International rules football
An international rules football match at the Telstra Dome in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, between Australia and Ireland
Highest governing body Australian Football League
Gaelic Athletic Association
Nickname(s) Football First played 1967 (Australian Football World Tour) Characteristics Contact Contact Team members 15 Mixed gender Single (Male Only at Elite Level) Categorization Outdoor Equipment Football Olympic No
International rules football (Irish: Peil na rialacha idirnáisiunta; also known as inter rules in Australia and compromise rules in Ireland) is a team sport consisting of a hybrid of football codes, which was developed to facilitate international representative matches between Australian rules football players and Gaelic football players.
The first tour, known as the Australian Football World Tour, took place in 1967, with matches played in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The following year, games were played between Australia and a touring County Meath Gaelic football team, Meath being that year's All-Ireland football champions. Following intermittent international tests between Australia and Ireland, the International Rules Series between the senior Australian international rules football team and Ireland international rules football team has been played annually since 1998 (except for the cancelled 2007 edition), and has generally been a closely matched contest. The sport has raised interest and exposure in developing markets for Gaelic and Australian football and has been considered a development tool by governing bodies of both codes, particularly by the AFL Commission.
International rules football does not have any dedicated clubs or leagues. It is currently played by men's, women's, and junior teams only in tournaments or once-off Test matches.
The rules are designed to provide a compromise between those of the two codes, with Gaelic football players being advantaged by the use of a round ball and a rectangular field (Australian rules uses an oval ball and field), while the Australian rules football players benefit from the opportunity to tackle between the shoulders and thighs, something banned in Gaelic football. The game also introduces the concept of the mark, from Australian rules football, with a free kick awarded for any ball caught from a kick of over 15 metres.
A player must bounce, solo or touch the ball on the ground once every 10 metres or six steps. A maximum of two bounces per possession are allowed, while players can solo the ball as often as they wish on a possession. Unlike in Gaelic football, the ball may be lifted directly off the ground, without putting a foot underneath it first. Players however cannot scoop the ball off the ground to a team-mate, nor pick up the ball if they are on their knees or on the ground. If a foul is committed, a free kick will be awarded, referees can give the fouled player advantage to play on at their discretion.
The game uses two large posts and two small posts, as in Australian rules, and a crossbar and goal net as in Gaelic football.
Points are scored as follows:
- In the goal net (a goal): 6 points, umpire waves green flag and raises both index fingers.
- Over the crossbar and between the two large posts (an over): 3 points, umpire waves red flag and raises one arm above his head.
- Between a large post and a small post (a behind): 1 point, umpire waves white flag and raises one index finger.
Scores are written so as to clarify how many of each type of score were made as well as, like Australian football, giving the total points score for each team; for example, if a team scores one goal, four overs and 10 behinds, the score is written as 1-4-10 (28), meaning one goal (six points) plus 4 overs (4 × 3 = 12 points) plus 10 behinds (10 × 1 = 10 points), for a total score of 28 points.
An international rules match lasts for 72 minutes (divided into four quarters of 18 minutes each). Inter-county Gaelic football matches go on for 70 minutes, divided into two halves, and Australian rules matches consists of four 20 minutes quarters of game time, although with the addition of stoppage time, most quarters actually last between 25 and 30 minutes.
As in Gaelic football, teams consist of fifteen players, including a goalkeeper, whereas eighteen are used in Australian rules (with no keeper).
2006 rule changes
A number of rule changes were introduced before the 2006 International Rules Series:
- Each quarter was reduced from 20 minutes to 18 minutes
- A player who received a red card is to be sent off and no replacement is allowed; in addition to this a penalty is awarded regardless of where the incident takes place (Previously a replacement was allowed and a penalty was only awarded if the incident happened in the penalty area)
- A yellow card now means a 15 minute sin bin for the offending player, who will be sent off if he receives a second card
2008 rule changes
- Maximum of 10 interchanges per quarter
- Teams are allowed only four consecutive hand passes (ball must then be kicked)
- Match time reduced from 80 minutes to 72 minutes (18 minutes per quarter)
- Goalkeeper can no longer kick the ball to himself from the kick-out
- Suspensions may carry over to GAA and AFL matches if The Match Review Panel sees fit
- A dangerous "slinging" tackle will be an automatic red card
- A shirtfront endangering the head will result in a red card
- Physical intimidation can result in a yellow card
- One-handed tackles result in a free kick
- An independent referee can cite players for reportable offences from the stands
- Yellow card sin bin reduced to 10 minutes
History and competitions
The first games were the idea of Australian sports broadcaster and media personality Harry Beitzel, who organised a tour in October 1967 to play County Meath after Meath had won that year's All-Ireland Senior Football Championship. The Galahs defeated County Meath 3-16 to 1-10 at Croke Park, and then defeated County Mayo 2-12 to 2-5. The following year, Beitzel organised a second series, the Australian Football World Tour, in which an Australian representative team played six matches against Gaelic sides London, Dublin, Meath, Kerry, and New York. In 1968, Meath visited Australia for a five-match tour, winning all the games by an aggregate score of 26-43 to 3-29. The feature game of the tour was their victorious rematch with the Galahs at Princes Park in Melbourne. Kerry also won all their games when they toured Australia in 1970. Beitzel returned in October 1978 and his team played UCD, Dublin and Kerry. It wasn’t until after Australian schoolboy teams toured Ireland in 1981 and 1984 and a Dublin Colleges team toured Australia in 1983 that a full-blown international rules series was arranged.
