What is Australian Football?

One of the largest sports in Australia, Australian Football (also know as ‘Footy’ or ‘AFL’ in reference to the name of the professional league in Australia) is a team sport played on an oval field and with an oval-shaped ball.

Ben McEvoy of the Hawks competes for the ball during an AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Sydney Swans at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

In Australia, the game is typically played on a field between 135 and 185 metres long and 110 and 155 metres wide. Each team is made up of 22 players, 18 players on the field and 4 players on the bench. Players can interchange freely at any point during the match.

A player can dispose of the ball either by kicking the ball, or performing a ‘handball’ – an underarm punch of the ball with the players hand as the ball rests on their other hand.

The objective of the game is to kick, handball or knock the ball through the 4 posts located at each end of the field. A team scores 6 points if the ball is kicked, without being touched by either team, between the two taller posts, and scores 1 point in all other situations.

Australian Football (AFL) in France

Football in France is typically played on a slightly modified rugby field, with 9 players on the field and 6 players on the bench. Otherwise, the rules remain the same as Australian Football played in Australia, with a centre square, goal squares, and goal and behind posts.

The French season typically runs from September to June with teams competing in a national league, as well as one day cup competitions. Teams also compete in events organised by the AFL body in charge of the European region, AFL Europe, as well as friendly games against other teams based in Europe.

There is also a French national team for Australian Football that competes in European tournaments as well as the International Cup.