Long kicking is a feature of Australian Rules Football, and over the years there have been several competitions to see which player has the longest kick, and sometimes the competitions also involved kicking for accuracy.
History of Long Kicking Competitions
Early last century there were organized competitions for kicking distance. For example, in 1928, Melbourne's Sporting Globe newspaper held a national distance kicking competition, with a prize of 25 pounds to anyone who could kick the furthest place, drop and punt kick.
On the World of Sport TV show on channel 7 a kicking competition ran for 10 years from 1964. A kicking competition returned in 2002, with players competing in an accuracy competition on Grand Final day, and returning in 2015. A goal kicking and kicking efficiency assessment has also been added to the AFL Combine.
On grand final day in recent years, there has been a longest kick competition hosted by Fox Footy, where player attempt to kick a ball across the Yarra River, and another competition on the field at half time, the Carlton Draught Barrel Time.
Sporting Globe Competitions
1928, Melbourne's Sporting Globe newspaper held a national distance kicking competition, The "Sporting Globe's Kicking Championship" with a prize of 25 pounds to anyone who could kick the furthest place, drop and punt kick. The place kick prize was won by C. Nolan of North Melbourne, with a kick of 71 yards, 2 feet and 4 inches. The honours in the drop kick (73 yards) and punt kick (74 yards) sections went to Les Kew Ming.
World of Sport's Champion Kick Competitions
A kicking competition was regularly held as part of the Channel 7's World of Sport program in Victoria in the 1960s and 1970s. One such competition was the Craven Filter champion kick of Australia conducted from 1967 - 1971, though based on details found online there must have been competitions held in other years.
The Craven Filter champion kick of Australia was a kicking competition conducted on the World of Sport program from 1967 - 1971, designed to find the 'champion kick in Australian football'. The competition began with a series of qualifying heats in each of the four major football states (Vic, SA, WA, Tas), with a finals series in Melbourne featuring the four state champions.
In the Champion Kick Competition, players were required to execute a range of kicks, and were assessed in terms of their accuracy, style and (with the exception of the stab pass) distance. Each competition consisted of stab passing about 25 meters at a roughly 6 foot round target similar to an Archery target; complete with bulls eye. Then there was goal kicking and distance kicks; using both drop kicks and punt kicks.
The South Australian and Victorian representatives occupied the first two places in the Craven Filter champion kick of Australia competition every year. The winner received a $1,000 prize.
- 1967 Terry Phillips of Central Districts, SA.
- 1968 Robert (Bob) Shearman (Sturt)
- 1969 Doug Wade (Geelong)
- 1970 Colin Tully (Collingwood)
- 1971 Robert (Bob) Shearman (Sturt)
More Random Notes
- An excerpt from Ken Piesse's Football Legends of the Bush, states that Fitzroy's John Bahen won Channel 7’s Champion Kick on World of Sport in the mid-60s, and also that Bernie Quinlan "regularly won World of Sport's Champion Kick"
- A story was relayed on a football forum about how Bob Skilton won the World of Sport Champion Kick Award one year while kicking with his right (non preferred) foot. In the final Skilton had an injury to his left leg, so he kicked with his right and still won easily.
- A record that was found was by Paul Vinar (Geelong VFL), kicking the football 84 yards during the HSV7 champion kick competition in 1965. He also has a record of a punt kick of 80 yards, 6in during the Craven Filter Champion Kick in 1968. Paul Vinar regularly featured in these kicking competitions, and won a couple WOS champion kick comps in the 1960's. He may also have had a world record for the longest drop kick recorded Guinness Book of Records.
- One judge of the kicking competition was ex-collingwood player Bruce Andrew known for his harsh comments.
Longest Kick, 1993
Essendon's Dustin Fletcher won the competition as an 18-year-old.
2002 Grand Final Kicking Competition
The 2002 TXU AFL Grand Final Sharpshooter kicking Competition was conducted at 12.25pm prior to the Grand Final match, after the Grand Final sprint heats. The event was designed to determine who was the AFL's most accurate kick for goal under pressure and with time constraints. The event was conducted over two heats and a final. Four current AFL players were invited by the AFL to compete on behalf of themselves and their club.
