Hello blog followers! Here's a little bit about our time in Melbourne yesterday, June 3rd. Our day began with our normal 8am breakfast. We had a few hours to spair before needing to leave for the Australian rules football game so most of us walked down to the Queen Victoria Market, which is the largest market in the Southern Hemisphere. The market was filled with souvenirs, clothing, luggage, produce, food stands and much more.
We met back at our hostel at 1pm to walk to the University of Melbourne. Upon arrival at the beautiful University campus we found the football field and sat under the pavilion as the reserves played their match. When the official football game started we met Rod, the director of sports development at the university, and he explained the rules of the game as we watched.
Australian rules football is like a mix of American football and rugby. The field is in the shape of an oval and stretches 100 meters long, and each team has 18 players on the field at a time. When the offender has possession of the football he can only run 15 meters forward before he must either bounce it or get rid of it, passing it back to a teammate or punting it. When the player is tackled the play stops and restarts at that spot, like American football. The players do not wear any padding and the only two main rules for tackling are not hitting above the head and no tripping the player. The goal is to get the ball through the posts by running it through or kicking it. The game we watched was a competition between the University Blues and the Old Collegians, and the Old Collegians took the win at the end of the match. The Victoria Amateur Football League is a competitive league but the players are not paid to play, and even though the team is called the University Blues, not all the players are university students. At the end of the 3rd quarter we joined other fans out on the field and met the Melbourne University Football Club President, Andrew Donald, and chatted with him about our time in Australia so far.
Being at the game and talking to Rod about the similarities and differences of Australian universities and American universities made me excited to tour the campus and learn more in a couple of days. After the game part of the group went to a Japanese sushi restaurant and others went to the food court at QV square in the central business district of Melbourne for some great eats. Another fun day down, just four more to go! Time is flying! Stay posted and see what we're up to next!