Australian Rules Football

Round 1 for the 2012 has started this week and there have been some cracking games for those that are curious to see my favourite sport played.

http://www.afana.com/drupal5/tvsched - seems to suggest that Fox Soccer Plus will have games as well as some other cable sources.

Collingwood v Hawthorn and Geelong v Fremantle were super skilful and were fought right to the siren.

Get on it with a cold beer and hot pie.

Bruce, I'm seven years late and stuck in the States but I like your favorite sport!

Towards the end of last season (just before Gaff's punch) I made an effort to finally understand the rules; wow have I been missing out.

So far I've mainly been limited to trawling YouTube for full matches but the local brewery tends to have Fox Soccer Plus tuned in. Going with watchafl.com.au seems pricey.

I'm still a little confused by the time keeping. So we, as the TV audience, know exactly how much time is left but the players don't?

Last year there was one game a week and all of the playoffs up to the Grand Final on Fox Sports 2. The AFLW games are free on womens.afl as well. The watchafl service is a little pricey but last year they had a 25% discount just after the Grand Final so I signed up then. I'd wanted to go see it at a bar with the local USAFL team but just couldn't quite bring myself to go out from 10pm to 4am.

You're right about time- the onfield clock doesn't stop for play stoppages but the clock you see on TV does.

I think the best rules explanation I've seen is from Ninh Ly's youtube channel.

I was tempted by the 25% discount but I didn't bite... this time.

I'd wanted to go see it at a bar with the local USAFL team but just couldn't quite bring myself to go out from 10pm to 4am. :D

Ha; likewise in my area. Plus, the bar they picked is in a very congested area that I avoid in the best of conditions.

Funny you mention Ninh Ly. The first video of his that I watched was for rugby union, now that there's slightly more coverage on NBC these days. Then the Aussie rules video started playing and that was the "oh yeah, I've always meant to figure this out", and off I went.

Thanks for confirming the on-field clock. I think this makes the game a lot more watchable than other sports that go deep into end-game clock strategies, e.g., basketball.

I also really like the lack of constant commercial breaks. If the athletes need to be running, jumping, and tackling billboards to make this happen, so be it.

And the level of sheer, all-around athleticism on display is remarkable.

Thanks for the heads-up on AFLW; I'll be sure to catch a match or two. Are there any differences in rules between mens and womens? (I'm not sure why there would be, but one never knows.)

There are a couple of tweaks in the AFLW but they don't really change the game. The main differences are a smaller ball,16 players per side and some tweaks to boundary throwins when the ball goes out of bounds. Between the 50 meter arcs it's a last touch rule with a free kick awarded to the team that didn't have the last touch. Inside the 50m arcs it's a normal throwin. Throwins are then brought in 10m to get the ball more quickly into the center of the field (the 'corridor'). I think that's a pretty good rule as the women's games seem to have more congestion then the men's - the women are better at getting to the ball carrier than the carrier is at disposing of the ball. So anything that opens up the field is helpful.

Yeah I also like that the game just runs on- I like gridiron football as well, but I usually record the game and start watching an hour in so I can fast-forward past all the stoppage and see the 11% of the broadcast that's actual play

The AFLW final last week was about the best AFLW game I've seen so far. Carlton played pretty well but Adelaide were just dominant; it seemed like they had an extra player on field since every time the Blues tried to send it downfield there was just one more Crow in the area. 53,000 fans when the league expected 25,000 and would have been pleased with 30,000 is a great indication for the future of the sport.

Devastating to see more ACL injuries. It would be great to see Erin Phillips some more but I wouldn't be surprised if she's done; in her 30s with three kids and a good chance at coaching in the WNBA she might be looking at other alternatives.

My Demons got beat by the Bombers last week which was pretty bad; 0-3 is not a good start to the season. They sure scored a lot but two quarters of lousy defense was enough to put them under. Next week, Sydney... dunno, maybe they have a chance. (I only support the Dees because the Boston team is the Demons, but it seems unfair to switch loyalties just because they're sucking this year :))

USAFL practices start this weekend with the first metro (intramural scrimmage) game on the 27th for Anzac Day. Looking forward to this even though I'm probably too old- but if this is my midlife crisis, I could do so much worse :). Still a great time.

