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Hawthorn is among the AFL clubs with the best years in the competition to premierships won ratio. AAP/Joe Castro

The glory or the ‘gravel’: what keeps fans flocking to the AFL?

Being a footy fan is not mainly about the glory of a premiership – it is much more about enjoying the gravel-shovelling entailed in each and every season your club goes without success.
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions in the world. from

Epilepsy: sorting the myths from the facts of a common disorder

Saying someone has epilepsy is a little like saying they're ill. Its cause can vary from a brain tumour to an inherited genetic condition, the consequence of injury or a disorder affecting the brain.
Australian Jarryd Hayne (right) is attracting much attention as he plays for the San Francisco 49ers against Dallas Cowboys in pre-season NFL game. EPA/John G Mabanglo

The secret behind Jarryd Hayne’s success on the US footy field

Jarryd Hayne is wowing crowds and commentators with his play on the American football field in the US. His years in Australian rugby league may have a lot to do with his star performance.
AAP/Paul Miller

Man up? I see a man down: booing and being Adam Goodes

The imbroglio surrounding AFL legend and 2014 Australian of the Year Adam Goodes has been unedifying, to say the least. Those who boo Goodes when he has the ball invariably claim it has nothing to do with…
Australia’s Bumala-y Yuurrama-y seems to be accepted only when confined to matches between Indigenous players, yet all New Zealanders feel able to embrace the Haka. AAP/David Crosling

We all know and admire the Haka … so why not one of our own?

While AFL player Adam Goodes polarised Australians by performing an Indigenous war dance, New Zealanders unite in celebration of the Haka. The difference in approach to Indigenous culture is telling.
Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane said the booing of Goodes, which was racist, had gone too far and was damaging not just the game but also our society. Dave Hunt/AAP

Players may have to act on racist attack against Goodes: Soutphommasane

Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane has said if the vilification of Adam Goodes does not stop, players may have to take matters into their own hands and walk off the field in protest.
AFL supporters have a history of emphasising notions of ‘difference’ by abusing Indigenous players. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Booing Adam Goodes – racism is in the stitching of the AFL

Sydney Swans player Adam Goodes was yet again booed by Australian football fans at the weekend. Sadly, AFL supporters have a history of emphasising notions of "difference" by abusing Indigenous players.
The standard of proof that applies in different types of judicial proceedings may result in quite different verdicts. Shutterstock/Andrey Popov

Judge suspects but must acquit man on child pornography charges

After saying he was 'deeply suspicious', a judge cleared a man of child pornography offences. We need to understand the standard of proof to make sense of verdicts, including AFL rulings on doping.
The AFL does best in attracting young women to games and then maintaining their loyalty in later years. AAP/David Mariuz

Female fans are AFL’s secret weapon in drawing crowds

The AFL draws the biggest crowds in the country and its growth has been driven by female fans being drawn to the game and sticking with it as they get older.
Collingwood’s Lachlan Keeffe faces a ban of up to four years after testing positive to a performance-enhancing drug. AAP/Joe Castro

AFL illicit drug reform needs to be about more than punishment

There may be career-ending sanctions for sportspeople who have inadvertently tested positive to a performance-enhancing drug after having consumed an illicit drug.
The process by which women become fans is more complicated and interesting than people previously imagined. AAP Image/Joe Castro

Sexually transmitted fandom? Why women really follow AFL

Men might believe that women don't have what it takes to be serious sports fans but new research into female AFL fans proves them wrong. Some women are footy converts, some have it in the blood – and some were born to it.

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