List of Australian rules football terms

Australian Rules Football is a team sport played between two teams of twenty-two. Some terms are often thought to be humorous or invented for comic purposes by many.

This is a general glossary of the terminology used in the sport of Australian Rules. Where words in a sentence are also defined elsewhere in this article, they appear in italics.

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0-9

:; 19th man : at a time in the game before the "interchange" bench was introduced, two reserves were named in addition to the 18 players who started the game on the ground. These players could enter the game only if one of the original 18 left the field and did not return. See "20th man". [http://www.afl.com.au/AFLHQ/History/tabid/967/Default.aspx AFL History] ] :; 20th man : see "19th man".

A

:; AFL : Australian Football League.:; All-Australian : a player who has been chosen in the best team of the AFL competition each year, the All-Australian Team. [http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/09/18/2035897.htm 2007 AFL All-Australian Team announced ] ] :; Angle : the geometric angle formed by an imaginary line between the player and the centre of the goals (on the goal line), and another imaginary line perpendicular to the goal line. (i.e. for a player standing at a point on the field where they are on the line bisecting the goals at each end of the ground, the angle is zero.):; Arena : the playing surface. [http://afl.com.au/Portals/0/afl_docs/Development/umpiring/Laws%20of%20Football_2008.pdf Laws of Australian Football 2008] ]

B

:; Ball : usually yelled by spectators when an opposition player is tackled in possession of the ball. Short for "holding the ball". :; Ball-up : the act of a field umpire putting the ball back into play, either by throwing it straight up into the air, or by bouncing the ball in such a way that it mimics the throwing action. See "bounce-down". [http://www.smh.com.au/news/AFL/AFL-may-have-dropped-the-ball/2005/02/21/1108834732222.html AFL may have dropped the ball] ] :; Banana : a kick which causes the ball to swing in the air in the opposite direction to the usual. See "checkside". [http://www.realfooty.com.au/news/news/schmidt-peels-off-a-banana-for-swans/2008/05/24/1211183195921.html Schmidt peels off a banana for Swans] ] :; Barrell : a "torpedo punt" kick. See also "screwie".:; Bears, the : Brisbane Bears Football Club. Dropped when Brisbane merged with Fitzroy to form the Brisbane "Lions". :; Behind : one point. :; Bench : the "interchange" area. The "bench" refers to the seat used by the players in this area. . [http://afl.ten.com.au/Worsfold_blames_skill_errors.htm Worsfold blames skill errors] ] :; Best on ground : player judged the best player taking part in any game. Sometimes also referred to as BOG, pronounced "bee-oh-gee". [http://www.triplem.com.au/sydney/sport/afl/bestongroundaward.html Triple M Foot 2007 Best on Ground Award] ] :; Bloods, the : An older nickname for the Sydney Swans, stemming from the bright red sash worn by the club's predecessor, South Melbourne FC, between 1907 and 1931. Still used in reference to the current club.:; Blues, the : Carlton Football Club. Also "blue-baggers".:; Bombers, the : Essendon Football Club.:; Bounce-down : the act of a field umpire putting the ball back into play by bouncing the ball in such a way that it mimics a vertical throw. See "ball-up". [http://bombersfc.com.au/tabid/6477/default.aspx?newsid=63860 Essendon Website] ] :; Boundary line : the line drawn on the ground to delimit the field of play. :; Boundary throw-in : the act of throwing the ball back into play by the "boundary umpire".:; Boundary umpire : an official who patrols the boundary line, indicating when it has fully crossed the line, and who then executes a "boundary throw-in" to return the ball to play. There are two of these umpires per game, one on each side of the "oval". :; Break : short term for "break in play"; eg "quarter-time", "half-time", or "three-quarter-time". [http://www.livenews.com.au/articles/2008/07/12/Kangaroos_keep_finals_hopes_alive Kangaroos keep finals hopes alive] ] :; Brownlow Medal : the medal given to the Best and Fairest player in the AFL competition each year.:; Bullies, the : Western Bulldogs Football Club. See also "Dogs".:; Bump : a contact between players using the hip and/or shoulder. See "hip-and-shoulder".

