Aussie Rules is played on an oval-shaped field with an oval-shaped ball. It is a contact sport where two teams of 18 players each aim to score goals or behinds, and the team with the most points at the end wins. A game lasts 80 minutes and consists of 4 quarters of 20 minutes each. Players get to rest for 6 minutes at the end of the first and third quarters, and rest for 20 minutes at half time.
The scoring area at each end of the field consists of 4 posts, 2 inner tall posts and 2 outer shorter posts. A goal (worth 6 points) is scored by kicking the ball through the 2 inner posts at any height. A behind (worth 1 point) is scored if the ball is kicked between an inner post and an outer post. A behind is also scored if the ball goes between the inner goal posts propelled by any part of the body except the feet or if it hits a goal post or bounces off an opposition player into the goal. The score shows the number of goals, behinds and total points scored.
The match is directed by an umpire who tosses a coin to determine which direction the teams will play. The umpire starts the game by bouncing the ball in the middle of the center square which either team can take possession of. When a player takes possession of the ball he must dispose of it immediately by kicking it, handballing it (punching or open hand tapping), or running with it. When a player runs with the ball, he must bounce the ball every 15 meters. Players are not allowed to throw the ball.
Players in possession of the ball can be tackled or bumped by opposition players. When a player is tackled, they must dispose of the ball or they may be penalized for 'holding the ball.' Tackling is only permitted between the shoulders and the knees, above or below these areas will result in a free kick, distance penalty or suspension. Dangerous tackling such as pushing a player in the back or interfering with a mark (a sort of free kick) will also be penalized. Opposition players may block opponents with their hands or using their entire body.