Research Origin of Australian Football's Gaelic Origin Myth [+Marngrook]

The_Wookie

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Why were the first rules so similar to Cambridge rules.
But were they really?

Well for one, Cambridge rules were a hybrid of English football games, much like Australian football.

1. The distance between the Goals and the Goal Posts shall be decided upon by the Captains of the sides playing.
This is not actually mentioned in the Cambridge rules.

2. The Captains on each side shall toss for choice of Goal; the side losing the toss has the kick off from the centre point between the Goals
This is not mentioned in the Cambridge rules.

3. A Goal must be kicked fairly between the posts, without touching either of them, or a portion of the person of any player on either side.
Cambridge rule 7 - Goal is when the ball is kicked through the flag-posts and under the string.
Sheffield rule 9 - A goal must be kicked but not from touch nor by a free kick from a catch.


4. The game shall be played within a space of not more than 200 yards wide, the same to be measured equally on each side of a line drawn through the centres of the two Goals; and two posts to be called the "kick off posts" shall be erected at a distance of 20 yards on each side of the Goal posts at both ends, and in a straight line with them.
This is not mentioned in the Cambridge rules.
Not mentioned in the rugby rules


5. In case the ball is kicked "behind" Goal, any one of the side behind whose Goal it is kicked may bring it 20 yards in front of any portion of the space between the "kick off" posts, and shall kick it as nearly as possible in line with the opposite Goal.
Cambridge Rule 6 - When the ball is behind it shall be brought forward at the place where it left the ground, not more than ten paces, and kicked off.
Rugby Rule vii. KICK OUT must not be from more than ten yards out of goal if a place-kick, not more than twenty-five yards, if a punt, drop, or knock on.

Sheffield rule 2. Kick out must not be more than 25 yards [23 m] out of goal.


6. Any player catching the ball "directly" from the foot may call "mark". He then has a free kick; no player from the opposite side being allowed to come "inside" the spot marked.
Cambridge rule 8 - When a player catches the ball directly from the foot, he may kick it as he can without running with it. In no other case may the ball be touched with the hands, except to stop it.
Rugby Rule i. FAIR CATCH is a catch direct from the foot.

Sheffield Rule 3. A fair catch is a catch from any player provided the ball has not touched the ground or has not been thrown from touch and is entitled to a free-kick.

7. Tripping and pushing are both allowed (but no hacking) when any player is in rapid motion or in possession of the ball, except in the case provided for in Rule 6.
Cambridge rule 10. In no case is holding a player, pushing with the hands, or tripping up allowed. Any player may prevent another from getting to the ball by any means consistent with the above rules.
Rugby Rule xxvi. No hacking with the heel, or above the knee, is fair.
Rugby Rule xxvii. No player but the first on his side, may be hacked, except in a scrummage.
Sheffield rule 8. Pushing with the hands is allowed but no hacking or tripping up is fair under any circumstances whatever.



8. The ball may be taken in hand "only" when caught from the foot, or on the hop. In "no case" shall it be "lifted" from the ground.

Cambridge Rule 8. When a player catches the ball directly from the foot, he may kick it as he can without running with it. In no other case may the ball be touched with the hands, except to stop it
Sheffield rule 7. It is not lawful to take the ball off the ground (except in touch) for any purpose whatever.


9. When a ball goes out of bounds (the same being indicated by a row of posts) it shall be brought back to the point where it crossed the boundary-line, and thrown in at right angles with that line.
Cambridge rule 7. The ball is out when it has passed the line of the flag-posts on either side of the ground, in which case it shall be thrown in straight.

10. The ball, while in play, may under no circumstances be thrown.
Cambridge Rule 8 again. When a player catches the ball directly from the foot, he may kick it as he can without running with it. In no other case may the ball be touched with the hands, except to stop it.


Acknowledgement that first rules were nothing like rugby rules.
They were close enough that visiting rugby sides could play Australian teams without much difficulty.

Acknowledgement that Wills in all probability would have knowledge of Marngrook.
Known yes. Used it to develop Australian football. Probably not.

