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        Cayman Islands        

This page is a quick snapshot of the status of Australian Football in the Cayman Islands. For further information, browse our news items or use the search facility. If you wish to contact football officials from the country, please search our site for links to their leagues or clubs, including in our Atlas. If unsuccessful, we can normally assist with putting people in touch.

Approx population (2009):   56,000

National side:   none

Governing body:   none

Primary contact / link:   none

WFN Census (2004):   nil

WFN World Ranking (2008):   not ranked

History:   Technically not a separate nation but an overseas territory of Britain. Aussie Rules has been played in the Caymans as a spinoff of the local Gaelic football competition. From about 2002 Aussie Rules was played generally on both ANZAC day and St Patrick's day. St Patrick’s Day involves a full day of events (Gaelic football, Hurling etc) and the Irish like to challenge the Aussies at Aussie Rules. It often becomes the highlight of the day for many and the game is often discussed across the island afterwards. ANZAC day is more of a day of commemoration and festivities for the Aussie and Kiwi expats on island, starting with a dawn service and a game of cricket later on in the day. Aussie rules is played at the end of the day and the Aussies like to return the favour to the Irish for St. Patrick's, by issuing the challenge of a return match.

The format of these games depends on the players available, generally between 10-12 a side with unlimited interchange. It's also played on a rugby ground and being much smaller than the usual Aussie Rules ground any more than 12 players would crowd the game heavily. The rugby goals are used, with no point posts.

From St Patrick’s day 2006 the format changed to International Rules format, this was a move encouraged by a few Aussies this year who attended one of the Gaelic Committee meetings. It was an attempt to keep the focus on the Irish for St. Patrick’s day and also give the crowd a spectacle, different to that which they would be used to by watching the Gaelic game. The Irish were very supportive of the move and felt it would even up things but still saw the Aussie win 39 – 0 that year. All matches have continued under the international format since.

Outlook (from 2009):   The strong Gaelic competition is likely to continue and the St Patrick’s Day and ANZAC day challenge matches are likely to continue, most likely under the International Rules format but possibly a return to Australian Rules for the ANZAC Day clashes. No word as to whether any regular ongoing Aussie Rules league is likely to emerge.

Other points of interest:   The games are played at the Rugby Club in South Sound which shares its facilities with a number of other sporting teams and organisations.

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 23 2010 @ 05:18 pm ACDT|Hits: 3,649 View Printable Version