Glossary

Students
Letter Link: AFL

Discover the meaning of some terms used throughout this website.

AFL Rising Star Award

The award given to the best new young AFL player each year. To be eligible, a player must be under the age of 21 and have played less than 10 senior games.

Back pocket

A defence position. The back pocket player is someone who is good at stopping the forwards from marking.

Boundary

The line that indicates the edge of the playing field.

Brownlow Medal

The medal awarded to the AFL player who is considered to be the best and fairest each season. It is decided by the umpires who choose the three best players from each match (not including finals matches). The best player is given three votes, the second best, two votes and the third best, one vote. The votes are tallied at a medal presentation and the player with the most votes wins.

A player who has been suspended during the season is not eligible to win the Brownlow Medal (even if they receive the most votes).

Centre

A midfield position. The centre player is usually very fast and is responsible for getting the ball to team mates who are running past.

Centre bounce

A centre bounce occurs at the start of each quarter and after a goal is scored. The field umpire takes the ball and bounces it in the centre circle.

Centre half-back

A defence position. The centre half-back player is responsible for stopping the centre half-forward from marking the ball or scoring.

Centre half-forward

A forward position. The centre half-forward player is usually very good at marking the ball and kicking goals from a long distance. They are responsible for getting the ball and scoring goals. Centre half-forward is often considered to be the most difficult position to play.

Draw

A game that ends with both teams on the same total score.

Forward pocket

A forward position. The forward pocket player usually has good agility (can move around quickly and avoid defenders) and the ability to score difficult goals. These players are often known as "goal sneaks" because they score goals when no-one expects it.

Full-back

A defence position. The full-back player is responsible for stopping the full-forward from marking the ball or scoring.

Full-forward

A forward position. The full-forward player plays close to the scoring posts and tries to kick goals for the team.

Ground

The oval-shaped field on which Australian Football is played. The standard ground is a grass oval measuring between 135 and 185 metres in length and 110 and 155 metres in width.

Guernseys

The tops worn by the players during a match.

Half-back

A defence position. The half-back position is similar to the back pocket position, but this player usually does more attacking and concentrates on moving the ball out of the defence area, and into the hands of the midfield and forward players.

Half-forward

A forward position. The half-forward is responsible for moving the ball into the forward area, usually along the flanks (sides) of the ground. They can pass the ball to another player, or have a shot for goal themselves.

Handball

When the ball is held in one hand and hit with the clenched fist of the other hand to pass it to another player.

Home and away

This term refers to the matches that are played during the season (but does not include finals matches). Home games are played at the team's home ground and away games are played at the opposing team's home ground.

Kick

When the ball is struck with the foot or leg below the knee.

League

A group of teams or clubs that compete against each other.

Mark

When a player catches a ball that has been kicked and then travelled more than 15 metres without being touched by another player, or hitting the ground.

Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)

A large sporting ground in Melbourne, Victoria used for cricket, Australian Football and other major sporting and non-sporting events (such as concerts). The AFL grand final is held at the MCG each year.

Norm Smith Medal

The medal awarded to the player who is judged to be the best in the grand final.

Opponent

Someone who competes against your team in a game.

Premiership table

A table that shows the positions of the AFL teams from first to eighteenth. It includes the number of games each team has played, won and lost, lists the number of points each team has (they gain 4 points for a win and 2 for a draw) and gives some extra information.

The table changes each week as games are played. A team's position on the table after the 23 home and away rounds will determine whether they play in the finals. The premiership table is sometimes referred to as the premiership ladder.

Quarter

An Australian Football match is played over four 20-minute quarters.

Round

A series of games played over a period of time (usually one weekend, but sometimes it can be over two weekends). The premiership season is made up of 23 rounds of home and away games and four rounds of finals games.

Rover

A midfield position. The rover is often the smallest player on the field and is responsible for taking the ball from the ruckman or ruck-rover at stoppages (when the play has stopped and the umpire is bouncing the ball). Rovers are sometimes known as followers as they follow the ball all over the ground.

Ruckman

A midfield position. This player is usually tall and athletic. It is the ruckman's job to win the hit-outs (tapping the ball to a team mate after the umpire has bounced it) during the game. Ruckmen (along with rovers and ruck-rovers) can be considered as some of the followers in a team, as they follow the ball all over the ground.

Ruck-rover

A midfield position. The ruck-rover is responsible for being in the right position to get the ball when it is tapped by the ruckman (ie the umpire bounces the ball and the ruckman taps it to the ruck-rover). Ruck-rovers are also known as followers as they follow the ball all over the ground.

Season

The pre-season is the competition played before the official premiership season begins.

The premiership season runs over 23 home and away rounds and four finals rounds. There is one premiership season each year.

Siren

The horn-like noise that is sounded to indicate the start or end of a game or quarter.

Stadium

A large sports arena with seating for spectators.

Sydney Cricket
Ground (SCG)

A large sporting ground in Sydney, New South Wales used for cricket, Australian Football and other sporting and non-sporting events (such as concerts). It is the home ground of the Sydney Swans.

TAC Cup

An under-18 Australian Football competition held in Victoria. Many fantastic players have been drafted into the AFL from this competition.

Tackle

When a player grabs an opponent who has the ball. There are many rules regarding how and when you can tackle. For example, you cannot grab the player above the shoulders or below the knees, or when the player does not have the ball.

Umpires

The officials on the field who control the game and / or signal when a goal or behind is scored.

Victorian Football
League (VFL)

The Victorian state-based football league. It was considered to be the best football competition in the country before the Australian Football League (AFL) was formed.

Wing

A midfield position. The wings are fast-running players responsible for moving the ball into the forward area and kicking goals.