All posts filed under: sport

International Cup 2014

On Saturday I happened to be in the CBD when hundreds of uniformed sportspeople began streaming into¬†Federation Square. There were teams from South Africa, Ireland, Sweden, USA, Tonga, Finland… the list goes on. As it turns out, 10 August was the kick-off of ‘IC14’, or the International Cup 2014. The sport? AFL. Having never been particularly interested in Melbourne’s home-grown sporting obsession, I had no idea that Australian rules football had gone global. Eighteen countries are represented in the cup, with eighteen men’s teams and seven women’s teams slugging it out in the mud over the coming weeks. I may not be a footy head, but I’m a culture junkie through and through. Footy just got a whole lot more interesting. You can catch games at the McAlister, Ransford and Western Ovals in Royal Park, Parkville during August, with the grand finals taking place at the MCG on 23 August. There is also a community round on 16 August, which will be played in various outer Melbourne suburbs and regional towns across Victoria. View the …

aussie rules explained

    So, you’ve just arrived in Melbourne. You step into a pub and see a television on the wall that shows a bunch of beefy men wearing short shorts running around an enormous oval. ‘What’s that?’ you ask a couple people sitting at the bar nearby. ‘AFL,’ says one. ‘Footy’, says the next. ‘Aussie Rules,’ says another. Right. It’s difficult to understand Australian rules football (or Australian Football League football, aka AFL footy) without seeing it.¬†Luckily, some proactive person in the USA has made up this little YouTube video to explain the game (complete with the required ACDC ‘Thunderstruck’ background music):     As you can see from the clip, AFL football is extremely physically demanding. Players need to be able to run long distances, kick, tackle, and jump very, very high. To read a full run-down of the rules, see Wikipedia’s ‘Australian rules football’ page. The most interesting thing about AFL is that the game’s activity and popularity is intensely concentrated in Melbourne, where it originated in the mid-1800s. This is quite a …