Through AFI’s experience in growing Australian Football internationally, it has become apparent that the traditional 18-a-side game provides a number of significant participation barriers. These include:
- a lack of access to suitably sized fields
- the large number of players required to field two teams, and
- significant infrastructure in the form of goal posts and line marking.
As a result, AFI developed Footy 9s to allow Australian Football to be played on rectangular fields throughout the world – whether Soccer, Rugby or American Football – using existing posts and field marking.
One of the significant features of Footy 9s is the removal of behind posts. Whilst the high scoring nature of Australian Football is one of its enduring appeals, having too much scoring in Footy 9s would hamper its appeal. We want to have more scoring than the other football codes, but not so much that the achievement of scoring becomes devalued.
The inaugural World 9s were held at Lakeside Stadium, Albert Park, Melbourne in 2019. The 8 competing teams were Chile, Ireland, Italy, Malta, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland and Team Harmony.