|Highest governing body||Association Arucien de Football (AAF)|
|First played||19th century, Sainte-Chloé|
|Team members||11 per team|
|Mixed gender||Separate competitions|
|Type||Team sport |
|Venue||Arucian football field|
|Country or region||Asterias (especially in the Arucian nations)|
Arucian football, also known as just football, is a contact sport played between two teams of 11 players on a rectangular grass pitch. The objective of the sport is to score by catching the ball close to the opposing team's goal, or by kicking the ball into it, which both score 4 points. There are three additional methods to score but they are only worth 1 point.
During general play, players may position themselves anywhere on the field and use any part of their bodies to move the ball. Kicking and passing the ball are the primary method. The catch is the main method of scoring due to the relatively high risk of earning a lower score when attempting a goal. The rules limit how the ball can be handled during play; for example, players cannot run with the ball or pick the ball off the ground. A distinctive feature of the game is soloing, when a player continually bounces the football off their foot as they move. Outside of sets, tries, and penalty kicks, possession of the ball is in dispute at all times. Players can tackle using their hands or use their whole body to obstruct opponents. The game features strategic use of tries and sets, fast paced gameplay, and high scoring.
The sport's origin can be traced to football matches played at the University of Sainte-Chloé in the 1850s, inspired by a ball game played by sailors stationed at the colony. As part of the Holistique movement, university staff used the game to promote exercise and team building skills for students. In response to the growing popularity of the sport, officials at Sainte-Chloé published the first Arucian football code in 1871. The game spread throughout the Gaullician colonies in the Asterias in the following decades.
Arucian football is predominantly played in the Asterias, especially in the countries of the Arucian Sea. It is widely played and watched sport in Sainte-Chloé, Carucere, Imagua and the Assimas, Île d'Émeraude and Bonaventure. It also has a regional presence in Satucin, Aucuria, Eldmark. The sport is governed by the AAF Commission of the Arucian Football Association. It runs the premier professional league for Arucian football, consisting of 32 teams across nine countries which culminates in the Arucian Series, the post-season knockout competition.
Arucian football is played according to the Rules of the Game. The game is played using a ball of 68–70 cm (27–28 in) circumference, known as the football. Two teams of eleven players each compete to get the ball to score points by either kicking the ball into the other team's goal (between the posts and under the bar) scoring a goal or catching the ball near the other team's goal, known as a catch. The team that has scored the most points at the end of the game is the winner; if both teams have scored an equal number of points then the game, then overtime is played.
Play begins when umpire throws it into the air, and two players contest for the ball in the air on its way back down. This is known as the ball-up. Only one player from each team may attempt to catch the ball; all other players must line up away from the ball-up until it hits the ground or a player gains possession. Certain disputes during play may also be settled with a ball-up from the point of contention. A player gains possession of the ball after they catch the ball, solo the ball once, kick the ball three times in succession, or are touching the ball for a least 5 seconds. After a score, the scoring team kicks the ball from their 25 meter line to the opposing team.
Players advance the football up the field by kicking and passing the ball to teammates or soloing the ball. Players solo the ball continually bouncing the ball off their foot or leg. Players are allowed to catch the ball with their hands as long as the ball was in the air when it was caught. However players cannot run with the ball and must drop the ball to solo or pass another teammate after four steps. It is possible to catch the ball again after soloing it, but they must continue to solo it every four steps. Opposing players may try to regain control of the ball by various methods such as intercepting a pass, swiping the ball away during a solo, or through tackling the opponent in possession of the ball. When a player that is in possession of the ball is tackled, they must dispose of the ball cleanly or take a set by grounding the ball in hand. A set allows the player's team to maintain uncontested control of the ball after a tackle, but the number of sets per possession is limited to five; in addition the ball may only be passed backward or sideways after a set. If player does not ground the ball or dispose of the ball after being tackled if there is no set, possession of the ball is awarded to the other team. The ball carrier may only be tackled between the shoulders and knees.
