Watching Australian Football Live

Australian football is so different to any other type of football. It is best seen “live” to be able to get an appreciation of its differences and the multiple skills involved in playing the game. (Seeing the game on television certainly gives you close ups of the individual skills of the players, the physical clashes, and the umpire’s decisions while the replays give you the opportunity to see the highlights immediately. As well you are able to see the time clock run down to zero especially in the last quarter).It is important to note that Australian Football is played on the largest oval of any football code. It is the longest game containing the most players on the field at any one time (thirty six in total). There are nine officials on the field managing the game in a National League competition game.At a live game, you appreciate the size of the oval; the speed at which the game is played; the amount of running involved in the game by most players as well as observing the game strategies used by each team. Sitting in a good position, you can observe players who read the game so well that they anticipate where the ball will go and move to that position to intercept or receive the ball to attack. You see and hear the reaction of the crowd. You feel the emotion of the crowd and those of the players in the context of the game.Different spectators like to watch the game from different position. As a child, I loved to sit behind the goals to watch the high marking of the full forwards. Others like to see near the fence to be close to the physical clashes. For me, now an adult, I like to sit high in the stand around the middle of the oval. This allows me to see the whole game unfold from one end of the oval to the other. (The coach’s boxes are also high in the stand for the same reason).As a person who has umpired the game both as a field and a goal umpire, it gives me the opportunity to watch the umpires doing their job, agreeing or disagreeing with their decisions as well as watching their positioning to see if it helps them make correct decisions.When the game is in the last quarter and the result is in the balance you can look at the time clock to see how long the quarter has lasted and hope when your team hits the “front”, the final siren goes.Of course, the great thing about being at a live game is to sing the club song if your team wins. When the game is over, the club song of the winning team is played several times over the public address system. If our team wins, it’s always a thrill-a great way to finish the day at the “footy”.