The objective of Australian Football is to move the ball downfield and kick the ball through the team’s goal. The ball can be moved in any direction by way of a foot, clenched fist (called a handball) or open-hand tap but it cannot be thrown under any circumstances. Once a player takes possession of the ball he must dispose of it by either kicking or handballing it. Any other method of disposal is illegal and will result in a free kick to the opposing team. If the ball is not in the possession of one player it can be moved on with any part of the body. A player may run with the ball but it must be bounced or touched in the ground at least once every 15 metres. Opponent players may bump or tackle the player to obtain the ball and, when tackled, the player must dispose of the ball cleanly or risk being penalised for holding the ball. The ball carrier may only be tackled between the shoulders and knees.
The main way to score points is by kicking the ball between the goal posts. There are two taller central posts named goal posts and two other shorter outer posts called behind posts. A goal is worth 6 points and is conceded when the ball passes through the goal posts at any height (including above the height of the posts) by way of a kick from the attacking team. It may fly through “on the full” (without touching the ground) or bounce through, but must not have been touched, on the way, by any player from either team. A behind, worth 1 point, is scored when the ball passes between a goal post and a behind post at any height, or if the ball hits a goal post, or if any player sends the ball between the goal posts by touching it with any part of the body other than a foot. A behind is also awarded to the attacking team if the ball touches any part of an opposition player, including his foot, before passing between the goal posts.
The team that has scored the most points at the end of play wins the game. If the scores are level on points at the end of play, then the game is a draw; extra time applies only during finals matches in some competitions. Australian Football is the game with the highest number of spectators in Aussies’ Land.