paced, exhilarating sports of our times. It is a unique blend of rugby and soccer with millions of spectators from all over, mainly Australia. The quick deflection of the football demands the men to put out their utmost in terms of physical performance. The sport of Australian Rules football is one chaos of a spectacle that demands blood, sweat and tears from every single one of the players. It is a test of strength, endurance, quick hand eye coordination and wits. But how did this charismatic sport come into being?
The Birth of the sport
Australian Rules football was born in the heart of Victoria, Melbourne back in the 1850s. Back then it was called Melbourne rules football and as the sport spread out to the rest of the state, it was referred to as Victorian rules football. It combined different football rules that were used in English public schools. It all began when Thomas Wentworth Wills who was a cricketer at the time and the captain of his cricket team, had concerns about his team mates fitness during the off season. At the time, cricket was the big emerging sport in the country. Thomas was educated at the Rugby School in England and knew Rugby could be just what he needed to keep his team and himself fit during the off season.
Establishment of the Aussie rules
He suggested to the Melbourne Cricket Club that the team should play rugby during the off season to stay in good physical form. There were no standard rules to football so committee was established to develop a set of rules for the game. Soon after The Geelong football club and the Melbourne football club were established by 1859. Now, the national professional Australian Football League is the most popular sport in the country with the most television viewing and fan attendance. As a fan watching the game from back home, you can get in on the action by betting on the AFL future odds.
Expansion of the sport
This newly developed sport had two large goalposts with two shorted posts that flank them. The center bounce was used by the umpires to start or restart a play after a goal has been scored to this day. By 1882, Tasmania accepted Australian Rules football and by 1885, Western Australian Football Association was formed that eventually paved the way for the Australian Football League. The sport began to proliferate during the 70s and 80s where the extremely competitive matches between Carlton and Melbourne football clubs drew in as many as 10,000 spectators for the very first time. Now, the number of Australian Rules football fan attendance exceeds 400,000.
Interestingly, the traditional practice of the umpire waving a flag after confirming a goal had been scored was actually adopted by the Victoria rules football from Tasmania in 1884. The first Australian football facility opened in 1876. The number of clubs for Australian football increased to 125 clubs within Melbourne only with 60 senior clubs scattered across Victoria.