Contact is allowed between players, but the level of contact allowed varies on the circumstances. Players are allowed to obstruct opponents that do not have the ball with their hands or body, with some restrictions such has not grabbing a player with their hands or tripping them. Shoulder-to-shoulder contact is permitted with players who are in possession of the ball with their feet. When a player possesses the ball with their hands, any means of tackling is allowed, provided that it is not done from behind and that the tackler's shoulder makes contact with the opposing players. A tackle is still allowed even if the tackled player is intending to grab the ball and just disposed of the ball just before being tackled.
If a player catches a ball that was kicked over 15 meters away without touching the ground, a try may be called. The player that called a try is then awarded a shot at the goal; a player from the opposing team is allowed to stand in front of the goal to prevent the score. Alternatively the player may pass the ball to another teammate. Alternatively, he may choose to "play on" forfeiting the try. Once a player has chosen to play on, normal play resumes and the player who took the try is again able to be tackled.
Arucian football playing fields at the professional level are rectangular shaped and are typically 100 meters long and 70 meters wide. Lines are marked at distances of 15 meters (16.4 yd), 25 meters (27.3 yd), and 50 meters (54.6 yd) from each goal line. There are goalposts at each end, formed by two posts, which are usually 6–7 metres (20–23 feet) high, set 6.5 m (21 ft) apart, and connected 4 m (13 ft) above the ground by a crossbar. A net extending behind the goal is attached to the crossbar and goal posts. The goal zone is marked by a line that is drawn 15 meters from the goal.
The game lasts for 60 minutes, divided into two halves of 30 minutes with a half-time intermission from 5 to 15 minutes. Draws are or by playing 20 minutes of extra time with two halves of 10 minutes. Championship matches have a 30-minute intermission. Referees officiates the time by stopping the clock for instances such as scores, the ball going out of bounds or at the umpire's discretion, such as for serious injury. Time resumes when the referee signals time-on or when the ball is brought into play.
Teams consist of eleven players plus up to fifteen substitutes, of which six may be used. There are a variety of positions on players can be positioned, but these positions are not defined or required by the rules of the game. Generally there are no goalkeepers, although certain players can be assigned to defensive roles. The typical positions are backs, the forwards and the wings. There are two wings on each wing who are specialized in producing tries. A limited number of players may be replaced by substitutes during the course of the game, but substitutions cannot be used to hold up the game.
Scoring in Arucian football is divided into primary scoring and secondary scoring. The main way to score are a catch and goal, the secondary way to score usually occurs from unsuccessful attempts at threes.
A catch is scored when the football is caught within the goal zone by the attacking team from a kick made from outside the goal zone. The ball must not have touched the ground during the kick, but it could have been touched other players. A goal is scored when the football is propelled through the goal posts and under the crossbar. It must fly through without being touched after the kick by any player from either team or by the goalposts.
Singles are scored by two methods. The first is when the attacking team gains possession of the ball in the goal zone aside from a kick outside the goal zone; this includes a kicked ball that bounced on the ground during the kick or rolled into the goal zone. The second method of scoring a single is when a ball touched was touched any player from either team or a goalpost before it goes through the goal posts. After a single, play restarts with a ball-up at the center of the field.
Structure and competitions
The Arucian Football Association top league of Arucian football. The league has no system of promotion and relegation, and it is comprised by 32 teams: 8 from Sainte-Chloé, 6 from Bonaventure, 5 from Île d'Émeraude, 4 from Ardesia, 2 from Carucere, Eldmark, Satucin, and Imagua and the Assimas, and 1 from Aucuria.. The teams are divided into 4 divisions of 8 teams each, and matches are played in a round robin system, where all teams play against all twice in a season. The divisions are the National, Western, Central, and East. After 12 rounds of regular season games every week, the best 4 standing teams in each division will qualify to the Arucian Cup, a knock-out stage that goes from round-of-16 to the AAF Championship; a third-place match is also played prior to the final.