C

:; Cats, the : Geelong Football Club.:; Central umpire : an official who patrols the field of play, awarding free kicks, indicating "time-on" and time-off, and restarting the game after "stoppages", goals etc.:; Centre : the middle of the ground, also the name given to a player who starts the game in that position. :; Centre bounce : the bounce of the ball in the "centre" of the ground to start a "quarter", or after a "goal". :; Centre square : a fifty metre square drawn around the "centre" of the ground. :; Charlie : a nickname for the "Brownlow Medal". The medal is named after Charles Brownlow, thus the reference to Charlie.:; Checkside : a kick which causes the ball to swing in the air in the opposite direction to the usual. See "banana".:; Chicken wing tackle : a tackle that locks in an opponent's arm so that he cannot legally dispose of the ball. Generally considered to have been picked up from Rugby League. :; Cluster : a grid comprising 15 or more players set up to oppose a "kick-in". [http://www.realfooty.com.au/news/news/rich-pickings/2008/07/30/1217097331639.html Rich Pickings] ] :; Coach : the manager of the team who controls the team's tactics during a match. :; Coleman Medal : the medal given to the player who has kicked the highest number of goals in the AFL home and away season each year.:; Contest : a game, on a larger sense, and an interaction between two opposing players, on a smaller one.:; Contested possession : a "possession" achieved as a result of a "contest".:; Corkie : a deep bruise, usually in the leg. [http://afl.com.au/tabid/208/default.aspx?newsid=63831 Glass to have scans] ] :; Corridor : an imaginary strip of the ground that runs through the centre from goal to goal. :; Crows, the : Adelaide Football Club.:; Crumber : a player who waits at the base of a marking pack in order to obtain a loose ball, i.e. to "get the crumbs". [http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,24035617-23211,00.html McLeod the answer to Crows' woes] ]

D

:; Daisy cutter : a kick that runs along the ground rather than through the air. See "grubber". Also may to refer to a "drop punt" in which the ball travels through the air, but low to the ground.:; Dees, the : Melbourne Football Club, short for the "Demons":; Derby : a game between Fremantle and West Coast, both based in Western Australia.:; Disposal : a statistical term indicating that a player disposed of the ball legally by either hand or foot. :; Dob : a kick, usually resulting in a goal, or a shot at goal.:; Dockers, the : Fremantle Football Club.:; Dogs, the : Western Bulldogs Football Club. See also "Bullies".:; Draft : the year-end allocation of young players to the various clubs. Run by the "AFL".:; Drop kick : a kick that is executed in such a way that the foot contacts the ball at the same time as, or immediately after, it has been dropped to the ground on its end. No longer in common use in AFL due to its inaccuracy. See "stab pass".:; Drop punt : a kick that is executed by contacting the ball on its end, so that it rotates around its mid-point end over end. Usually considered the most accurate of kicks.

E

:; Eagles, the : West Coast Football Club.

