Austus is a hybrid sport which was created in Australia during World War II when soldiers stationed there from the USA wanted to play football against the Australians.
The name comes from the first four letters of Australia (AUST) and the initials of the United States (US).
Many Austus matches were played during the WWII period in Australia, but unfortunately when the US soldiers went home the game was not continued.
A set of rules for the new game were drawn up by Ern Cowley, baseball editor of the Melbourne Sporting Globe, obviously utilizing his knowledge of both games. The composite rules consisted of throwing (which is not allowed in AFL) and kicking (which is rarely used in American Football).
The game used an American Football, which is has a better design for throwing. The American tended to throw the ball while the Aussies kicked it, but the games were competitive and large crowds came to watch.
The game was essentially Australian football, with a couple of the highlights of the American football code. The main additions were including the ability to throw the ball, and the introduction of a 20 yard penalty area around the goal.
Any player may kick or throw the football or receive passes from anyone of his 17 teammates. A six-point goal is scored by kicking or throwing the ball between center goal posts. One point is scored if the ball passes between smaller uprights on either side of the center pasts.
In the first game between Australian and American teams, the Americans won, 69 to 38.
- RULES of AUSTUS, a combination of Australian and American Football. Compiled by Ern Cowley of Melborune Sporting Globe.
- Australian Football — a fast-paced football code from Australia, played between two teams of eighteen players on a large oval field. Six points are scored by kicking the ball between two tall goalposts, or one point for passing the ball on either side of these.
- American Football — a team sport played on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. Each team attempts to advance an oval ball down the field into the end zone by running or passing it. It is also known in some parts of the world (outside of the US) as Gridiron.
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