The Social Aussie Rules follow those rules of regular Aussie Rules Football or AFL with just a few variations. The rules are designed to ensure total safety and fun at all time for all players.
General Play & Field Rules
You can only kick the ball or handball the ball towards another player. A handball is like an underhanded volleyball serve with a clenched fist. In general play the player has 3 seconds to dispose of the ball. If the player does not then a turnover possession is given to the opposition. The player can run only ten yards with the ball in any direction and must bounce or touch the ball to the ground if going longer. The three second rule still applies so be quick covering that ten yards.
The field is divided into three thirds. At the restarting of play each team must have at least two players in each third. A team can only score from inside their offensive third. A team must complete ie. catch any handballs by their own team inside the offensive third, otherwise it will be a turnover to the opposition.
When the ball is kicked 10 yards through the air it can be caught, (called a mark) and the player can choose to play on immediately or stop and take an unimpeded kick. The umpire will blow the whistle for all marks regardless of if the player stops to take an unimpeded kick or not. An opposition player is permitted to stand on the spot where the mark was taken to try and block the kick. If the player moves off after marking in any direction or to either side from a unimpeded kick, the umpire shall call play on.
Players shall not at anytime kick the ball along the ground. If kicked along the ground the umpire shall blow the whistle and give a free kick to the opposition.
When the ball goes out of play the team which did not touch it last is awarded a free kick. Players can not score from a kick in from out an of bounds play. If they do kick it through the scoring goals, the opposition team shalll get a free kick from the goal line. If the umpire can not determine who last touched the ball the umpire shall designate two players of their choice to contest a jump ball.
After a point is scored the opposition shall bring the ball back into play from the goal line by kicking it only. The opposing player may not be closer than 10 yards back from the goal line.
Contact & Safety Rules
There is strictly no contact between players permitted so all players will be as valuable to the team as each other and will be free to move about the field as they like after the start of play.
Players can spoil a player attempting to mark a ball by tapping the ball away, but must not make contact with the player.
So, to ensure total safety there is to be no contact, bumping, blocking or wrestling for the ball when the ball is up for grabs. So players also cannot:
- Hold an opponent at any time
- Slide onto the ground to prevent another player accessing the ball
- Pick up the ball if they are not standing
- Tap the ball out of an opponent’s hands
- Push a player in the side, back or front
- Take the ball from another player who has possession
- Deliberately bump another player
- Block an opponents progress, as in basketball screens
If the umpire believes there is a possible dangerous situation, the umpire will call out SAFETY. At this time all players shall stop or slow their progress as someones safety is at risk. The umpire can designate a team to take possession of the ball at this time by calling a teams COLOR. Or the umpire can choose two players to contest a jump ball.
The Ball & Scoring
The ball used is a synthetic material, softer and smaller than a regular leather football the Aussie Football teams use. So easier to catch, softer on the foot for kicking and softer on hands for hand-balling to a teammate.
Scoring is like in a regular Aussie Rules game, with 4 posts at each end of the field, two larger in the middle and two smaller to the side. Teams are awarded 6 points for kicking it through the two taller middle posts and one point for missing to either side, called a behind. Women players score 9 points for kicking a goal. So a team might have 2-2-6 Which is 2 super goals x 9 (18), 2 regular goals x 6 (12) and 6 behinds = 36. If the ball hits a taller goal post 1 point shall be awarded and the ball kicked back into play by the opposition. If the ball hits a smaller point post on the full, it shall be deemed a turnover.
The game is played over 4 x 10 minute quarters. With 3 minute breaks for drinks in between, At each quarter start and after each goal the umpire will have two players compete for a non contact jump ball in the center of the field. The umpire shall use Red card and Yellow card rules, but we truly hope they should never need to be used. Should they? ;)
This game has been developed as a Social sport. It is as much about having fun and socializing than it is about football. Have fun out there and make sure everyone else does as well.