There were some archival evidences upon “foot-ball” games that were being played in different parts of Australia throughout the first half of the 19th century. The beginning of an organized game of football which is today known as Australian Rules football can be detected back to 1858. These can be traced back in Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria.
Tom Wills, an Australian-born cricketer and educated at Rugby School in England wrote a letter to Bell’s Life in Victoria & Sporting Chronicle in July 1858. The letter called for a “foot-ball club” with a “code of laws” to keep cricketers fit and healthy during winter. Historians considered it to be a defining moment in the making of Australian Rules football. Wills did a lot of publicity and approached many of his personal contacts. Wills was thus able to co-ordinate football matches in Melbourne that had experimentation with various rules. The first match was played on July 31, 1858. Australian Rules in football has grown since World War I and the Australian Football League came out as the dominant professional competition.
By: Bhavna Sharma