World Footy News Poll #3 - International Rules gets tentative support
Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 05:33 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Brett Northey
We had 212 responses to the poll. Nearly half felt that International Rules football has a positive effect on Australian Rules football internationally, whereas about one third thought it was negative. Some of the negative response may be from readers who simply don't like the concept. Certainly many people are unsure if the International Rules Test series between Australia and Ireland is worthwhile. Some are against it because it isn't Australian football, some because they think it is an overseas jolly for AFL officials and neglects true Australian Rules football development, be it internationally or in Australia. Of course "Inter Rules" (as one of our writers has coined it) has more significance than just the Test series. It has been employed around the world in areas where neither Gaelic football or Australian football has critical mass (see stories in our International Rules section).
As for the Ireland-Australia series itself, that obviously has benefits in exposing the game in the Emerald Isle. This was argued by John Enright from the Australian Rules Football League Ireland (ARFLI) in a comment attached to the poll, and in a subsequent interview with him in which he suggests that a key influence on him taking up the sport was being familiar with the footy through the International Rules series.
It is also interesting to note that around 20% of respondents were neutral towards or unsure about International Rules. This writer was tempted to vote that way too - torn between "it just isn't footy and I wouldn't like it to replace Australian football" and "it must be good for spreading Australian footy". Time will tell whether the unsure will become positive and the game have a long term future.The poll can be found here.