I noticed that www.watchafl.com.au is running another 25%-off promotion (until July 4th) for a year's subscription.

I'm tempted.

qaraq wrote:

USAFL practices start this weekend with the first metro (intramural scrimmage) game on the 27th for Anzac Day. Looking forward to this even though I'm probably too old- but if this is my midlife crisis, I could do so much worse :). Still a great time.

How did that go?

I ended up opting into the year's subscription with the discount; I'm pleased with my purchase.

I also decided to adopt Essendon for no better reason than their colors match my wife's favorite university.

Turns out it's been an exciting pick: a club on the rebuild in the middle of the pack, winning the last five matches with come-from-behind victories.

Even the most recent match against the Suns, which by all rights should have been a squash, was a high-scoring nail biter.

whoops, catching up... ANZAC game was fun but pretty muddy; some of the tackles left roostertails as people slid through puddles. I've played a couple of games since but my schedule's kept me out for the last month.

I've not been making the best use of my subscription, though I try to catch a couple of games weekly. The Dees are not easy to watch this season, so I've been trying to guess which games are going to be good without learning enough to get spoiled; this is tricky at best Often I just end up watching the Crows just because I like Eddie Betts and they're always pretty good. Sounds like I should give the Bombers a look too.

qaraq wrote:

Often I just end up watching the Crows just because I like Eddie Betts and they're always pretty good. Sounds like I should give the Bombers a look too.

I'm pretty sure the first full match I ever watched (last year) was the Crows at Adelaide, so I'm of course indebted to them for sucking me in.

I like the stadium too, particularly the hill; it's nice to see something other than non-stop stadium seating, which is why I kinda like the Gold Coast stadium, too.

I'm glad to hear you managed to get a few games in.

Around my parts, a lot of youth gridiron practice is starting up and now I want to yell "you're playing the wrong kind of football!"

So, the Grand Final. I came in with a mild preference for GWS just because they were the new underdogs, even though I'd watched more Richmond during the season, but clearly my support is poisonous. What a walloping. Tigers played like the Giants weren't even on the field. I think I could count the number of contested marks GWS won on one hand. Martin and Riewoldt were solid as ever, and Marlion Pickett was an interesting surprise in his first AFL game. Class move by Martin to give Pickett a free shot on goal in the third quarter, too.

I was really hoping AFL would be part of ESPN+, which would make the decision to buy the Disney/ESPN streaming service pretty easy. I guess Fox Sports has a lock on AFL broadcasting though. I'll wait for a new discount before re-upping WatchAFL, or just watch the FS2 weekly game and get the GF pass next year.

I just finished watching it. I decided to cheer for the underdogs and, wow, what a blow out. I'm sure it was tons of fun for Richmond fans.

Next season, I think I'll opt-in for the Grand Finals, try to catch the odd replay at a local brew pub, and stay up-to-date with the free recap videos the AFL posts on YouTube. I've discovered that I don't sit still long enough to get good value from an annual stream sub.

Looks like they're going ahead with the AFLM season, though shortening it from 22 to 17 games, which surprises me- I though they'd use some of that time buffer to wait a bit for developments.

AFLW is being cut short - the last 2 games are cancelled with an 8-team finals series beginning this weekend. They do need to be more careful with the women though since most of them have day jobs and can't be as isolated.

No spectators of course. The idea I saw on Twitter was amusing though- let one fan for each side in, let them pour their own beer, and mic them up so they can shout "ball!" and "he's been doing it all day!" for everyone else.

The USAFL has a 10% discount code for WatchAFL: "2020AFLpartner". I don't know if there's region checking. It's currently valid until 8 April.

Looks like Round 2 is slated to start 11 June.

I'm seeing some interesting stories, like the Pies considering putting cardboard cutouts of club members in the stands and something about Seven piping in canned crowd noise.

WatchAFL is still US$5 for a month; I'm not sure when that's going to change. All they say is "Our current pricing is only available during the suspension period. When the 2020 season resumes, pricing will revert to our standard rates. We’ll let you know before that happens.". So it could run right up until 10 June but it could be any day now. Eh, if I buy in early I can catch up on some old games.