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La Dee-vina Comedia

Historical question

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This article published a few days ago in The Economist is about an art exhibition which is currently showing in London. It includes paintings of Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Charles Condor. One of Streeton's paintings, called "The National Game" is of an AFL game but appears to show only goal posts. Which makes me wonder...when did behind posts become part of the game? I think "The National Game" was painted in 1889. Here's that picture. Anyone know when behind posts were added?

20161217_bkp515.jpg

Edited by La Dee-vina Comedia
Corrected artist's name form Roberts to Streeton
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I have a question.

Is the place kick still a legitimate way to have a shot for goal?

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10 minutes ago, Biffen said:

I have a question.

Is the place kick still a legitimate way to have a shot for goal?

you'd have to do it all in 30 secs but, biffo. nrl troglodytes take longer, and that's with the assistance of the bucket (now plastic gizmo) boys. 

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23 hours ago, La Dee-vina Comedia said:

This article published a few days ago in The Economist is about an art exhibition which is currently showing in London. It includes paintings of Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Charles Condor. One of the Roberts' paintings, called "The National Game" is of an AFL game but appears to show only goal posts. Which makes me wonder...when did behind posts become part of the game? I think "The National Game" was painted in 1889. Here's that picture. Anyone know when behind posts were added?

20161217_bkp515.jpg

I believe that before 1897 behinds were recorded but didn't count ... doesn't explain the missing behind posts in the painting though.

Offside was part of our sport for a good part of the game in the 19th century too ... once again I believe all the players had to be on their defensive side of the ground at bounce downs (ball-ups?)  Not sure what happened from there (during play) but the early scorelines from the 19th century were consistently quite low.

Edited by Macca

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1 hour ago, Ethan Tremblay said:

1897 I believe it was.

I wonder when they bought in point posts in if anyone said "why can't they just leave the game alone"?

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4 hours ago, La Dee-vina Comedia said:

This article published a few days ago in The Economist is about an art exhibition which is currently showing in London. It includes paintings of Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Charles Condor. One of the Roberts' paintings, called "The National Game" is of an AFL game but appears to show only goal posts. Which makes me wonder...when did behind posts become part of the game? I think "The National Game" was painted in 1889. Here's that picture. Anyone know when behind posts were added?

20161217_bkp515.jpg

"The National Game" is by Arthur Streeton .

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4 hours ago, Biffen said:

I have a question.

Is the place kick still a legitimate way to have a shot for goal?

Yes it is.. Never been disallowed.  Give them time  :rolleyes:

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my understanding is that the game was played on all sorts of grounds including rectangular grounds and the point 'posts' were in the corners so any time the ball went over the 'base line' but not through the goals then it was a point and a free to the opposition, kind of like in Rugby. the point posts were then brought in closer and the rest is history. 

can't remeber when or where I read that so could be crap but that is my memory of it. 

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5 hours ago, La Dee-vina Comedia said:

This article published a few days ago in The Economist is about an art exhibition which is currently showing in London. It includes paintings of Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Charles Condor. One of the Roberts' paintings, called "The National Game" is of an AFL game but appears to show only goal posts. Which makes me wonder...when did behind posts become part of the game? I think "The National Game" was painted in 1889. Here's that picture. Anyone know when behind posts were added?

20161217_bkp515.jpg

I have to say LDC, that you have made me feel quite cheated. I spent considerable ducats, not so long ago, taking myself and the squeeze to Cantberra to see a broad exhibition ofSpecial Robert's works and this piece did not feature!

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6 hours ago, La Dee-vina Comedia said:

This article published a few days ago in The Economist is about an art exhibition which is currently showing in London. It includes paintings of Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Charles Condor. One of the Roberts' paintings, called "The National Game" is of an AFL game but appears to show only goal posts. Which makes me wonder...when did behind posts become part of the game? I think "The National Game" was painted in 1889. Here's that picture. Anyone know when behind posts were added?

20161217_bkp515.jpg

LD both Arthur Streeton and Roberts were members of the West Heidelburg School of painters and did a lot of their landscapes in the area. I think it is just as likely the point posts were knocked off by the locals for firewood or something! 

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2 hours ago, Bitter but optimistic said:

I have to say LDC, that you have made me feel quite cheated. I spent considerable ducats, not so long ago, taking myself and the squeeze to Cantberra to see a broad exhibition ofSpecial Robert's works and this piece did not feature!

That's because it's by Streeton .   I have it on the dust cover of a book  by footy fanatic the late Prof. Ian Turner .   You can confirm this in seconds by Googling "Art Gallery of New South Wales - Arthur Streeton "  and there it is......first  on the list .

