One of the things that make Australia truly unique is its own version of football. Called Australia rules football, this sport precedes other contemporary football games in generating an official code of play. Novices often view it without proper rules. The truth is, it is highly structured in nature, making its set of rules seem overly complicated.
When was Australian rules football invented?
Aussie rules history dates back to the late 1850s. Given that it was invented in Melbourne, Victoria, the sport was originally called Melbourne or Victorian rules football. Combining Gaelic football and soccer, it was designed to be played by cricketers during the winter off-season. Since the game’s invention, it developed at a rapid pace, attracting huge crowds and taking up newspaper pages. Today, it is one of the most played, watched, and anticipated games in Australia.
The Establishment of the Victorian Football Association
Aiming to promote and extend football throughout the country as well as organize intercolonial matches, the Victorian Football Association (VFA) was formed by the representatives of the Carlton, Albert Park, Geelong, Essendon, East Melbourne, St. Kilda, Hotham, and Melbourne football clubs in 1877. In Melbourne alone, more than 125 clubs were established. Meanwhile, another 60 senior clubs were formed in the various parts of Victoria. The VFA also developed a regular match schedule and enclosed additional grounds. Most importantly, the clubs charged admission.
The Victorian Football League
The attendance at tournaments plummeted due to the depression of 1835-95. To aid the struggling clubs, the VFA suggested a revenue-sharing scheme. However, prominent clubs that desired more control over the game disagreed with the scheme. This led to the rise of the Victorian Football League (VFL), which was formed by the Essendon, Melbourne, Carlton, Fitzroy, South Melbourne, Collingwood, St. Kilda, and Geelong clubs.
The VFL permitted open payment of competitors and decreased their number on the field from 20 per side down to 18. As the economy bounced back, VFL clubs managed to pay the players in 1899. The Australian Football Council was then established in 1906 in efforts to develop matches on the national level and control interstate player movement.
The Australian Football League
As the sport continued to gain popularity and progress in structure, it later became known as the Australian Football League (AFL). Currently, the league has a total of 16 teams, of which the majority are Victoria-based. The Melbourne Cricket Ground is the home of Aussie rules football.
If you are a fan of the sport, you can place your bet on your favourite team through the best betting app Australia. What’s great is that it just takes a few clicks to enjoy everything it has to offer. However, choose a verified and reputable one to make the most of your betting experience.