Acknowledgement that there was a huge Irish immigrant population in Melbourne.
I dont know or care. Like Marngrook, not one of the games founders discusses the irish games as being an influence.
 

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RedV3x

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But were they really?
<<denial>> then
They were close enough that visiting rugby sides could play Australian teams without much difficulty.
You cannot argue Cambdrige rules were so dissimilar then generalise rugby as so similar when in fact that each struggled at the other's game.

Cambridge rules and the colonial game shared the same omissions which were of greater importance.
Both games did not have offside. There is no need to state a player can stand anywhere.

Tell me you don't see a HUGE conflict in rugby rules.

RULES.

i. FAIR CATCH is a catch direct from the foot.

ii. OFF SIDE. A player is off his side if the ball has touched one of his own side behind him, until the other side touch it.

iii. FIRST OF HIS SIDE, is the player nearest the ball on his side.

iv. A KNOCK ON, as distinguished from a throw on, consists in striking the ball on with the arm or hand.

v. TRY AT GOAL. A ball touched between the goal-posts may be brought up to either of them, but not between. The ball when punted must be within, when caught without the line of goal: the ball must be placed-kicked and not dropped, even though it touch two hands, and it must go over the bar and between the posts without having touched the dress or person of any player. No goal may be kicked from touch.

vi. KICK OFF FROM MIDDLE, must be a place.

vii. KICK OUT must not be from more than ten yards out of goal if a place-kick, not more than twenty-five yards, if a punt, drop, or knock on.

viii. RUNNING IN is allowed to any player on his side, provided he does not take the ball off the ground, or take it through touch.

ix. CHARGING is fair, in case of a place kick, as soon as a ball has touched the ground; in case of a kick from a catch, as soon as the players foot has left the ground, and not before.

x. OFF SIDE. No player being off his side shall kick the ball in any case whatever.

xi. No player being off his side shall hack, charge, run in, touch the ball in goal, or interrupt a match.

xii. A player when off his side having a fair catch is entitled to a fair knock on, and in no other case.

xiii. A player being off his side shall not touch the ball on the ground, except in touch.

xiv. A player being off his side cannot put on his side himself, or any other player, by knocking or throwing on the ball.

xv. TOUCH. A player may not in any case run with the ball in or through touch.

xvi. A player standing up to another may hold back one arm only, hold one arm only, but may hack him or knock the ball out of his hand if he attempt to kick it, or go beyond the line of touch.

xvii. No agreement between players to send the ball straight out shall be allowed on big side.

xviii. A player having touched the ball straight for a tree, and touched the tree with it, may drop from either side if he can, but the opposite side may oblige him to go to his own side of the tree.

xiv. A player touching the ball off his side must throw it straight out.

xx. All matches are drawn after five days, but after three if no goal has been kicked.

xxi. Two big-side balls must always be in the Close during a match or big-side.

xxii. The direction of sending into goals rests with the heads of sides or houses.a

xxiii. No football shall be played between the goals till the Sixth match.

xxiv. Heads of sides, or two deputies appointed by them, are the sole arbiters of all disputes.

xxv. No strangers, in any match, may have a place kick at goal. Deputies may be allowed to act by the head of the School-side, at the Sixth match.

xxvi. No hacking with the heel, or above the knee, is fair.

xxvii. No player but the first on his side, may be hacked, except in a scrummage.

xxviii. No player may wear projecting nails or iron plates on the heels or soles of his shoes or boots.

xxix. No player may take the ball out of the Close.

xxx. No player may stop the ball with anything but his own person.

xxxi. Nobody may wear cap or jersey without leave from the head of his house.

xxxii. At a big-side, the two players highest in the school shall toss up.

xxxiii. The Island is all in goal.

xxxiv. At little sides the goals shall be four paces wide, and in kicking a goal the ball must pass out of the reach of any player present.

xxxv. Three Præpostors constitute a big-side.

xxxvi. If a player take a punt when he is not entitled to it, the opposite side may take a punt or drop, without running if the ball has not touched two hands.

xxxvii. No player may be held, unless he is himself holding the ball.

