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Austus - a mix of Aussie Rules and American Football

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.

AUSTUS rule book front cover AUSTUS rule book front cover

Austus Details

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.

Field positions listed in the AUSTUS rule book Field positions listed in the AUSTUS rule book

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.

The first US team to play AUSTUS The first US team to play AUSTUS

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. 


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