Saturday, 20 June 2015

League for non-leaguies


Ahead of this week’s Origin game, life-time AFL fan Jan Courtin had a red-hot go at explaining rugby league to her fellow AFL fans:

My understanding of rugby league is:
· The men who play it are big brutes, and some have huge necks
· Some, like Alfie Langer and Jonathon Thurston, are smaller brutes but can be very handy
· Goalposts are two uprights with a horizontal cross-bar
· A goal is a try and worth four points
· A kick after the try becomes a conversion and is two points if it goes over the cross-bar
· A point is two points but can also be a point, depending on whatever
· A poster is two points
· ”Baaaall” is I-don’t-know-what but you can hold the ball as long as you want until six sets are up before you get it over the try line or give it back to the other brutes
· A free kick is a penalty
· A free is also a scrum
· A scrum is when these brutes put their heads into other brutes’ bums, but it’s not even a whiff compared to the other form of the game
· A ball-up is perhaps a scrum


· An umpire is a referee
· A mark is a catch
· A tackle is a mother of a tackle after which normal people would be dead
· Around the neck is just fine, unless it’s a strangle
· Around the legs is fine too
· A trip is fine too – I think
· Dropping the ball is OK if it goes backwards
· Dropping the ball is not OK if going forward
image· A 50 metre penalty is when they get to kick it as far as they can (usually about 30 metres) forward and out of bounds on the full – or is it a yellow card or a send-off? Or maybe that’s a report? Or maybe I’m getting confused with soccer?
· A handball is a throw which is fine (and this game is mostly throwing) as long as it goes backwards
· In the back never happens because they always run towards each other
· It helps if you can run fast, in the unlikely event that you can jump over or across or under a brute and then run like hell to the other end without getting caught and get the ball over the try line
· You don’t need to be very good at kicking the ball as it hardly ever happens
· You do need to be good at kicking the ball when it sits on top of a bit of plastic at the start of the game and when converting over the cross-bar for two points
· Out of bounds on the full is absolutely fine when you get a penalty
· Out of bounds on the full is not fine unless it is a penalty – I think
· The siren is a hooter
· And, you need to know how to say “YEAH MATE, YEAH MATE” at least six times in a very short sentence if you are being interviewed.




  1. Ugby Loige is certainly one of the dumber sports (and dull) - that I used to play it shows that one does not have to be dumb forever. Suzuki

  2. Ok, so now could someone do an explanation of AFL for those of us that follow proper football codes?*

    *Those invented in England, of course!

    1. 9 men on each team, dressed in uniforms designed by George Michael, scrap over an oval ball on an oval field. The ball can be kicked, punted with a fist or bounced while running. The most common sense method of transporting a ball; carrying it, is forbidden.

      Points are scored by kicking the ball through poles in the ground at each end. There is no offside rule but the field is split into various zones such as a square in the middle where play begins. Most viewers never notice these zones as they stop watching after 5 minutes.

    2. 9? George Michael? Zones? Well, at least you got the oval right,otherwise I'd think you got confused with netball. :-)

    3. Here's a humorous effort to explain AFL: A dummy’s guide to AFL rules. It's all perfectly simple ...

      A: How does the scoring work?
      M: Kick between the big sticks, six points; hit the big sticks, one point; in between big and small sticks, one point; hit the small sticks, no points; if a player touches the ball before it crosses the line, one point.
      A: Why was that a free kick?
      M: Because he held the ball too long while being tackled.
      A: But not that time?
      M: Yeah, he sort of made it look like he was trying to get rid of the ball, so that’s okay.
      A: That was a free kick but he got rid of the ball?
      M: Well generally that’s also a rule, it’s called dropping the ball. You can’t do that.
      A: He did the same there but no free kick?
      M: Look, most of the time now they call play on just to keep the game flowing.
      A: How come they didn’t throw that ball back in?
      M: Huh? Oh someone kicked the ball over the boundary line without it bouncing.
      A: It bounced!
      M: Oh, then it must have been deliberate.
      A: What is a ‘deliberate’?
      M: Where you deliberately direct the ball towards the boundary line so it goes out.
      A: But he did it there and no free kick this time?
      M: Yeah, but he was under pressure and was trying to clear it.
      A: So? They were still deliberately kicking it there.
      M: True, but that’s just Mick Malthouse’s tactics to go wide 100% of the time.
      A: These goal reviews are pointless, the camera angle is no good and the vision is blurred.
      M: Yep, the reviews come back inconclusive 100% of the time.
      A: How come that was a free kick?
      M: He pushed him in the back
      A: And that? He pushed him but not in the back!
      M: Yeah, but he pushed him out of the marking contest regardless.
      A: But not that?
      M: Well the rule is you can extend your arms halfway or three quarters way, just not fully extended.
      A: This is so confusing!
      M: Dude, you’ll be fine. It’s too easy! But here are just some other things to know. No high tackle; illegal shepherd; no holding the man without the ball; don’t slide in first going for the ball; no throwing; bounce the ball after every 15 metres; kicks must go 15m to be paid a mark, don’t spoil a mark by chopping the arms, don’t trip anyone, don’t kick the ball while someone is trying to pick it up.
      Also beware of giving away a 50m penalty if you kick the ball away or don’t give the ball back properly after a free kick is called.
      A: Screw this!
      M: But I explained everything so clearly!


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