- There were 5 Kicking Stations on the Ground marked 1 through to 5, with 3 different point levels across the 5 Stations. The more difficult shots were awarded more points. Five points were awarded for shots taken 40 meters out on a 45-degree angle, 10 points for goals kicked from 25 meters on the boundary line, and 15 points for goals kicked from 50 meters out directly in front.
- The 5 Kicking Stations were numbered from 1 to 5 and the players kicked from Station 1 to 5 in an anti clockwise direction from the City end of the MCG.
- Each player had 25 seconds to kick 5 balls from each of 5 Stations, and 15 seconds to move from Station to Station.
- Each player was notified by the on-ground staff every ten seconds during the kicking process, to ensure he paced himself correctly.
- A whistle was blown to indicate the start and end of the 25 seconds time period at each station.
- All balls had to pass through the goal line on the full to be recorded as a goal.
- An official AFL umpire adjudicated from behind the goals.
- The player with the most points in Heat 1 and Heat 2 moved into the Final.
- If the scores were tied in either the Preliminary Final or the Final, it became a Sudden Death Shoot Out from Station 5 - with the first player to miss being eliminated.
- If the two Heat winners were tied, a coin toss decided who kicks first in the Final.
The competitors were: heat 1 - Fremantle's Trent Croad and Melbourne's David Neitz, Heat 2 - Carlton's Corey McKernan and Port Adelaide's Stuart Dew. Trent Croad was the winner, beating Neitz in the first round then Dew in the final. Croad knocked out Neitz in the first heat, scoring 105 points to the Melbourne skipper's 80, and followed up in the final with an even better 120 points against Dew, who could manage only 85 points. The winner collected three $5000 cheques - one for themselves, one for their club and one to be given to charity.
Carlton Draught Barrel Time
There has been a long-distance kicking competition held recently, the Carlton Draught Barrel Time competition. There were heats and semi finals held leading up to the Grand Final, the final held on the MCG during the break of the main game. The winners won prizes including a punting experience in the USA. Only a few results of past competitions have been found.
- 2015: one of the longest kicks was a 64.9 torp by Ryan Prendergast, and a 65m kick from Dane Roy.
- 2018: The final was won by Nick Oliver, coach of the U14s at the Lake Wendouree junior football, who kicked a monster barrel of 67 meters!
Fox Footy's Longest Kick Competition
Participants have several attempts to kick a ball across Melbourne's Yarra River, a distance of about 75m. The event has been held since 2015. See the list of winners below, and more detailed information about the competition.
- 2015 - 60.4m Drew Petrie (North Melbourne)
- 2016 - 72.3m Bryce Gibbs (Carlton)
- 2017 - 66.1m Brendan Fevola (ex-Carlton, ex-Brisbane)
- 2018 - 66.9m Jack Gunston (Hawthorn)
- 2019 - 66.8m Clayton Oliver (Melbourne)
- 2020 - not held
- 2021 - 59.0m Jarryd Roughead (Hawthorn)
- 2022 - 62.9m Charlie Curnow (Carlton)
- 2023 -
Other Long Kick Information
- Fed Hughson, who played for Fitzroy from 1938-47, established the official and recognised world record for a drop kick at 83 yards 11 inches (76.2m) in a competition against William Jost, an American gridiron thrower, held in 1943 (Sporting Globe 29 May 1943, p1).
- One of the best ever kickers was St Kilda champion (1905-1923) Dave "Long Dave" McNamara. In 1913, he set what was, at the time, the "official" world place-kick record measured at 86 yards 1 foot. He also had a kick made during a game measured afterwards to be estimated at 93 yards (85 meters).
- Fox Footy's Longest Kick Competition
- Grand Final Sprint
- Half time mile race from 1977 & 1978
- Goal kicking and kicking efficiency skill tests
- Longest Throw in American Football