As these rules have now become the Laws of the game, it is hoped that all who take an interest in Football will contribute all in their power to enforce their observance.
 
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SpareTowel

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Why would I want to do that when people cannot and will not discuss the basics ?
Why were the first rules so similar to Cambridge rules.
Acknowledgement that first rules were nothing like rugby rules.
Acknowledgement that Wills in all probability would have knowledge of Marngrook.
Acknowledgement that there was a huge Irish immigrant population in Melbourne.
Find and quote from a reputable historian who agrees that the 1859 code is most similar to the Cambridge rules and "nothing like" rugby.

I have already acknowledged that Wills may have played Marngrook and that Melbourne had a large Irish immigrant population. There's still no compelling evidence that either Marngrook or Irish/Gaelic football influenced early Australian rules.
 
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RedV3x

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I have already acknowledge that Wills may have played Marngrook and that Melbourne had a large Irish immigrant population.
There's still no compelling evidence either way to the degree of influence Marngrook or Irish/Gaelic football influenced early Australian rules.
 

The_Wookie

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There's still no compelling evidence either way to the degree of influence Marngrook or Irish/Gaelic football influenced early Australian rules.
The absence of any mention of these games when pretty much every major public school format was being discussed is pretty good evidence that these were never looked at. Not to mention the sources state that Wills specifically put forward rugby as his go to choice, and none of the others was as familiar with aboriginal games as he may have been. No mention is made of irish influence at all, and it was denied later as shown earlier in the thread.

You cannot argue Cambdrige rules were so dissimilar then generalise rugby as so similar when in fact that each struggled at the other's game.
Well given the Cambridge Rules formed most of the base of Associations Rules in 1863, you cannt seriously be trying to tell me the two games were similar.

Incidentally, the Lions won 6 of the matches under the Australian rules, despite having no experience with the code prior to the tour. The game by then had changed significantly since 1859, with rule changes in 1860, 1862, 1866 and 1872.
 

RedV3x

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Wills specifically put forward rugby as his go to choice,
Obviously didn't get his way. Didn't the commitee agree not to play either rugby or soccer. It's irrelevant.
Everybody keeps mentioning Wills and rugby but it was a commitee decission to form the rules not Wills.
Wills is known for playing the new football and promoting it.
If Wills wanted to play rugby he could have simply gone and played rugby if it was any sort of a problem.
But Wills didn't play rugby he chose to play the new game.


you cannt seriously be trying to tell me the two games were similar.
I said the RULES were similar. No off-side, no tackling, no picking the ball up and kicking a goal etc
The rules are opposite for rugby. The idea for rugby is throw the ball backwards and run forward which has nothing in common with A.R.
 

Garlic muncher

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at 10? If you say so.
He went to Melbourne at ten, he still went back home, he was not in Melbourne constantly.

Just watch a game of Auskick etc some kids are far advanced of others in regards to hand eye co -ord - those kids tend to stay in front of the others
 

The_Wookie

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He went to Melbourne at ten, he still went back home, he was not in Melbourne constantly.
he was in a boarding in Melbourne while at school, and from 14 he was in England.

Just watch a game of Auskick etc some kids are far advanced of others in regards to hand eye co -ord - those kids tend to stay in front of the others
Id love to see those stats some time.
 

RedV3x

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Id love to see those stats some time.
Why the unholy reliance on stats ?
Any parent will tell you that there's always one kid that stands out and usually plays up a grade etc.
It's where the term "natural champion" emmanates from.
 

RedV3x

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is it now.
Of course it is. it would be unusual for it not to be. You should know that from one of your stat's curve.
There's the majority, the under-achievers and the over-achievers.
There's a real world out there and it isn't waiting for some historian to make a quote.
 