F

:; Fat side : an imaginary area of the ground that indicates the greatest space occupied by the least number of players. See "thin side". :; Field umpire : see "central umpire". :; Fifty : short term for "fifty-metre penalty". :; Fifty, the : an arc drawn at each end of the ground indicating the distance from the "goal line", in this case 50 metres. :; Final siren : the "siren" that sounds to signal the end of the game.:; Finals : the post-season series of games that decide the "premiership". :; Finals berth : a position in the "finals" series.:; Flag, the : the "Premiership". E.g. "we won the flag".:; Flags : white flag waved by a "goal umpire" to signal a goal or behind. :; Flank : an indicative area of the ground that lies between the wing and pocket on both sides of the centre. There are four flanks: 2 forward and 2 back, 2 left and 2 right. Also referred to as "half-forward flank" and "half-back flank".:; Flick pass : the variant of a "handball" which propels the ball with a flick of an open hand, rather than a clenched fist. Now outlawed. See "throw". [http://www.realfooty.com.au/news/news/ted-mr-natural-mr-larrikin-mr-football/2008/07/04/1214951050330.html?page=2 Mr Natural (page 2)] ] :; Flight : a description of the way a ball travels through the air.:; Flogged : beaten by a large margin, i.e. greater than 50 points. [http://www.puntroad.com/?p=23 Ricmond FC negotiates "points in" with AFL] ] :; Flood : the act of getting as many players as possible between the ball carrier and the goal a team is defending. :; Four points, the : the result of winning a game. The "four points" refers to the number of points awarded for a win in an AFL game. E.g., "we got the four points". :; Free kick : an possession of the ball given to a player as a result of an infringement by an opposition player. These are only awarded by the "central umpire". :; Full-back : the area of the ground directly in front of the opposition's goals. Also the name given to the player placed in that position. Usually opposed by the "full-forward".:; Full-forward : the area of the ground directly in front of a team's goals. Also the name given to the player placed in that position. Usually opposed by the "full-back".:; Full-time : the end of the game. See "final siren".

G

:; Game-high : the maximum number or amount in a game, eg "game-high possessions". :; Goal : a maximum score (equivalent to 6 points) achieved by kicking the ball between the two goal-posts without it being touched by any other player. :; Goal line : a section of the "boundary line" that runs from one behind post to the other, at each end. All four posts (2 goal and 2 behind) are set directly on this line. :; Goal posts : two tall posts at each end of the ground indicating the major scoring zone. :; Goal square : the rectangle drawn on the ground directly in front of each goal. :; Goal umpire : an official who adjudicates the score, signals the score ("out-of-bounds", "point", or "goal") and then waves the "flag" or flags to indicate the score to the crowd. There are two of these umpires per game, one at each end. :; Grubber : a kick that runs along the ground rather than though the air. See "daisy cutter".:; Guernsey : the jersey worn by players.

H

:; Half-back : the area of the ground lying halfway between the "centre" and "full-back". Also the name given to the player placed in that position. Usually opposed by the "half-forward".:; Half-forward : the area of the ground lying halfway between the "centre" and "full-forward". Also the name given to the player placed in that position. Usually opposed by the "half-back".:; Half-time : the long break between the second and third "quarters". :; Hammy : hamstring. Generally used when a player sustains an injury to this muscle, eg "he's done a hammy".:; Handball : a legal disposal of the ball, executed by holding the ball on the flat palm of one hand and hitting it with the other clenched fist. The opposite of a "throw". :; Handpass : see "handball". :; Hard ball get : see "contested possession".:; Hawks, the : Hawthorn Football Club.:; High tackle : a tackle that is executed above the opposition player's shoulders. Will result in a "free kick".:; Hip-and-shoulder : See "bump":; Hitout : a "tap" by a "ruckman" to a team's advantage. See "knockout".:; Huddle : the grouping of players on the ground at "quarter-time" and "three-quarter-time" breaks [http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,24062737-5014673,00.html Power to explain breach] ] , and a tactic to enable easier kick-outs after a behind where players group together at center-half-back before breaking to the flanks [http://www.realfooty.com.au/news/news/hawks-in-the-zone/2008/05/02/1209235160860.html Hawks in the zone] ] .

I

:; Interchange : the designated area of the ground where players wait to be allowed onto the field after another player has left, ie one player is interchanged for another. See "pine".

J

K

:; Kangaroos : North Melbourne Football Club. Also "the Kangas".:; Kick : a legal disposal of the ball by foot. :; Kick-in : the return of the ball back into play after a behind has been scored. :; King hit : a description of an illegal physical attack on a player behind play, generally to the head region which leaves the victim in a dazed or unconscious state.:; Knock out : see "hitout".