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3 hours ago, Chris said:

my understanding is that the game was played on all sorts of grounds including rectangular grounds and the point 'posts' were in the corners so any time the ball went over the 'base line' but not through the goals then it was a point and a free to the opposition, kind of like in Rugby. the point posts were then brought in closer and the rest is history. 

can't remeber when or where I read that so could be crap but that is my memory of it. 

Chris - if you are old enough to remember it your probably would be too old to remember it  !

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According to the May 1858 first written rules, the 'behind' posts, or 'kick-off' posts as they were then called, were 30 yards from the goal posts, and so would not be seen in the view depicted in the painting. These posts were relevant to the play in the case that the ball was kicked "behind" the goal posts; hence the eventual reference to 'behind' posts, I guess. In those first rules, the two captains decided the distance between the goal posts, so, in fact, the distance to the behind posts was codified before the distance between the goal posts! How both distances morphed to their current (and equal) measurement is a whole other question

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12 hours ago, Earl Hood said:

LD both Arthur Streeton and Roberts were members of the West Heidelburg School of painters and did a lot of their landscapes in the area. I think it is just as likely the point posts were knocked off by the locals for firewood or something! 

The Banyule School was a fairly unorthodox group Earl-they used only stolen paint, most of their canvasses were in fact trains or large walls.

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19 hours ago, Macca said:

I believe that before 1897 behinds were recorded but didn't count ... doesn't explain the missing behind posts in the painting but maybe Roberts left them out because they didn't count?

Offside was part of our sport for a good part of the game in the 19th century too ... once again I believe all the players had to be on their defensive side of the ground at bounce downs (ball-ups?)  Not sure what happened from there (during play) but the early scorelines from the 19th century were consistently quite low.

Yeah behinds were initially not recorded, then later recorded but not included in the score. They only began being included in the score in 1897 when the VFL broke away from the VFA.

There was no real offside rule other than at the start of games/after a goal when players would line up at one end of the ground for a kick off (similar to NFL - there were no bounce downs to start a game back then). Other than that the offside rule never existed which is one of the main features that allowed the game to evolve to its current state.

Scorelines were low because games were often played on fields up to double the size of modern fields, in big paddocks (like the modern MCG car park) in poor light with obstacles like overhanging branches. The game was also more of a rugby "push/hack it forward" game in the early days - you wouldn't see 40-50 yard passes and even long dashes down the ground with the ball only developed after a decade or more of play. The rules also didnt allow for free flowing games as pushing in the back, hacking/tripping, tackling high were all legitimate tactics. Games would often be played on consecutive weekends for hours at a time with only a goal or two scored.

For anyone interested in the evolution of the game I highly recommend reading Time and Space by James Coventry.  A Game of Our Own by Blainey is also good but nowhere near as comprehensive with regards to the evolution of the game.

Edited by Dr. Gonzo
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I think The Colony Game is a more appropriate name for this painting as it was painted before 1901.

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Tom Wills 'flooded' his backline captaining Geelong in the 1860's...and was considered a poor sport for doing so..(Blainey)  Terry Wallace.didn't invent flooding.

As soon as you walk out of the Jolimont train platform......there is the football ground of 1858 + right in front of you stretching all the way down the hill to the stadium.

Big crowds stood on the hill right where the rail line now is to watch. A few reportedly 10,000 +....a huge crowd ....the big numbers finally forced the MCC to allow the game on the cricket ground.

The little kick and mark was widely used. That is a kick of as little as one or two metres.

Out of bounds on the full..this was where a group of players would throw an opponent out of the field of play or lodge them high in a tree.

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Text below is pasted from the National Gallery of Australia website (about the picture):

'An effect is only momentary ... it has been the object of the artists to render faithfully, and thus obtain first records of effects widely differing, and often of very fleeting character'.

9 by 5 impression exhibition catalogue, 1889

'The national game' was exhibited in the influential '9 by 5 impression exhibition' held at Buxton's Gallery in Swanston Street, Melbourne, in August 1889. The exhibition included paintings that would normally have been considered preliminary sketches for larger works and consequently unsuitable for public exhibition. It proved to be central to the development of the Heidelberg school of Australian 'impressionism', a turning point in the history of Australian landscape painting.

It would be interesting if Streeton had of painted a larger work from this image. 

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22 hours ago, Emerald said:

I think The Colony Game is a more appropriate name for this painting as it was painted before 1901.

Yes , it's interesting that the post federation ANFC (1906-1995) which was absorbed into the AFL Commission was preceeded as early as 1883 by an intercolonial football conference . The self governing States/colonies were certainly having "national" aspirations .

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