Alternate History of Australian Rules Football.

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Teimy

Draftee
Jan 14, 2021
10
12
AFL Club
St Kilda
Hello everyone at BigFooty, my name is Tim and today I am going to share with you something I have been working on in my head for the past 3-4 years (on and off). I present to you an alternate reality where everyone's favourite egg shaped ball game is an internationally played game at a high level. I will be introducing some of the top tier nations history with the game.

Without further ado here is Chapter 1 of 3

“A Brief History into the sport of Association Rules Football”.

So lets quickly go over the invention of Australian Rules Football and why it was invented in the first place.
Tom Wills created a variation of a sport which became Footy in 1858, a sport created to keep cricketers in shape during the off-season. The sport originally resembled something closer to a scratch match of Rugby with looser rules, however over the next year the game evolved into something more unique and most importantly Australian.

From this point on things said in this story are completely fiction, beginning the alternate reality of Australian Rules Football or for what it will be known in the coming years as Association Rules Football.

The game was a hit amongst the local Victorian cricket clubs, and began touring the game to other states. Western Australia and South Australia is where the game really made an impact within the cricketing clubs. Realizing the potential of the sports success the majority of Cricket Clubs across Australia became Association Clubs, supplying local players the ability to participate in both sports, depending on the time of the year. Eventually the Australian Cricket Club began touring the sport to other nations while on tour, most notably Australia's biggest rival New Zealand.
In 1908 New Zealand Cricket Clubs began experimenting the game. With Rugby now taking a back seat Association Rules Football was allowed to flourish into new territory. The first test match between New Zealand and Australia was played two years later in 1910, with Australia winning that contest 171-43. This large defeat was mainly due to the fact the New Zealand side was made up of predominantly Rugby Union players. The sport had the biggest growth outside of Australia however in Ireland, due to the similarities the sport shared the Irish League (GAA Football) became the strongest league outside of Australia, holding this title until 1979 (Ill get to this later).

The game grew amongst many of the Commonwealth Nations including and not limited to:
  • South Africa
  • England/ UK
  • India
  • The Majority of the Caribbean.

There would be a World Cup held in 1939 consisting of 7 teams.
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • UK
  • South Africa
  • India
  • Ireland
  • West Indies

Ireland upset the Australian side in the final 89-80.

The game continued to grow to much smaller parts of the World due both to the success of the World Cup and widespread attention it had received and also the second World War.
Papua New Guinea was introduced to the sport by Australian soldiers in 1944. The game grew in popularity much like Rugby League has today.

South Africa introduced the game to smaller African Nations when trying to recruit players for their Leagues. Zimbabwe, Namibia, Malawi, Uganda really took the game with both hands, forming their own respective leagues also.

British soldiers introduced the game to some Pacific Nations, mainly Samoa and Fiji. While New Zealand slowly over time introduced the sport to Cook Islands and Tonga.

Ireland introduced the sport to the Northern Irish.
The UK solidified the sport in the West Indies, to the point where Nations such as Jamaica, Bermuda and Trinidad and Tobago could compete in international competition without combining to become the West Indies.

India introduced the sport the Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The 1958 World Cup held in the UK would consist of 12 teams.
This would also be the second World Cup. The last being held in 1939.
  • England
  • Wales
  • Scotland
  • Ireland
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • India
  • Northern Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Zimbabwe
  • Papua New Guinea.

Australia claimed victory at this world cup, defeating England in the final 71- 45

The continued growth of the sport continued after this with World Cup Results as followed
  • 1962 Australia (Won by Australia)
  • 1966 Ireland (Won by Australia)
  • 1970 South Africa (Won by New Zealand)
  • 1974 India (Won by England)
  • 1978 New Zealand (Won by England).

This takes us up to 1979 arguably one of the biggest moments in Association Rules History,
The formation and creation of the ‘Super League’

Let me know what your thoughts are on this alternate history, please let me know if you would be interested in reading more.

Below I have attached some of the top tier nations kits.
 

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Not fiction:



Some of the features of Australian football were in Sheffield rules. Sheffield surrendered these to amalgamate with asssociation football in order to ‘go global’

Or ended up going global.

Worth mentioning that the major British empire countries. India Australia South Africa Canada America Singapore etc do not have soccer as a major sport
 
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Teimy

Draftee
Jan 14, 2021
10
12
AFL Club
St Kilda
Not fiction:



Some of the features of Australian football were in Sheffield rules. Sheffield surrendered these to amalgamate with asssociation football in order to ‘go global’

Or ended up going global.

Worth mentioning that the major British empire countries. India Australia South Africa Canada America Singapore etc do not have soccer as a major sport
I have noticed this, its always interesting when doing research there are many instances of Aussie Rules getting a small following and on the brink of expansion before something shuts it down. New Zealand and Papua New Guinea are good examples of this. New Zealand actually having alot of growth before Rugby took over and Papua New Guinea having growth of the game before Rugby League took over with State of Origin. I think if the AFL had seriously considered putting an emphasis on expansion in Papua New Guinea there would be a larger group of players there. I think PNG has the largest AFL participation rate outside of Australia as it is so far at 1,000. Considering Rugby League has 15,000 it makes you really think what if.
 

Teimy

Draftee
Jan 14, 2021
10
12
AFL Club
St Kilda
What I find fascinating is that this could’ve just happened if the sport grew legs in other countries. Very interested to see where this goes.
Thanks mate, yeah 100% always been abit salty we dont get to see the likes of Fyfe and Martin play on eachothers team in international competition, even in an all stars setting that wouldnt happen unless it was like a school yard team selection set up.
 

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Atomboy

Premiership Player
Jan 22, 2007
3,109
2,790
Yes
AFL Club
St Kilda
Please don’t do this sort of thing. Gil might read it and get ideas about a 2026 World Cup “AFLX style”.
It already happens through the “International Cup” where teams from all over the world pay their own way to come and play a carnival in Melbourne.

Have been down to check it out a few times and it’s great fun. Must be the only competition in the world where the traditional rivals of India and East Timor face off.
 

Teimy

Draftee
Jan 14, 2021
10
12
AFL Club
St Kilda
It already happens through the “International Cup” where teams from all over the world pay their own way to come and play a carnival in Melbourne.

Have been down to check it out a few times and it’s great fun. Must be the only competition in the world where the traditional rivals of India and East Timor face off.
The International Cup is always a good watch, i try to keep up with the international game as much as possible only problem for mainstream audiences is the quality. But I do enjoy the uniqueness. Also I like the fact they dont try to ham stuff up by getting guys born in Australia with part chinese to play for the chinese side.
 

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