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International rules football

From Academic Kids

International Rules football is a hybrid sport developed in the 1980s as a mixture of Australian rules football and Gaelic football. It was created in order to facilitate international matches between the representative teams of the Australian Football League and the Gaelic Athletic Association, which have been played annually since 1998 but date back in various forms to 1967. It is sometimes known as "Inter Rules" for short.

The rules are designed to provide a compromise between those of the two codes, with the Irish being advantaged by the use of a round ball and a rectangular field (Australian rules uses an oval ball and field), while the Australians benefit from the opportunity to tackle between the shoulders and thighs, something banned in Gaelic football. The game uses two large posts and two small posts, as in Australian rules, and a goal net as in Gaelic football. Points are scored as follows:

  • in the goal net (a goal): 6 points,
  • over the goal net and between the two large posts (an over): 3 points,
  • between a large post and a small post or hitting a large post (a point):1 point.

Scores are written, as in Australian football, so as to clarify how many of each type of score were made as well as giving the total points score for each team ; for example, if a team scores one goal, four overs and 10 points, the score is written as 1-4-10 (28) - meaning one goal (six points) plus 4 overs (4 * 3 = 12 points) plus 10 points, for a total score of 28 points.

An International Rules match lasts for eighty minutes (divided into four quarters of twenty minutes each), the same duration as an Australian rules match but ten minutes longer than a Gaelic football one. Teams consist of fifteen players, just as in Gaelic football (eighteen are used in Australian rules).

Senior International Rules games are played each October, after the completion of the Australian Football League Grand Final and All-Ireland Football Final which are both played on the last weekend of September. The series alternates each year between Ireland and Australia. Since the resumption of the senior international series in 1998, the average crowd has been 47,000, Ireland has won seven matches, Australia has won five with a further two being drawn.

In addition to the annual senior international series, Australia and Ireland play an under-17 contest, and International Rules is played in various locations throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia between fledgling Australian rules and Gaelic football clubs

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