Like all skills, marking needs to be practised. No matter what your size there will always be a situation in a game where you are in a position to mark the ball.

A mark is achieved when the ball is caught directly from the kick of another player who is not less than 15 metres away.

The player must have held the ball for “a reasonable time” before the umpire pays the mark. He does this by blowing his whistle.

The player who is paid the mark can either play on, handball or bring the match to a halt while he takes a kick.

Main Teaching Points

  • Eyes must be focused on the ball all the way from the player’s boot to your hands.
  • Position your body in line with the flight of the ball.
  • Move forward to meet the ball – never wait for it to come to you.
  • Skilful players should take the ball in their hands with fingers spread and thumbs close together. Beginners should use the chest mark.

Arm or Chest Mark
Main Teaching Points

  • Keep your eyes on the ball and line up the body with the flight of the ball.
  • The fingers and hands are extended – palms up. Tuck the elbows in to the side.
  • The ball is taken on the hands and arms and guided to the chest.
  • The ball is hugged tightly to the chest. This is an important marking style if the ball is wet or muddy.

Tip: Occasionally the ball must be taken on the run and with a leap. This is achieved by lifting one or both knees and bending over at the waist. This makes it difficult for an opponent to spoil from behind.

Hand Mark
Skilled players should practise taking the ball in the hands at all times, in preference to letting it hit the chest. This will help quick disposal and prevent opponents from punching the ball from behind.

Main Teaching Points

  • Eyes must be on the flight of the ball.
  • The fingers should be outstretched, pointing towards the ball. The thumbs are positioned behind the ball.
  • The arms must be extended – “long arms”.
  • The ball is firmly gripped in the fingers.
  • Ensure your body is behind the flight of the ball.

Overhead Mark
The speccy! This is the mark people love to see. It takes great skill and athleticism to launch yourself in the air, but a consistent high mark can inspire teammates and bring other players into the game.

Main Teaching Points

  • Line your body up with the flight of the ball. Keep your “eyes on the ball”.
  • Jump off one foot and swing the other knee up to gain maximum height.
  • Eyes are kept on the ball, fingers are outstretched and thumbs almost together.
  • The ball is met slightly in front of the head with arms extended – “long arms”. It should be firmly gripped in the fingers.