L

:; Ladder : the position of teams on the Premiership list, determined by their win-loss ratio and "percentage".:; Legged : a trip, usually by the hand. If detected by the umpire will result in a "free kick" against the offender. :; Lions, the : Brisbane Lions Football Club. Previously Fitzroy Football Club.

M

:; Magpies, the : Collingwood Football Club. Also "Pies".:; Major : a "goal". :; Magarey Medal : the medal given to the Best and Fairest player in the "SANFL" competition each year.:; Man-on-man : the "traditional" defensive style of a defender playing close to an opposition forward. See "zone-off".:; Mark : a clean catch of the ball after it has been kicked by another player (either by a teammate or by the opposition), before it has touched the ground, or been touched by any other player, and after it has travelled a minimum of 15 metres. :; Midfield : an indicative area of the ground that covers "half-foward" to "half-back" down the "centre", and out to the "wings" and "flanks". :; Midfielder : a player who roams and plays within the "midfield".

N

:; Norm Smith Medal : the medal given to the player adjudged the "best on ground" in the AFL Grand Final.

O

:; On the ball : a player who is not in any set positon but who follows the ball all over the ground. :; On the mark : a player who stands on the point on the ground where a "free kick", or a "mark", was awarded. :; On the road : games played away from home.:; Out on the full : a kick that travels across the boundary line without first being touched by a player or hitting the ground. This will result in a "free kick" to the opposition team, taken by the player closest to the point at which the ball crossed the boundary line. :; Oval : the ground on which an Australian Rules Football game is played. Derived from the common shape of the ground.

P

:; Pack : a mass of players from both sides all attempting to get the ball at the same time. Can be used for players flying for a mark or scrambling for the ball at ground level. :; Pass : a kick that ends with the ball in the possession of a teammate. :; Percentage : an indication of the ratio of points scored for versus points scored against. The AFL uses the formula (points for / points against) * 100. Which results in percentages greater than 100. :; Pick : chosen in the "draft", or chosen to play in a game.:; Pies, the : Collingwood Football Club. Also "Magpies".:; Pill : the ball.:; Pine, the : the "interchange" bench where players wait to return to the field of play, originally made of wood.:; Playmaker : a player who directs a team play by action or deed during a game.:; Possession : a description of the act of obtaining the ball. See "disposal".:; Pocket : an indicative part of the ground, equivalent to the area proscribed by an imaginary arc running from the goal post to a point on the boundary line halfway to the fifty-metre arc. There are two pockets at each end of the ground, referred to as the left and right, forward and back pockets, e.g. left-forward pocket.:; Point : the basic scoring unit. :; Poster : a kicked ball which hits a goal post, resulting in a "behind" being scored rather than a goal.:; Power, the : Port Adelaide Football Club.:; Premiership : awarded to the winner of the Grand Final. See the "flag".

Q

:; QAFL : the Queensland Australian Football League.:; Quarter : a period of play. Each game is divided into four quarters of equal length. See "term".:; Quarter-time : the gap between the first and second "quarters".

R

:; Raking : a description of a kicking style that results in long kicks. Generally only applied to left-footed players, eg "a raking left foot". :; Receiver : a player who is known for accepting the ball from teammates rather than getting it from opposition players.:; Recruit : a player picked up in a "draft".:; Reported : the state of a player after an umpire has written their name into a notebook, during play, for an act that may result in the player being "suspended"..:; Rising star : a young player who is maturing into a genuine star of the game.:; Rookie : a young or first-year player.:; Rover : a small "midfielder". Now rarely used. :; Rubbed out : see "suspended".:; Ruck : a tall player who contests the "ball-up" or "throw-in". Also "ruckman".:; Ruck rover : a midfielder halfway between a "ruck" and a "rover". Now rarely used.:; Rushed : a score for the opposition team. Only ever one point in the home-and-away season, but currently scored as three points in the AFL pre-season competition.

