For a unique and truly Melbourne sporting experience, grab yourself a scarf and beanie in tribal colours (pick one of the national teams from the current list) and join the throng in a pilgrimage to the magnificent Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Buy a game guide (or Record) outside the ground and join the nervy, clamoring queue as they shuffle into the ground to find a seat among thousands. Prepare for a day of hot pies and cold beer, of mad banter and screams – Ball!, Yes!, Didn't have it!, In the back! andYou beauty! Get amongst it.
You're now part of the mad winter ritual that is AFL footy.

AFL game Melbourne vs Brisbane

Aim of the game

AFL is a simple game – get the ball and kick it through the tall posts more times than your opposition across four quarters and you win.You can run with the ball as long as you bounce it every fifteen meters. You can go anywhere on the field and can pass the ball using your hands or feet in any direction. If you mark (catch) the ball from a kick you can stop where you are and have a kick from the spot. You can tackle someone who has the ball as long as you do so safely, between the shoulders and hips. If you do so and they drop the ball, you have earned a free kick. Free kicks are awarded when rules are broken or when players are tackled or impeded unfairly. The game is famous for high marks, dashing runs and goals and brutal collisions. Games are often free flowing and feature many types of players, short, tall, heavy and slight. Scores of over 100 points are normal.

Played in the cooler months from March to September, games are mostly held on Friday nights, Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Over 23 weeks of the year, 18 teams from across Australia battle it out for a spot in the final eight at the end of the regular season. In September, knockout finals culminate in a Grand Final – when the stands of the MCG reach to overflowing. Finals often see crowds of over 90 thousand fill the MCG. Millions more tune in around the country and around the world for a piece of the action.

Time a holiday to the city to coincide with your home team's visit, or if you're coming from overseas - choose a team, buy a badge and join in the sporting obsession of a legion of Melburnians.


Don't miss the extraordinary talent of our AFLW teams on the field. Generating an increasing buzz year on year for their skill and dynamism, the women play their season from August to December at grounds across the city including Essendon's Windy Hill, Collingwood's Victoria Park and North Melbourne's Arden Street oval. The temperature's warmer and the passion's just as high – both on the field and in the stands.


Like any great sport, Aussie rules football is essentially theatre, and as such the game has generated many famed characters with nicknames such as Jack 'Captain Blood' Dyer (Richmond), Marcus 'The Bont' Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs) and Bruce 'The Flying Doormat' Doull (Carlton).

Many well-known cricketers have played football, including Australia's best ever all-rounder Keith Miller (50 games for St Kilda), Max Walker (45 games for Melbourne) and Shane Warne (under 19's for St Kilda).

Well known Footy fans include actors Eric Bana (St Kilda), Hugh Jackman (Port Adelaide), Russell Crowe (Richmond), Nicole Kidman (Sydney Swans) and Chris Hemsworth (Western Bulldogs). Golfer Adam Scott (Adelaide Crows), footballer Sam Kerr (West Coast Eagles), director Baz Luhrmann (Melbourne Demons) and Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo (West Coast) are also avid footy fans.