During the 1980s, at times both teams wore sleeveless Aussie Rules jumpers, with the Australians in a sleeveless yellow (gold) Aussie Rules styled jumper and Ireland at times wore a green sleeveless jumper with a white trim. Prime minister Bob Hawke and wife Hazel toured Ireland with the Australian team in 1987.
Australia vs Ireland tests (1984–1990) Year Host Country Results Stadium Location Crowd Notes 17 November 1990 Australia Australia 50 d. Ireland 44 WACA Perth 7,700 10 November 1990 Australia Ireland 52 d. Australia 31 Bruce Stadium Canberra 7,000 2 November 1990 Australia Ireland 47 d. Australia 38 Waverley Park Melbourne 18,332 1 November 1987 Ireland Australia 59 d. Ireland 55 Croke Park Dublin 27,023 25 October 1987 Ireland Australia 72 d. Ireland 47 Croke Park Dublin 15,485 18 October 1987 Ireland Ireland 53 d. Australia 51 Croke Park Dublin 15,532 24 October 1986 Australia Ireland 55 d. Australia 32 Football Park Adelaide 10,000 19 October 1986 Australia Ireland 62 d. Australia 46 Waverley Park Melbourne 10,883 10 October 1986 Australia Australia 64 d. Ireland 57 WACA Perth 24,000 4 November 1984 Ireland Australia 76 d. Ireland 71 Croke Park Dublin 32,318 28 October 1984 Ireland Ireland 80 d. Australia 76 Croke Park Dublin 12,500 21 October 1984 Ireland Australia 70 d. Ireland 57 Páirc Uí Chaoimh Cork 8,000
International Rules Series
The current senior International Rules Series is played each October, after the completion of the AFL Grand Final and the All-Ireland Football final, which are both played on the last weekend of September.
The series alternates host countries each year between Ireland and Australia. Between 1998 and 2006, the average attendance was 48,199. Ireland had won eight matches, while Australia had also won eight, with a further two being drawn. The 2006 series sold out both matches in Ireland and set a record for international sports in Ireland with a crowd of 82,127 at Croke Park.
Following controversies in the 2006 series, including an Irish player being knocked unconscious in a tackle, the Irish team coach and GAA president again cast doubts on the future of the series. The AFL's chief, however expressed optimism. The two organisations agreed to meet to once again discuss the series.
The International Rules series resumed in October 2008 with Ireland defeating the Australians by five points on aggregate (the series was played in Australia).
Ladies' Gaelic football has been growing almost exponentially in Ireland since the 1970s; women's footy has far fewer players, but numbers have grown strongly since the 1990s. In early 2006 representatives of the Ladies' Gaelic Football Association and Women's Australian Football Leagues met at a Ladies' Gaelic football festival in Singapore, and agreed to compete in the hybrid version of the two football codes to coincide with the senior men's series.
Notable matches Date Teams Stadium Location Attendance 31 October 2006 Ireland 39 def. Australia 18 Parnell Park Dublin  4 November 2006 Ireland 130 def. Australia 15 Breffni Park Cavan
Juniors (under 17s and under 19s)
Among the first schoolboys' international tests was that played in Melbourne in 1983, when a Victorian under-17 team played Ireland. An interesting twist in these compromise matches is that the ball used was the oval shaped Australian football rather than the round ball.
In 2005, in addition to the annual senior international series, Australia and Ireland began to play an under-19 and under-17 contest. Australia won the 2006 series. The junior series was largely instituted by both leagues as a means to identify emerging talent. It has since been abandoned.
The Australian Amateur Football Council has sent an amateur All-Australian team to Ireland in both 2005 and 2008. Unlike the professional vs amateur matches between the AFL and GAA, these matches are fully amateur which has typically meant stronger Irish sides. The Australian amateur team wears a different jersey to the AFL representative side, dark green and gold, with a kangaroo emblem.