:; Sandover Medal : the medal given to the Best and Fairest player in the "WAFL" competition each year.:; SANFL : the South Australian National Football League.:; Sausage roll : rhyming slang for "goal".:; Screamer : a spectacular high "mark", usually in a contested situation. See "specky".:; Screwie : a "torpedo" punt kick. Name derived from the way the ball appears to "screw" or "torpedo" through the air.:; Season : a year of AFL competition. :; Set Shot : an attempt to kick a "goal" from a mark or a free kick. See "shot". :; Shark : obtaining "possession" of the ball, often in a difficult position.:; Shepherd : a block placed on an opposing player. This can be to stop him tackling a teammate in possession of the ball, or attempting to gather it; to stop him intercepting a ball heading for goal; or just to stop him possessing the ball himself.:; Shot : an attempt to kick a "goal".:; Showdown : a game between Adelaide and Port Adelaide, both based in South Australia.:; Siren : a loud sound used to signal the start and end of the game, and the start and end of each quarter. :; Sit : a description of the best position from which to take a hit "mark", eg "he had the sit".:; Smother : the act of stopping a kick immediately after it leaves the boot. Generally undertaken with the hands.:; Snag : a description of an unlikely act, eg "he snagged a goal" implies the player kicked a goal in difficult or unexpected circumstances. Can also be applied to a "mark". :; Snap : a shot at "goal", usually executed under pressure. :; Specky : short term for "spectacular". Generally refers to the act of taking a high "mark", usually in a contested situation. sometimes written as "speccie".:; Spillage : occurs when a ball comes off the top of a "pack" of players attempting to "mark" a ball.:; Spoil : a punch or slap of the ball which hinders an opposition player from talking a "mark".:; Stab pass : a kick that travels very low to the ground to a teammate. Until the 1970s this was usually a "drop kick". :; Suspended : the state of a player who has been refused permission to play by a legislated tribunal. See "reported".`:; Swans, the : Sydney Football Club. Previously South Melbourne Football Club.:; Sweeper : a player who plays loose across the "half-back" line in order to act as a link between the backline and midfield. Probably borrowed from soccer.

T

:; Tackle : the grabbing of an opposition player in "possession" of the ball, in order to impede his progress or to force him to dispose of the ball quickly. :; Tap : see "hitout".:; Tapout : see "hitout".:; Term : a "quarter". I.e. the third term is equivalent to the third "quarter". :; Thin side : an imaginary area of the ground that indicates the least space occupied by the greatest number of players. See "fat side". :; Three-quarter-time : the break between the third and fourth "quarters".:; Throw : an illegal "disposal" of a ball by hand. Will result in a "free kick" to the opposition.:; Tigers, the : Richmond Football Club.:; Time-on : time added on to the end of each quarter to compensate for time lost during general play by stoppages. The amount of time to be added on is determined by independent time-keepers who stop the game clock when indicated by the "central umpires". :; Torpedo : a punt kick that rotates the ball around its long axis, which is aligned with the direction the ball is travelling. See "screwie" and "barrell". [http://www.realfooty.com.au/news/news/ted-mr-natural-mr-larrikin-mr-football/2008/07/04/1214951050330.html Mr Natural (page 1)] ] :; Touch : see "possession" and "disposal".:; Touched : a term to indicate that a ball was touched by another player after being kicked.:; Trip : the act of bringing a player to ground, or attempting to do so, by making contact below the knee. Will result in a "free kick" to the opposition. :; Turnover : the loss of "possession" of the ball to the opposition.

U

V

W

:; WAFL : the Western Australian Football League.:; Wing : an indicative area of the ground that lies between the forward and back "flanks" on both sides of the "centre". There are only two on the ground.

X

Y

Z

:; Zone : a defensive arrangement of players on a section of the ground, designed to stifle the forward movement of the ball by the opposition. Probably borrowed from basketball.:; Zone off : the act of a defender leaving some space between himself and his opponent. This is contrary to the normal defensive style of "man-on-man".

Notes

References

Printed sources:

Websites:
* [http://footy.rachel-s.com/dictionary.php "A dictionary of Aussie rules terms"]


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