FP / Origins of Australian Football


Sports & Recreation

This is volume 1 in a series of four volumes about the origins of Australian football as it evolved in Victoria between 1858 to 1896. This volume addresses its very beginnings as an amateur sport and the rise of the first clubs. Invented by a group of Melbourne cricketers and sports enthusiasts, Australian Rules football was developed through games played on Melbourne's parklands and was originally known as "Melbourne Football Club Rules". This formative period of the game saw the birth of the first 'amateur heroes' of the game. Players such as T.W. Wills, H.C.A. Harrison, Jack Conway, George O'Mullane and Robert Murray Smith emerged as warriors engaged in individual combat in rugby-type scrimmages. The introduction of Challenge Cups was an important spur for this burgeoning sport. Intense competition and growing rivalries between clubs such as Melbourne, South Yarra, Royal Park, and Geelong began to flourish and the game developed as a result. In the 1860s, new cups were introduced such as the Caledonian Trophy and the Athletic Sports Committee Challenge Cup which in part catalyzed the strong rivalry that still exists today between clubs such as Melbourne and Carlton. It also announced a shift in emphasis in the game from footballing individuals towards football teams, and by 1870 there was general agreement that a "Premier" team should be recognised at the end of each season. By the 1870s the game of "Victorian Rules" had become the most popular outdoor winter sport across the state. In subsequent decades, rapid growth in club football occurred and the game attracted increasing media attention. From amateur heroes came the rise of the clubs.


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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9781921421471
  • : Connor Court Publishing Pty, Limited
  • : Connor Court Publishing Pty, Limited
  • : September 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paperback
  • : 2012
  • : 480