AFL (Australian Football League), or Aussie Rules as it more commonly known is Australia’s oldest indigenous football code.
Aussie Rules has been described as the fastest football code on Earth. 18 players play on a field that is about 170m long and 100m wide (exact field measurements vary between stadiums). Like all football variants the aim is simple, outscore your opponents.
The games origins can be traced as far back as 1859, however the VFL (Victorian Football League) commenced as an organised league in 1897 with just eight teams all from Victoria. The league continued to grow until it was renamed the AFL in 1990.
There are now 17 AFL clubs spread right across Australia, although Victoria remains the main AFL hub, with 10 clubs based there.
The AFL season usually kicks off in late March and clubs play a 22 game season, with the top eight clubs advancing to the final series. The AFL final series is played out over a month, with the last two teams competing in the AFL Grand Final, which has come to be one of the biggest events on the Australian sporting calendar.
The Carlton Blues and Essendon Bombers are the most successful clubs in the AFL, each having won the Premiership 16 times.
Whilst the AFL is only played on a professional level in Australia, amateur leagues have sprung across the world, and the sport is also broadcast into a number of nations around the world.
The major thing that sets Aussie Rules apart from any of the other football codes played in Australia and around the world is the fact that Aussie Rules is the only football code in the world that does not have an offside rule. That makes for a 360 degree game, played at breakneck speeds by some of the most athletic people in Australian sport.