An International Students' Guide To The 2019 AFL Season | ISIC Australia

AFL is back! Are you an international student in Australia and feel a little confused by our national game? Here's a guide and explanation to the game we love!

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The 2019 AFL Season is well and truly upon us. As sad as it is that the days are getting cooler, and the nights are becoming shorter, this means importantly that our national game is soon to kick off for another season of twists and turns. Perplexing as it may be to an international student new to Australia, once you become accustomed to the game its many strange rules, you'll soon fall in love with it.

Key information to get you up to speed:

We could try and explain ourselves how the game is played, however we're going to leave it to the guys who know how to explain it the best, the AFL themselves. 

Australian Rules Football is a 161 year old sport originating in Melbourne. The highest viewed sport in all of Australia, and while it is only played professionally in Australia, its appeal is widespread. Life for many Australians, and nearly all Victorians revolves around the AFL season. Known as Australian Rules Football, most locals simply refer to the game as 'the footy'.

Season Dates: Careful making big plans during this time!

AFL is a winter-game so if it's cold, there's a good chance there will be some football on. Just remember to rug up though, it gets freezing!

Regular Season

Thursday 21 March - Sunday 25 August 2019 (23 Rounds)


Thursday 5 September - Saturday 28 September 2019 (Elimination Finals, Qualifying Finals, Semi Finals, Preliminary Finals & Grand Final)

Teams: Some of the biggest sporting clubs in the country

The AFL consists of 18 teams spread throughout Australia, with the exemption of teams in the ACT, The NT, and Tasmania).

Carlton Blues, Collingwood Magpies, Essendon Bombers, Geelong Cats, Hawthorn Hawks, Melbourne Demons, North Melbourne Kangaroos, Richmond Tigers, St Kilda Saints, Western Bulldogs.

South Australia:
Adelaide Crows, Port Adelaide Power

Western Australia:
Fremantle Dockers, West Coast Eagles

Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast Suns

New South Wales:
Sydney Swans, Greater Western Sydney Giants 

Stadiums: The best places to be on any given weekend

Melbourne Cricket Ground

The 18 teams in the AFL call the below 9 world-class stadiums home.

Marvel Stadium: Home to Carlton Blues, Essendon Bombers, North Melbourne Kangaroos, St Kilda Saints, Western Bulldogs.
Capacity: 56,347

Melbourne Cricket Ground: Home to Collingwood Magpies, Hawthorn Hawks, Melbourne Demons, Richmond Tigers.
Capacity: 100,024

GMHBA Stadium: Home to Geelong Cats.
Capacity: 34,074

Adelaide Oval: Home to Adelaide Crows, Port Adelaide Power.
Capacity: 56,583

Optus Stadium: Home to Fremantle Dockers, West Coast Eagles.
Capacity: 60,000

The Gabba: Home to Brisbane Lions.
Capacity: 42,000

Metricon Stadium: Home to Gold Coast Suns.
Capacity: 24,526

Sydney Cricket Ground: Home to Sydney Swans.
Capacity: 48,000

Sydney Showground Stadium: Home to Greater Western Sydney Giants.
Capacity: 24,000


How to watch: Whether you prefer to see it live or on the screen

The most watched sport in the country, is very easy to watch. Channel 7 have you covered for free-to-air, showing 4 games a week, with Foxtel and their new subscription service, Kayo broadcasting every game of the year live.

Free-to-air TV: Channel 7

PayTV: Fox Footy, Fox Sports 503

Subscription: Kayo

Experience AFL Live: No better way of seeing the game than live in person! The best place to find tickets is through the AFL's official website. If you're looking to experience the game like a local, a SportsHosts GameDay brings locals and travellers together to watch live sports in a new way. Typically, a GameDay is about meeting for a drink or a bite to eat and then heading to a live sports game together. We have partnered with SportsHosts to offer all ISIC, IYTC, and ITIC cardholders a $5 Food & Beverage Voucher. Find out more here.

Stars of the AFL: The who's who of the competition

Blog image_AFL Player jumping for ball in the sunset

These are as of 2019 the biggest names in the competition! Expect to see and hear a lot about them throughout the year!

Patrick Dangerfield: A hard-working, tough midfielder who hails from Victoria's Surf Coast in Moggs Creek, the former Adelaide Crows, now Geelong superstar justified his 2016 trade back home to Victoria by winning the Brownlow Medal (awarded to the player judged the best and fairest) in the same year.

Lance Franklin: An icon in the AFL, Lance 'Buddy' Franklin has amassed a stunning 917 goals across 290 career games. The most recent player to kick 100 goals in a season, his achievements are nearly endless, and his exploits are extraordinary.

Dustin Martin: Known for many things, including his haircut, his tattoos, and the 'don't argue', this fiery, speedy, and immensely talented midfielder is one of the game's great characters, thanks partly to his on-field aggression, and his off-field tendency to hide away from all of the attention.

Nat Fyfe: With his shaggy hair and laid-back Western Australian approach to life, this Luke Skywalker lookalike is arguably of the game's best players, if not the best. Staying loyal to Fremantle, he agreed halfway through 2017 to remain a Docker until 2023 so expect big things to come from Nat!

Rory Sloane: Melbourne born, however a South Australian resident plying his trade with the Adelaide Crows, Sloane is a courageous and hard-working midfielder bred perfectly for the toughness required in modern day AFL. Getting better with age, Rory's sporting genes have also extended to his family with sister, Shae a footballer too!

Now you know about our country's favourite sport, learn about the people themselves who love the game. We've compiled the important things you need to know about the Australian people. Read on here.

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