Sunday, April 17, 2011

Aerial Ping Pong



Now much as I love being in the Ninja's company, I'm not a sports fan by any stretch but the kid wanted to see an Aussie Rules Football game, locally nick-named Aerial Ping Pong due to the leaps and 'mark's made during the game. I wish I'd read the rules first because it's just a lot of people running madly on a big green field players, waterboys, changeover guys and referees. There are two opposing goal posts and I think the object is to get the ball between the two middle ones for 4 points and between the outer posts for one point. 

So in torrential rain, we headed out to the hallowed SCG, Sydney Cricket Ground to watch some rather gorgeous bodies contort, run (man can they run!), jump, catch, fumble and among some of the most enthusiastic fans I've seen for a long time. Including the man behind me who rendered me deaf with his "Go, go, Bazza!", "Oh for Christ's sakes," his sons, not quite as enthusiastic about the game as he was. Jeff introduced himself to a hardened fan on his left and received a running commentary on the game. I introduced myself to a very passionate Grandma on my right who also gave me a few tips on what was going on.  It's chaotic but very fast and despite the wet and cold, the 2 hours went surprisingly quickly. (Although we lost our car in the carpark so exiting was a little slower).

Despite not really expecting to enjoy it and my fingers going so numb by half time I had to get him to buy me some hot chips to warm my hands - I actually liked it. Think I'll go again to be honest. It was an awesome crowd of families and good humour. Even to the point that the winning team's fans mixed with the losers without incident, something that would never happen in soccer. 

Wikipedia tells me that it's a game played with 22 players (18 on the field, 3 perpetual interchanges and 1 substitute who can only be played once during the match. It's played on a cricket field or modified football ground and the objective is to score points by passing the ball through the opponent's goal. The main way to score points is to kick the ball between the major goal posts.  During play, players may position themselves anywhere on the field and use any part of their body to move the ball. The primary methods are kickinghandballing (sounds a bit dirty!) and running with the ball. 


There are rules on how the ball can be handled: for example, players running with the ball must intermittently bounce or touch it on the ground. Throwing the ball is not allowed and players must not get caught holding the ball. Possession of the ball is in dispute at all times except when a free kick is paid. A distinctive feature of the game is the mark, where players anywhere on the field who catch a ball from a kick (with specific conditions), are awarded a free kick. Australian rules is a contact sport, in which players can tackle using their hands or use their whole body to obstruct opponents. Dangerous physical contact (such as pushing an opponent in the back), interference when marking and deliberately slowing the play are discouraged with free kicks, distance penalties or suspension, depending on the seriousness of the infringement. Frequent physical contests, aerial marking or "speckies", fast movement of both players and the ball and high scoring are the game's main attributes.

Sydney Swans, Red and White

Gathering Fans despite the rain. Red caps = Members

Er well they gave up the fight. Sadly they lost by a narrow margin

No idea what's going on

Points for enthusiasm

A tense moment perhaps?

SCG Members' Stand

Mine, no mine, no mine . . . .

The 'arial' bit of ping pong
Off south today so intermittent posting if any. Have a good week!

17 comments:

Brian Miller said...

and the fun continues...actually i would love to see this..

Vicky said...

I tipped Geelong so I am happy LOL

Kath Lockett said...

LC finds that it's a deeply passionate, love-hate process. The Adelaide Crows are soul-suckingly bad this year but he still watches, still believes and still gets his heart utterly broken.

His first challenge is finding out how he'll access the AFL matches when we're in Geneva!

Sarah Lulu said...

Isn't the members stand gorgeous? I love it.

I haven't been to a game and I don't quite understand either but I do do like that it's an Aussie game played and watched with such enthusiasm.

River said...

Despite reading every word I still have no more understanding of football than I've always had. I don't follow sports at all, I'm just not the sporty type. Although I have been called a good sport on occasion.
The hot chips sound like the best part to me.

Roy said...

Hmmmmm... It sounds very confusing. I've seen Irish Rules football at an Irish-style pub back in Newport (there looks to be a whole cable channel dedicated to the sport) and that was confusing enough; this sounds even more convoluted!

i beati said...

fun fun fun

PattiKen said...

That is so not my cuppa, except maybe for the "rather gorgeous bodies" part. But I doubt even they couldn't overcome the long, wet, and cold of it all.

Carolina said...

Okay, so a bunch of guys in tight shorts (nice) try to catch an odd shaped ball. That's about all I got from that. Especially the tight shorts got my attention. Yep. I'd be tempted to become a member and be allowed to watch from that beautiful stand.

Alan Burnett said...

Glad you are both having such a great time. As far as Aussie Rules is concerned, it always seemed to me like a game that made more sense if it was played with the headless corpse of a dead sheep.

blackwatertown said...

Good pics.
Always thought the singlet tops looked a bit odd.
But then again, given the tiny shorts women in beach volleyball have to wear, maybe they're lucky enough.
(Not that I'm, ahem, complaining myself about the beach volleyball dress code.)

Pam said...

Never been to a footy match - how UnOrtryan of me Helen! More of the arty farty type myself I find it hard to find a common ground, though I am partial to a bit of rugby league just admiring that strength (not the brain power). Enjoyed your photos, never having been in the midst of that myself. Enjoy your journeys off South, and Happy Easter!

Gledwood said...

that green-roofed pavillion looks Chinese...

Gledwood said...

that green-roofed pavillion looks Chinese...

Gledwood said...

ooo shall i say it again??

it LOOKS CHINESE

bloody computers

Jay said...

One the face of it, Aussie rules football sounds a bit like American football ... but I watched a game once and was completely and totally lost! ROFL!

I needed a knowledgeable fan next to me to explain things, but sadly I was at home with an equally bemused OH. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the experience though. :)

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

I have watched this on television. I make NO CLAIM to understand the game!

You are really have some good fun! Enjoy your week!