Various games resembling modern football have been played at least since Roman times and probably long before in various countries around the world. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century in England that serious attempts were made to standardise the rules.

Ball games, sometimes involving hundreds of players with goals kilometres apart had been played in England since the thirteenth or fourteenth century. Edward 111, Richard 11, Henry 1V, Henry V111 and Elizabeth 1 all tried to ban such games.

Australian Rules Football originated in Melbourne in the late 1850s from an idea of Thomas Wentworth Willis for a winter sport for cricketers. The first game was played on August 7, 1858 between schoolboy teams from Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar. This led to clubs being formed in Melbourne in the early 1860s. The game was introduced into New South Wales in 1866 and slowly spread to the other Australian states, reaching the Western Australian goldfields in 1883.


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