You’re invited to discover “footy” this Saturday.

Real Racine welcomes the United States Australian Football League (USAFL) Central Region tournament to the Soccer Complex of Racine (SCORe), 9505 Dunkelow Road, Franksville. The matches start at 9 a.m. The finals will begin about 5:30 p.m. Spectator admission is free.

Australian Football, nicknamed “footy” is an exciting, physically demanding game played on a huge oval-shaped field (approximately 200 yards long). Each team of 18 players are allowed to move the ball (also called a “footy”) using any parts of their bodies. Points are scored by kicking, hitting or running the ball through the goal.

The USAFL is the sport’s governing  body in the United States. It sanctions competition for more than 35 clubs with about 2,000 members throughout the country. About a dozen teams (more than 200 players) from as far away as Houston, Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul are expected for Saturday’s tournament.

Real Racine, the county’s destination marketing organization, presents the Central Region tournament. Real Racine is also working with the USAFL to bring to its national tournament to Racine County in the fall of 2016.

For a summary of how the sport is played, see below. To learn more about Australian Football, including game photos and videos, visit


About Australian Football

Length of matches
• 4 quarters – 20 minutes each
• “Time On” — If play is delayed (For example – Ball going out of bounds), then time is added on to playing time of the quarter

• 18 players on the field for each team
• Players can be subbed at any time
• Players can move freely on field

• Full Forward – attack the goal
o Trap ball in area
• Half Forward – attack the goal
o Set up scoring shots
o Trap ball further forward then hold
o Trap ball in area
• Centre Line – attack the goal
o Set up scoring shots
o Recover ball from backline
o Trap ball further forward then hold
o Trap ball in area
• Half Back – Hold ball in area
o Attack then clear ball forwards
o Recover ball from backline
• Full Back – Hold ball in area
o Attack then clear ball forwards

• Whoever scores most points wins
• Match is declared a draw if points are equal

• Kick between goal post = 6 Points
o (Balll kicked between goal post s without being touched)
• Ball hits goal post = 1 Point (1 Point = Called ‘Behind’)
• Ball passes between goal post and behind post = 1 Point
• Ball hits goal post = 1 Point
• Ball forced/carried over scoring line = 1 Point (Even if between goal posts still only 1 Point because the ball was NOT kicked)

Playing Area

Starting and Restarting Play
• Choice of goal/side – determined by coin toss
• Game starts by blow of whistle and bouncing ball in center circle
• Start of play – no player allowed to enter circle
• Only 4 players from each team permitted in center square until after ball is bounced
• After goal is scored – play restarted in center of ground like above
• After behind is scored defending team kicks ball from within square in front of goal
• Ball out of bounds procedures:
o If ball bounced out then umpire throws ball into play
o If ball did not bounce but did go out of boundary, opposing team receives free-kick from spot where ball went out

Common Umpire Signs/Rules
• Two flags – Goal (6 Points)
• One flag – Behind (1 Point)
• “Out on the full” – Ball hits behind post without bouncing  Opposing team gets free kick from next to behind post
• If ball bounces and hits behind post  ball thrown into play by umpire
• Free kick is given at spot where infringement of rules occurred

Possession and Disposal of Ball
• Player can hold ball for unlimited time when not being held by opponent
• Player lying on or over ball considered possession
• Player running with ball must bounce ball or touch it to the ground every 15 meters
• Player with ball being held by opponent must dispose of ball immediately by kicking or handballing the ball
• Handball – this means the player must the hold ball in one hand and hit with clenched fist of other hand

Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...