Australian Rules Football

This fast, vigorous game, played between teams of 18, is one of four kinds of football Down Under. Aussies also play Rugby League, Rugby Union, and soccer, but Australian Rules, widely known as "footy," is the one to which Victoria, South Australia, the Northern Territory, and Western Australia subscribe. It's the country's most popular spectator sport.

Despite its name, novice observers frequently ask the question: "What rules?" The ball can be kicked or punched in any direction, but never thrown. Players make spectacular leaps vying to catch ("mark") a kicked ball before it touches the ground, for which they earn a free kick. The game is said to be at its finest in Melbourne, where it was invented in the mid-19th century.

Melbourne Cricket Ground. The Melbourne Cricket Ground is the prime venue for AFL games. Brunton Ave., Yarra Park, Melbourne, Victoria. 03/9657–8867;

Ticketmaster7. Tickets for Australian Rules Football are available through Ticketek (MCG games) or Ticketmaster (Etihad Stadium) or at the playing fields. 1300/136–122; 132–849;