Notable matches Date Teams Stadium Location Attendance 2008 Ireland 60 def. Australia (U-23) 55 Donaghmore-Ashbourne stadium Ashbourne, County Meath 2,500  2008 Sydney AFL 43 def. NSWGAA 42 Mahoney Park Marrickville, New South Wales 
International rules also has a masters category with several competitions. There is also a Masters International Rules Series which follows the format of the senior men's series and involves many retired Australian Rules and Gaelic Football players.
International rules football around the world
International rules is played in various locations throughout North America and the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and Australia and New Zealand between fledgling Australian rules football and Gaelic football clubs.
In 2006, an exhibition match between South African youth teams and an Indigenous Australian touring side composed of players from the Clontarf Foundation, led by Sydney's Adam Goodes, was held at Potchefstroom.
The game was played in great spirit despite the cold damp conditions at Limhamnsfältet where the GAA boys and Maulers share the pitch. The Gaelic Footballers of Malmö GAA Club ended up winners on a scoreline of: Malmö GAA Club 5:6:7 = 55 pts Port Malmo Maulers 1:5:9 = 30 pts
- Australian rules football
- Composite rules shinty-hurling
- Gaelic football
- International Rules Series
- Jim Stynes Medal
- ^ "History of International Rules Football". http://www.footystamps.com/ot_int_rules.htm. Retrieved 18 April 2008.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Heaney, Paddy (23 October 2008). "The rules of engagement: A brief guide". The Irish News: p. 58.
- ^ a b Rule changes for International series agreed; 25 January 2006
- ^ a b Heaney, Paddy (23 October 2008). "Time for talk is over". The Irish News: p. 58.
- ^ a b c d http://www.footystamps.com/ot_int_rules.htm
- ^ "4". http://www.unison.ie/sportsdesk/gaafootball/stories.php3?ca=13&si=1717159. Retrieved 6 January 2008. [dead link]
- ^ "Image A6180, 29/7/83/11". National Archives of Australia. http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/PhotoSearchItemDetail.asp?M=0&B=11571901&SE=1. Retrieved 6 January 2008.
- ^ "Australia win decider in youth IR series". http://www.worldfootynews.com/article.php?story=20060420060624315. Retrieved 6 January 2008.
- ^ http://www.worldfootynews.com/article.php/20081024150830138
- ^ http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?c=1-4710-0-0-0&sID=56131&news_task=DETAIL&articleID=6997046
- Brief guide on how to play the game
- International rules pages at the Gaelic Athletic Association website
- International rules pages at the AFL website
- WFN international rules A catalogue of some of the scores of games in the code around the world.
- Laws of the game
- International rules page at Aussie Rules International
- Tarik's International Rules football results and rankings
Links to related articles International Rules Series Tours Series Past VenuesAustralianIrish Participants Hybrid sports and the sports that form them Hybrid sportCombination of Austus Biathlon Composite rules shinty-hurling Chess boxing International rules football Samoa Rules Universal football Volata Polocrosse Korfball Slamball Kronum Circle rules football Gaelic Athletic Association Gaelic gamesCompetitionsSenior Championship • (2011) • All Ireland Club Championship • All Ireland Colleges Camogie Championship, • Intermediate championship • Junior or ‘Premier Junior” championship • Junior A championship • Junior B championshiup • Minor Championship • Minor B • Minor C, • Under-16_ Championship, • Under-16 B • Under-16 C • Ashbourne Cup • Father Meachair seven-a-side • Féile na nGael • Gael Linn Cup • Jack McGrath Cup • Kay Mills Cup • Máire Ní Chinnéide Cup • Nancy Murray Cup • National Camogie League • Purcell Cup •CompetitionsCompetitionsCompetitionsSenior Championship (2011) • Senior B Championship (defunct) • Under 21 Championship • Minor Championship • Intermediate Championship • Junior Championship • National Hurling League (2011) • Christy Ring Cup (2011) • Nicky Rackard Cup (2011) • Lory Meagher Cup (2011) • Club Hurling Championship (2011–12)CompetitionsLadies' Senior Football Championship (2011) • Ladies' Intermediate Football Championship • Ladies Junior Football ChampionshipCompetitionsSenior Mens' Rounders Championship (2011) • Senior Ladies' Rounders Championship (2011)All-stars • Rounders Council of Ireland Cultural History InternationalsComposite rules shinty-hurling • Hybrid sports • International rules football (2011) Inter countyCounty • County colours • County nicknames Stadiums* Television Other listsList of clubs (Ireland • Rest of the world) • List of Gaelic games competitions • List of terminology
- Stadiums with a capacity of more than 40,000
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