Sport Innovation/AFL Bid

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Australian Rules Football was created by Tom Wills, H.C.A. Harrison, W.J. Hammersley and J.B. Thompson. The game was devised in 1857 to keep cricket players fit during the off-season. In 1858 the Melbourne Football Club was formed and the first official game was played between Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar schools. The game quickly grew and the Victorian Football League was established in 1896 with the first clubs established being Collingwood, Carlton, Essendon, Fitzroy, Geelong, St Kilda and South Melbourne. By 1925 Richmond, North Melbourne and Hawthorn had also joined the league. These teams competed in the Victorian Football League until the competition expanded in 1987 when interstate teams where accepted into league. By 1997 the West Coast Eagles, Fremantle, Adelaide, Brisbane and Port Adelaide where apart of the now named Australian Football League. A chronological history of the Australian Football game from 1897 to present day can be found by following the link. (AFL History) As of 2012, every state except Northern Territory and Tasmania have teams in the AFL competition.

The Australian Football League game is played on an oval shape field 135 to 185 meters long and 110-155 meters wide. The game is played with an oval shape ball that is unlike any other ball in world sport. A match will be 80 minutes long and be divided into 4 quarters of 20 minutes. There are only a maximum of 18 players on the field for each team at one time with a maximum of 4 interchange players.

There are 4 posts at each end of the field 2 goal posts and 2 smaller point posts. When the ball is kicked through the 2 goal post it is recorded as a goal and 6 points are allocated to that team. When the ball hits a post or goes through between a goal and a point post it is described as a point and 1 point is given to that team. The objective of the game is to have the most points scored by the end of the 80 minute time period. To start each quarter and after each goal kicked the players head back to their position consisting of forward, backs, midfielders and ruckmen. Once these positions are filled a ball up in the center of the ground is performed and the two ruckmen contest for the ball to pass off to their team members.

The fundamentals of the game include kicking the ball, marking the ball, hand-balling and tackling. Penalties apply to obstruction of the rules such as being tackled, kicking out of bounds on the full, incorrect disposal of the ball, such as throwing, tackling a player without possession of the ball and holding the man without the ball to stop him getting the ball. These rules are put in place in the spirit of the game, to help the flow of the game and the entertainment of the spectators. A full rules and guidelines of the game can be downloaded from here. Laws Of the Game

In February, 2008 the AFL board announced its plan to add 2 new teams to the AFL competition over the coming four years.

The decision was based on the board’s goal to expand the competition, and without the agreement of struggling Victorian teams to relocate to other states the board has no other choice.

The AFL board announced that the first of the two new teams will be located on the Gold Coast and will be granted a provisional license to join the AFL competition by 2010. The 18th team will be situated in Western Sydney and will follow the Gold Coast team in joining the AFL competition the following year.

The board of the AFL announced that the provisional license will be lifted after the first year of competition if the clubs can prove that they are a viable and sustainable investment.

To start the creation of the first new team situated on the Gold Coast the AFL board invited representatives from the Gold Coast community and local businesses to start a six month process to commission the provisional license from the AFL.

The Gold Coast proposal team was lead by John Witheriff, Graeme Downie, Dr Alan Mackenzie, Dale Dickson and Bob Gordon. Each member of this team came from respective business and AFL backgrounds. This team was successful in obtaining their provisional license upon adhering to a list of criteria put in place by the AFL.

To form the new Gold Coast team and be given an AFL license the AFL commission had nine main criteria each with their own objectives to complete. The GC12 Continuum was formed with the sole objective to complete these criteria and obtain the AFL license.

As an initial 'kickstart' the AFl promised that once the license was obtained (July 2010) the afl would aid in the contracts of the players, coaches and support staff needed to generate a 'team'. The AFL granted the provisional Gold Coast team, eight of the top 13 picks in the 2010 draft. By ensuring high picks on the draft the Gold Coast Suns will be able to build on a strong foundation and have a chance of becoming a successful AFL club in the future.

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