While the sport has a following in many places around the world, the clue to Australian Rules Football’s spread lies in the name. This is Australia’s sport and, while there may be loose comparisons to rugby and Gaelic football, it’s very much unique. Casual observers like to point out that there is a seeming lack of rules and there may be an element of ‘anything goes’ as far as discipline is concerned. This is a physical contact sport but there is that clear aim of kicking the oval ball through or behind the posts and scoring more points than the opponents in the process. While that may be a simplified summary of Aussie Rules, it should be enough to start newcomers on their journey. Watching games is a great way to expand that knowledge and you can catch some live action as part of the package here at Unibet.
Origins of the Game
Aussie Rules Football traces its origins back to the 1850s with the first recognised games taking place around Victoria. The state remains a focal point for the game but, in the present day, football extends across the country with more than 25,000 clubs currently registered.
Progress was relatively quick and more organised footy games began to appear across Australia. Victoria remained an obvious hub for the sport and, as we’re about to see, a recognised league would be put in place before the turn of the century.
The elite level for Australian Rules Football Clubs comes under the auspices of the AFL. The competition was originally established as the Victorian Football League in 1897 with the Australian Football League only stepping in at the start of the 1990s.
In the current competition, 18 teams from across the country battle it out for the title with the initial, regular season featuring 22 games for each club. At the end of that schedule, the bottom ten sides are eliminated while the top eight progress to a series of playoffs. This is known as the Finals Series and it features a set of three knockout rounds ahead of the Grand Final which is traditionally played at the MCG.
In more than 100 years of competition, the list of overall winners shows a tight battle at the top. As of 2020, the table shows that Essendon and Carlton are tied at the summit with 16 Premierships apiece. Close behind are Collingwood who have claimed 15 titles while Hawthorn with 13, together with Melbourne and Richmond who both have 12, follow on.
Those names, along with all of the remaining clubs, will be in the hat when our outright AFL markets are published. Previous successes are no guarantee in terms of titles moving forward but it’s interesting to look at the overall tables and they could provide some indicators for the future.
Other Leagues Within Australia
While the AFL is the elite level of the sport, there are a number of additional footy leagues around Australia and the most important of these are covered at Unibet. The Victorian Football League is a good example of this and, having been rebranded, the 2021 edition of this competition is also set to include teams from New South Wales and Queensland.
The expansion of the Victorian Football League will see it start to rival the AFL in terms of interest but there are more competitions to consider. The South Australian Football League is the major competition within this particular state and it sees ten teams take part in a tournament that was originally established way back in 1877.
The West Australian Football League, (WAFL) is based in Perth and has been operating since 1885. The current format sees ten teams take part with another set of thrilling action in store for footy fans.
The Wider Stage
Australia is the only country to play Aussie Rules at a professional level but there is interest in other nations around the world. In fact, the AFL has agreements in place with 13 governing bodies in areas including New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, Great Britain, Canada and Denmark.
Aussie Rules even appeared as a demonstration sport at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne so, in time, we may see a wider set of competitions in other parts of the globe.
Betting on and Watching Australian Rules Football Live
Ahead of each AFL season, outright winner markets for the overall AFL Champion will appear some time in advance. Other leagues will see outright options appear in the lead up to the first play and customers can then take time to consider those odds before making a decision. When the new campaign begins, the winner markets transfer to the live section of our sportsbook where they will remain in place until the champions are confirmed.
As and when fixture lists are confirmed, moneyline odds will start to appear for all games in the regular season and beyond. Match result markets will be joined by a series of props which would typically include total points and winning margin.
If you’re looking for live markets on Australian Rules, there is a comprehensive selection at our in play sportsbook. Unibet TV can be exceptionally useful as a tool in your live betting strategy as it will update in play odds on screen as the game develops.
To access the live stream at Unibet TV, you will just need to have funds in your account or, a cash bet within the preceding 24 hours will also grant access.