Learn to Play Australian Rules Football

[slideshow id=7]Australian Rules Football is a sport unlike any other. It’s fast-paced, wide open, exhilarating to watch, and fun to play. It features teams of 18 players competing against each other on large oval fields. The objective of the game is to score goals by kicking the ball through a set of vertical goalposts on the opposing team’s end of the field. The ball can be advanced in any direction by either running with the ball, hitting it to a teammate with a closed fist (throwing the ball is not allowed), or kicking it to a teammate. Teams play defense by tackling the ball carrier and contesting kicked or handball passes. The ball is almost always live, and stoppage of play is infrequent.

The Portland Steelheads

The Portland Steelheads Australian Football Club is Portland’s own aussie rules team, and we are always looking for new players to learn the sport. Our club is made up of both Americans and Australians; some of our members have been playing the game for years, and others had never even seen a game of “footy” (as the Aussies call it) before showing up to their first practice. We welcome players from all backgrounds, and no prior experience is necessary. We promise you this though: once you’ve played a game, you’ll be hooked.

Why should I play?

  • Beginners are always welcome! Not many people in the US have experience playing footy, so most Americans are starting at the same level. We’re used to teaching the basics. New players play in our games just the same as everyone else, it’s the best way to learn.
  • Make new friends! We’re a tight-knit group on and off the field, and our players are from all over the world. We get together to watch professional games, hold BBQ’s, have drinks after games, hold trivia competitions, and other activities.
  • Stay fit and compete! Australian football is a game of constant action and movement, it requires endurance, strength, and skill. The level of competition ranges from fairly friendly in the PAFL, to intense when we represent Portland against other USAFL clubs.

What’s it like playing for the club?

Our season runs from spring to fall. In the first half of the season, we put on the Portland Australian Football League, the PAFL.  Players from around the city are drafted into multiple teams representing different neighborhoods. From March-June the teams compete until the top two teams at the end of the PAFL season meet in the PAFL Grand Final. In the second half of the season, the Steelheads come together to compete against clubs from other cities around the country, leading up to a trip to the US Australian Football League’s Nationals tournament in October. This year we will be hosting a tournament featuring a number of west coast clubs here in Portland; the Stumptown Throwdown. Throughout the year we hold regular practices twice a week. Check out the video of the 2013 PAFL Grand Final to get a taste of what our games are like:

How do I join?

Contact our team’s recruiting coordinators, at recruiting@portlandfooty.com to get more information or with any questions you may have. You can also keep track of our upcoming practices and games on our calendar. We’re always happy to have new faces turn up to practice.