Articles on Australian rules football

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The AFL quickly aborted the deployment of Behavioural Awareness Officers to monitor unruly fans. But who should be making sure spectators don’t get out of control? Rob Blakers/AAP

Loud, obnoxious and at times racist: the sordid history of AFL barracking

Barracking has been a colourful and controversial part of Australian Rules football since the game's inception. Now, the AFL is trying to maintain order – and fans are irate.
Carlton’s Sarah Hosking in action in the 2019 AFLW grand final. AAP Image/David Mariuz

Three years in, is the AFLW kicking goals?

The AFLW has come a long way in a short time. But amid calls for even faster expansion, more games and a longer season, it pays to remember that in footy you shouldn't go too hard, too early.
Thursday night football in the community of Wadeye, about 420 kilometres south-west of Darwin in the Northern Territory. J. Louth

How sport can tackle violence against women and girls

Primary prevention programs with a footballing focus aim to change behaviours and attitudes among men towards women.
In a painting such as Warriors of New South Wales, 1813, we can easily imagine a group of men ready to take to the football field. Australian War Memorial

Did Indigenous warriors influence the development of Australian rules football?

Between the 1830s and the 1850s, hundreds of Indigenous warriors and dozens of British settlers were killed across south-east Australia. Echoes of that conflict recur in Aussie rules.
Adam Goodes training at the SCG in 2015. David Gray/Reuters

Refusing to play the race game

For Indigenous people, refusal is a powerful act of sovereignty. In Grand Final week, it's timely to reflect on Adam Goodes' refusal to accept racism in football or an official send off when he retired - and the repercussions of his stance, a year on.
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.

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