Why has the rest of the world shunned Aussie Rules?
- Updated: December 22, 2020
For most of its history, Aussie Rules has battled to draw in an international audience. Of course, we know that it is the sport most loved by those down under but as for its reputation outside of the continent of Australia, well, itâ€™s a rather unknown entity.
At last count, another 13 nations were playing Aussie Rules, but it wouldn’t be unfair to say that there would be a vast number of people within those countries oblivious to the fact that Aussie Rules exists in it.
The governments of #China and #Australia might be fighting but their people are still great mates. Awesome Aussie Rules footy tournament in #Guangdong yesterday, more than half the players locals. Players came from #Beijing #Shanghai #Nanjing #Foshan and #Guangzhou pic.twitter.com/soWNJIuxHl
— Stephen McDonell (@StephenMcDonell) December 20, 2020
Now, if 13 other countries seem like a respectable amount to you then consider that soccer is played in over 200 countries by 250 million people. This all begs the question, why has the world not taken to Aussie Rules given the fever pitch excitement in Australia for the game?
In a nutshell, it comes to space and feasibility. Australia as we know is huge and lends itself to the playing of Aussie Rules given how much open space there is on the continent. This is crucial as that there are 18 players aside in a game of Aussie Rules and the pitch is roughly the size of two regular football fields. Now, if you live in a cramped estate in say, England, it would be very hard to organize a successful game of Aussie Rules with your friends given the space needed to make it work.
The same can be said for those in confined apartment blocks in Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Rome, New York, and Singapore to name a few. The space that you need just isnâ€™t there but then that isnâ€™t true for the arranging of a game of soccer. Indeed, invariably there will be municipal multipurpose courts available for players to use in these cities and even if there isnâ€™t a designated goal, any soccer player will tell you that all you need is a couple of spare jerseys for posts. Thatâ€™s probably all you need to know about soccer and its overwhelming popularity considering how easy it is to play.
Now, you can see where this is going, the goalposts that Aussie Rules use are not conducive to a game in the spur-of-the-moment. You need four posts for goals and the fact that they canâ€™t be the same size makes it even harder to coordinate a game without much prior notice.
All these factors make Aussie Rules a challenging sport to take up as a child which is a pity because the great game of Aussie Rules has everything that ardent sport lovers enjoy.Â Indeed, the rivalries that exist in the game make derbies or grudge matches a thrilling watch. Whether itâ€™s Adelaide vs Port Adelaide, Carlton v Essendon or Collingwood vs the seemingly unbeatable Richmond – who incidentally are once again the favourites at 4.0 in Aussie Rules football betting to win the 2021 Grand Final – youâ€™re bound to get some argy-bargy and a few handbags every so often.
— Richmond FC ðŸ¯ðŸ† (@Richmond_FC) October 24, 2020
Interest in professional sport is built on enticing storylines and Aussie Rules has a large number of entertaining subplots constantly on the go. And let’s not forgotten, the sport doesn’t lack for talent either and has some of the most committed athletes in the world competing for top honours.
All things considered, it does seem a shame that Aussie Rules hasn’t become Australia’s greatest ever international export.