Hey, I thought that by bringing up an Australian concept that people might better understand the rules of the Wizard Cup which starts on Friday the 18th of February with Collingwood V Richmond at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground in Victoria). Here's how some of the new rules work: NEW RULES 1. New nine-pointer rule; anyone who kicks a ball beyond 50m through the main goal posts receives nine points instead of six. 2. Any ball which hits any of the goal posts and bounces back in the surface area without going out-of-bounds is called "play-on". 3. Umpires must clear at least 5m parallel to the area which the ball cleared the boundary line before throwing the football in from the boundary line. 4. There is to be a maximum of four players on the interchange at the one time. 5. The football is always thrown up from the centre circle instead of bounced. 6. The bouncing of the football when a tackle occurs will still apply, except if the surface around the ruck players and the umpire, in procession of bouncing the football is wet or muddy. 7. Only two trainers on the ground from any side (total maximum of 4) are allowed on the ground in one quarter. Now, here are some general rules of the game: GENERAL RULES 1. Blood Rule: This is more of a precaution than a rule. The player is sent off the ground immediately due to bleeding from any part of the body, and must be interchanged or sent to the doctor's via the club doctor. Close observation is soon followed to ensure player safety. The reason is for blood contamination and the spreading of disease and/or viruses and bacteria from that person. 2. Set-up Goal: This rule is based on a mark between 45 degrees and 90 degrees on an angle between the goals and where the player is standing (often close to the boundary line). The player can opt to "play-on", but if he is tackled down appropriately, he will be dealed with the "holding-the-ball" rule. Otherwise, the player must clear 5m and swing his whole body towards the direction of the kick in order to attempt to score a goal. 3: Holding-The-Ball: The rule applies to tackling. It is when a good tackle is applied by one player in order to "trap" another by holding his arms together and then twisting him to the ground in a tackle motivation. The umpire then gestures "holding-the-ball" by swinging both arms around the side and up into an arch formation, similar to a bird spreading its wings. 4. Push in the back: When a player "shoves" somebody in the back. A free kick is awarded to the opposing player who was pushed in the back. 5. High Tackle (more commonly called "too high" by spectators): A tackle which is above shoulder height is deemed illegal, and the ball must be handed to the opposing player immediately afterwards. 6. 50m Penalty: A player has made a serious infringement of umpires rules, and does not follow clear instructions. The opposing team and player is awarded a 50m Penalty; this is when players come towards their own goal by 50m and the opposing player is awarded a free-kick. 7. Mark: When a player catches the ball after it has been kicked by another player. 8. Handball: An action where one player pumps his fist through the ball from an open palm. 9. Free-kick: A free kick is awarded to an opposing player by an infringement of a player, serious or otherwise. The opposing player then has the option to "play-on" or kick to a teammate. 10. Play-on: To continue playing with the ball. 11. Dribble: To bounce the ball, either by pushing the ball and letting resistance force it back up, or by grabbing the ball and pressing it against the ground. 12. Out-of-bounds: The ball is deemed out-of-bounds when the football clears the white boundary line, excepting the goal posts. If the ball hits the behind post on the full, then it is called "out-of-bounds-on-the-full". 13. Out-of-bounds-on-the-full: When the football clears the boundary line by a player who has handballed or kicked it on the full (without bouncing first). 14. Behind: When the ball hits the two main goal posts or goes through the right hand side of the main goal posts (or left). The opposition's full back then takes the ball and clears it from the goal square. He must be careful not to clear any part of that line, otherwise, the full forward of the opposing team is awarded a free kick. The player who has kicked the behind earns his team one point. 15. Goal: This is awarded to a player/team when the ball successfully clears between the two main tall white goal posts, either on the full or by bouncing. 16. Rushed Behind: When a player "rushes" the ball accidentally through the opposition's goal or behind line. An "own goal" is also called this. In the Wizard Home Loans Cup, if the ball clears a player's team goals by this action, the score is three points to that team. Otherwise, in the league football, it is just one point. Players are also sent to the club tribunal and are reported if they commit a very serious infringement which endangers the safety of another player. By the way, the new rules only apply to the Wizard Home Loans Cup and not any of the actual league games. Thanks for reading "whew" and I hope this helps people to better understand the game of Australian Rules Football. Cheers, Davo.