It's the end of March which means baseball is on the horizon, basketball is at its peak, and AFL is starting a new season. What? A-F-L stands for Australian rules football and it's a sport that is huge in the land down under. But given the way it's played, Americans might come to appreciate it as well. Here's why.
AFL matches usually see well over 50 points scored. Heck, it's commonplace to see more than 80 or 90 points! Just like in the NFL, six points are awarded for each goal score. But considering that the ball is seemingly always moving around the field, scoring chances appear constantly.
The collisions in AFL are breathtaking, especially for those involved. There will be many occasions where a player jumps on top of another, using them as a human ladder to reach the ball in mid-air, and he will be absolutely walloped by a defending player. It looks painful, and it is.
Kicking the ball is the name of the game in Aussie Rules Football. At any one time there are 18 people on a side who can do this, and it makes for a lot of unexpected outcomes. Imagine an NFL game where every linebacker could also boot the ball 40 yards downfield. This is a reality in AFL.
The AFL games are on pretty late at night in the states. But if you're out and about on weekends you can come home late and catch the matches on TV, or the internet. Try it, if you end up liking the sport you can buy an AFL season pass and stream the games each week.
There's nothing like ending the night by catching a little roughness on TV.
Already Catching On In The States
Over the past few years, AFL has seen some significant growth in the U.S. in the form of private leagues. The USAFL is the nation's biggest, bringing the sport to around 40 cities which compete against one another and play for a championship each year at the national level. It's currently at the grassroots, amateur level, but the USAFL seems to be getting bigger each year.
If you're interested in playing the sport, try watching a few matches to wet your whistle. You'll quickly understand the fast-paced flow of the game and what you need to do to become a better athlete. Hint hint, work on your cardio and box jumps.