|Team members||Eighteen per side|
|Country or region||Australia|
Austus was a variation of Australian rules football which was played in Australia during World War II between Australians and visiting soldiers from the United States. The name comes from the first four letters of Australia (AUST) and the initials of the United States (US).
Sports exhibitions by servicemen from both the Australian and visiting American services were commonplace during World War II as fundraisers, including American football.However, it was not possible for teams from Australia and America to play against each other in either of their national football codes due to the differences in skills: Australians were not adept at long throws of the ball, as was common in American football, and Americans were not adept at kicking, particularly on the run, as was required to play Australian rules football.
To enable football competitions between Australians and Americans, a modified code was proposed. Although sometimes described as a hybrid between the Australian and American codes, creator Ern Cowley described it as "99% Australian rules with the addition of gridiron highlights".The only significant rule change from the Australian game was that the American football-style forward pass was allowed and afforded the same benefits as an Australian rules football kick. Therefore, a ball thrown over a distance of at least ten yards could be marked if caught on the full; and goals could be scored from throws, with the exception that a thrown goal must have been from a distance greater than twenty yards – an arc twenty yards from the goal line was painted on the field to enable this to be judged by umpires. The game was played with an American football rather than an Australian football, because the pointed design of the American ball meant that it could be both thrown and kicked. These rules enabled Americans to participate against Australians at Australian rules football using the ball skills they already possessed from playing American football.
The first game of Austus was played on 18 July 1943 at Punt Road Oval between a team of US Servicemen and an Australian Explosives Factory team over two 25-minute halves. The Americans won 8.4 (52) to 5.8 (38).Two weeks later, an Australian team comprising around twelve VFL players comfortably defeated the Americans 17.23 (125) d. 8.1 (49) in a full-length game. Several more games were played as exhibitions in 1943 and 1944. By the end of 1943, both countries' armed forces endorsed the game as a suitable activity for their troops, with the rules later published in official army publications. The US Army noted that the game was more suited to warmer climates than the American game, and was more convenient as it could be played without protective equipment.
The rules are credited to The Sporting Globe sportswriter and former Carlton player Ern Cowley. Cowley and leading American player Private Bill Jost, who was a prodigious throw and captained the American teams, were both presented medals by the Helms Athletic Foundation in 1944 for their services to the short-lived code.
The game all but disappeared after the departure of American soldiers from Australia in 1945.Some consideration was given after the war to sending Australian teams to America to demonstrate the sport, but an absence of willing financial backers meant that the idea quickly fell through. The game has rarely if ever been played since.
Australian rules football, officially known as Australian football, or simply called "Aussie rules", "football" or "footy", is a contact sport played between two teams of 18 players on an oval field, often a modified cricket ground. Points are scored by kicking the oval ball between the middle goal posts or between a goal and behind post.
In several forms of football a forward pass is a throwing of the ball in the direction that the offensive team is trying to move, towards the defensive team's goal line. The forward pass is one of the main distinguishers between gridiron football in which the play is legal and widespread, and rugby football from which the North American games evolved, in which the play is illegal.
Most forms of football have a move known as a tackle. The primary and important purposes of tackling are to dispossess an opponent of the ball, to stop the player from gaining ground towards goal or to stop them from carrying out what they intend.
Gridiron football, also known as North American football or, in North America, simply football, is a family of football team sports primarily played in the United States and Canada. American football, which uses 11-player teams, is the form played in the United States and the best known form of gridiron football worldwide, while Canadian football, featuring 12-player teams, predominates in Canada. Other derivative varieties include indoor football and Arena football, football for smaller teams, and informal games such as touch and flag football. Football is played at professional, collegiate, high school, semi-professional, and amateur levels.
The Sheffield Rules was a code of football devised and played in the English city of Sheffield between 1858 and 1877. The rules were initially created and revised by Sheffield Football Club, with responsibility for the laws passing to the Sheffield Football Association upon that body's creation in 1867. The rules spread beyond the city boundaries to other clubs and associations in the north and midlands of England, making them one of the most popular forms of football during the 1860s and 1870s.
Holding the ball is an infraction in Australian rules football. The rule results in a free kick being awarded against a player who fails to correctly dispose of the football upon being tackled by an opponent, although not under all circumstances. The rule provides the defending team a means to dispossess a player who is running with the football, and prevents players from slowing the play.
Universal football was the name given to a proposed hybrid sport of Australian rules football and rugby league, proposed at different times between 1908 and 1933 as a potential national football code to be played throughout Australia. The game was trialled, but it was never otherwise played in any regular competition.
The 1958 Victorian Football League season was the 62nd season of the elite Australian rules football competition.
Australian rules football began its evolution in Melbourne, Australia about 1858. The origins of Australian football before 1858 are still the subject of much debate, as there were a multitude of football games in Britain, Europe, Ireland and Australia whose rules influenced the early football games played in Melbourne.
In the sport of Australian rules football, a kick-in is the common name for the procedure to restart the game after a behind. It involves a defender from the team who did not score kicking the ball back into play from the defensive goal square.
The 1945 VFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the South Melbourne Football Club and Carlton Football Club, held at Princes Park in Melbourne on 29 September 1945. It was the 49th annual Grand Final of the Victorian Football League, staged to determine the premiers for the 1945 VFL season. The match, attended by 62,986 spectators, was won by Carlton by a margin of 28 points, marking that club's seventh premiership victory.
In gridiron football, a triple-threat man is a player who excels at all three of the skills of running, passing, and kicking. In modern usage, such a player would be referred to as a utility player.
The 1952 Victorian Football League season was the 56th season of the elite Australian rules football competition.
Ronald Walford Todd was an Australian rules footballer who played with Collingwood in the Victorian Football League (VFL) in the 1930s, and with Williamstown in the Victorian Football Association (VFA) in the 1940s. Todd was an acrobatic and pacy forward, possessing a strong overhead mark. He kicked 327 goals for Collingwood at an average of 4.30 goals per game, 55 of them in finals, and 672 goals for Williamstown at 4.76 goals per game.
The place kick is a type of kicking play commonly used in American football, association football (soccer), Canadian football, rugby league, and rugby union.
Variations of Australian rules football are games or activities based on or similar to the game of Australian rules football, in which the player uses common Australian rules football skills. They range in player numbers from 2 up to the minimum 38 required for a full Australian rules football.
Ernest Clyde Cowley was an Australian rules footballer who played for Carlton in the Victorian Football League (VFL).
Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, kicking a ball to score a goal. Unqualified, the word football normally means the form of football that is the most popular where the word is used. Sports commonly called football include association football ; gridiron football ; Australian rules football; rugby football ; and Gaelic football. These various forms of football share to varying extent common origins and are known as football codes.
The 1938 Victorian Football Association season was the 60th season of the Australian rules football competition. The premiership was won by the Brunswick Football Club, after it defeated Brighton by 33 points in the Grand Final on 20 August. It was the club's third VFA premiership, and the last top division premiership it ever won.
The Australian rules football schism (1938–1949) was a period of division in the rules and governance of Australian rules football, primarily in the sport's traditional heartland of Melbourne, and to lesser extents in North West Tasmania and parts of regional Victoria. The schism existed primarily between Melbourne's pre-eminent league, the Victorian Football League (VFL), and its secondary league, the Victorian Football Association (VFA). In the context of VFA history, this period is often referred to as the throw-pass era.