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The_Wookie

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Of course it is. it would be unusual for it not to be. You should know that from one of your stat's curve.
There's the majority, the under-achievers and the over-achievers.
There's a real world out there and it isn't waiting for some historian to make a quote.
Apparently has no supporting documentation of any kind.
 

Garlic muncher

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You can massage stats around to get what you want- I would argue that most if not all sporting champions that require good hand foot eye coordination have it by age 10, I have observed hundreds of kids and kids that stand out in under 11,s and younger are still in the top percentile at older age groups.- not talking about big kids but talented kids.
 

The_Wookie

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You can massage stats around to get what you want- I would argue that most if not all sporting champions that require good hand foot eye coordination have it by age 10, I have observed hundreds of kids and kids that stand out in under 11,s and younger are still in the top percentile at older age groups.- not talking about big kids but talented kids.
You can massage stats. I would just like to see these stats so i have something to massage.
 

RedV3x

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You and I both know thats not what that referred to.
You appear to be saying that all school age children have the same sporting ability.
I don't really know what you you're trying say. It's beyond me.
To me it's a simple fact of life that you'll get the odd natural sporting champion.
I would find it extremely unusual not to find at least one stand-out in a football team with no drafting.
 

NoobPie

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You can massage stats. I would just like to see these stats so i have something to massage.
Can you describe a feasible data set / research that you might accept?

In the absence of "data" I am happy to accept two people's stated "empirical" experience which also aligns with common sense: Kids with advanced ball (inc hand foot eye coordination) skills at a single-digit age are more likely to be still standing out at later ages.

Its not an outrageous claim!
 

TWLS

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According to what we have found the following rule books were on the table in the 1859 Rules meeting.
Rugby, Eton, Winchester and Harrow. Remember it is 1859 and no mention of Cambridge Rules which were around in England but not on the table perhaps.
They obviously had a good time at this meeting because Jerry Bryant the Publican was plying them with drinks during the meeting.
Perhaps somebody else has a more accurate record of what Rule books were on the table.
Fascinating topic.
 

RedV3x

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According to what we have found the following rule books were on the table in the 1859 Rules meeting.
Rugby, Eton, Winchester and Harrow. Remember it is 1859 and no mention of Cambridge Rules which were around in England but not on the table perhaps.
They obviously had a good time at this meeting because Jerry Bryant the Publican was plying them with drinks during the meeting.
Perhaps somebody else has a more accurate record of what Rule books were on the table.
Fascinating topic.
Do you have a link for interest sake ?
We still have no idea exactly what influences were made in what degree.
The absense of of notation doesn't mean there wasn't was some spoken reference.
The first point is that this chose not to choose an existing set of rules. So we can definitely say that Australian Football doesn't come from an existing code.
The second point is that that the rules adopted similarity to Cambridge seem to be co-incidence.
The one thing we do know is that rules and method of the new game were very different from rugby and if the committee wanted rugby rules
they simply could have formed football under rugby rules.
 

TWLS

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Do you have a link for interest sake ?
We still have no idea exactly what influences were made in what degree.
The absense of of notation doesn't mean there wasn't was some spoken reference.
The first point is that this chose not to choose an existing set of rules. So we can definitely say that Australian Football doesn't come from an existing code.
The second point is that that the rules adopted similarity to Cambridge seem to be co-incidence.
The one thing we do know is that rules and method of the new game were very different from rugby and if the committee wanted rugby rules
they simply could have formed football under rugby rules.
The reference is from - The Australian Game of Football -Page 38 -Published by the AFL IN 2008.
It states on the page that James Thompson brought the Rule Books to the meeting, and he did not want Rugby Rules adopted per se - They were too complicated, and he clearly says that Wills was pushing Rugby Rules, and he (Thompson)wanted proper talks, which he apparently got.
There were several names on the handwritten copy found in circa 1980 in the Archives in the basement of the MCG, but only 4 people discussed the Rules that eventful day.
Wills, Hammersley,Thompson and Smith. Wray was present but did not participate and sign.
They hold the key to the actual discussions, which we may never find out.
Interesting stuff for fans of the game, and historians.
 
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