While the AFL Grand Final may look a little different (again) this year for fans of the sport, it doesn’t mean you can’t cheer on your favourite team. Don your team colours and get ready for a big event!
Traditionally, the match is played at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds (MCG), with the exception of 2020 when the game was played outside of Victoria for the first time in the games 100+ year history. Unfortunately, the Grant Final will have to be played outside of its home state once again this year, due to public health concerns.
The location of the 2021 AFL Grand Final match has been confirmed by AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan, and the Victorian Government. Optus Stadium in Perth, Western Australia set to host the AFL Grand Final 2021, as the game cannot go ahead in Victoria.
Wherever the finals are played, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the AFL Grand Final in 2021. Give this blog a Facebook share to remind your mates the big match is coming up!
4 Ways to Celebrate the AFL Grand Final 2021
1. Play a game of backyard AFL.
The best way to celebrate the big game is to host your very own backyard competition of AFL. Depending on your state, you may be able to play a game in your local park with friends and family. All you need is 8 small poles — dowel or some sticks will work just fine — an Aussie Rules ball and some players, then, you’re ready for kick off.
For those who are unable to leave their homes, we recommend a small backyard game between your family or housemates. The rules remain the same as if you were to play with a larger group. Just try not to kick the ball over the fence!
2. Make homemade pom poms and cheer on your team.
Making pom poms to cheer on your team is a great way to celebrate the AFL Grand Final with the whole family, especially if you’re stuck indoors. Making cheerleader pom poms is simple; so simple the kids can do it with little to no help — depending on their age, of course. Plus, the items you need are cheap and easy to find both online and in-store.
What you’ll need to make cheerleader pom poms:
- 10 tissue paper sheets in your team colours, no smaller than A4.
- Electrical tape.
How to make cheerleader pom poms:
- Layer 10 of your tissue paper sheets on top of each other in a neat pile.
- Fold the pile in half lengthways.
- Using craft scissors, cut zig zag and curvy strips along the length of the paper, leaving around 10–15cm at the top uncut.
- Once done cutting, open up the two halves and cut along the fold.
- Roll the uncut sections tightly to create a handle, wrapping it in electrical tape for strength.
- Cheer on your team!
Cheerleader pom poms in your team’s colours are the perfect addition to a family finals night at home.
3. Host a Grand Final Day BBQ.
There is nothing more Aussie than a Grand Final Day BBQ. For years, those who are unable to make it to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) have spent their grand final day around a BBQ with family and friends. Take your BBQ to the next level and deck out your amazing venue with team colours, AFL themed food and, of course, the AFL live on a big screen.
4. Make some meatloaf.
Avid AFL fans may remember Bat out of Hell singer, Meat Loaf’s, 2011 pre-match performance. Whether you remember it for good or bad reasons, there’s no doubt his performance was memorable.
2021 marks 10 years since Meat Loaf opened Australia’s most iconic sporting event, so why not have a bit of fun this Grand Final Weekend and make yourself some meatloaf (or veggie loaf) in celebration.
How to make meatloaf.
- 700g beef.
- 1 egg.
- 1 cup milk.
- 1 cup bread crumbs.
- 2 tbls brown sugar.
- 2 tbls mustard.
- 1/3 cup tomato sauce.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a 35x25cm loaf pan.
- Combine the egg, beef, milk and breadcrumbs in a large bowl.
- Mould the mixture into a loaf and place in the prepared pan.
- In a smaller bowl, combine sugar, mustard and tomato sauce and pour over the meatloaf.
- Bake for 1 hour or until cooked through.
The History of AFL
AFL, short for Australian Football League, first began in 1858. The Melbourne-born sport was pioneered by then cricket star Thomas Wentworth Wills who believed football could be a solution to the off-season fitness concerns of cricketers. The Melbourne Cricket Club supported his idea and appointed a committee to write a set of rules for the sport — there were no standardised football codes at the time.
The Melbourne and Geelong Football Clubs were established in 1858 and 1859 respectively and are now recognised as two of the oldest football clubs in the world. The very first AFL Premiership was won by Essendon in 1897.
Whether the game is played in Melbourne or Perth, the grand final is one of the most-watched TV events of the year, with more than 6.3 million viewers in 2020 alone.
The Rules of AFL
The original rules of AFL were drafted in May of 1859, handwritten on sheets of paper. The ten rules were devised by the Melbourne Cricket Club Committee, all who played in the very first full AFL season.
Since then, the rules have seen many adaptions to become the Toyota AFL we watch today.
The basic rules of AFL.
- The match is played on a field roughly double the size of regular football fields.
- Each team is allowed 18 players on the field at any one time.
- Every 20-minute quarter begins with the umpire bouncing the ball in the centre circle.
- Points are to be awarded in goals (6 points) and behinds (1 point).
- The ball can be kicked and handballed between players.
- When the ball is kicked into the air and caught cleanly by another member of the team, it is called a mark and the player gets a free kick (to the goal or a teammate) from wherever the ball was caught.
- When running with the ball, it must be bounced every 15 meters.
Frequently Asked Questions About the AFL Grand Final
How long is a game of AFL?
An average game of AFL, not including any overtime, includes 80-minutes of play. This is divided into 4 twenty-minute quarters. The first and third quarters are followed by 6-minute breaks and the half time break is 20 minutes.
How do you score in AFL?
If you find AFL scoring confusing, you’re not alone. In AFL, players can either score a goal or a behind. Goals are awarded 6 point and behinds are awarded 1. The live scores are displayed to reflect the number of goal with the number of goals to the right followed by the total score in brackets.
For example: 15 goals and 12 behinds would be displayed, 15. 12 (102)
What is the difference between a goal and a behind in AFL?
The difference between a goal and a behind in an AFL match is where and how the ball crosses the goal posts. To score a goal and gain 6 points, a player must kick the ball between the two middle goal posts without it being touched by another player. When a ball is kicked between the two outer posts, hits the two taller poster or is carried/ hand-balled across the line between any of the four goal posts, the team is awarded a behind.
When is AFL Grand Final Day in 2021?
This year the AFL Grand Final will be played on 25 September. As tradition, the 24 September will be a public holiday in Victoria to celebrate.
Where can I watch the AFL Grand Final?
This year you can watch the AFL Grand Final live on Channel 7, live and on demand with 7plus, and if you happen to miss the event, you can watch on the streaming service Kayo.
Who is playing in the 2021 AFL Grand Finals?
Who is playing in the grand finals is yet to be determined at the time of publication. The preliminary finals are being played in the coming weeks. Brisbane vs Bulldogs and Geelong vs GW Giants are set to kick-off on Father’s Day weekend at The Gabba and GMHBA Stadium in Victoria respectively.
Where are the AFL Grand Finals 2021 being played ?
It has been announced the 2021 AFL Grand Finals will be played at Optus Stadium in Perth, Western Australia on 25 September. Whilst other venues, including Adelaide Oval in South Australia and The Gabba in Queensland, did offer to host the match, it was revealed on 25 August WA Premier, Mark McGowan had been informed Optus Stadium is the preferred venue if the MCG is to be ruled out — a big win for the Perth community.
Get the best meat for your BBQ from your local butcher.