The first official International Rules Series was played in 1984 in Ireland, though Gaelic contests involving Australian teams date back to 1967. They were the brainchild of former VFL Grand Final umpire, entrepreneur and media man Harry Beitzel.
Gaelic games were played in Ireland against county and national sides in 1967, 1968 and 1978, with Australia winning all three series.
Official International Rules Series games, involving a combination of Australian Football and Gaelic rules, began in 1984 and continued in 1986, 1987 and 1990.
After an eight-year break, an annual series between Australia and Ireland was established in 1998 after a new agreement was struck between the AFL and the Gaelic Athletic Association.
However, after the 2006 series in Ireland, the GAA suspended the International Rules Series. The GAA and the AFL, after further discussions in early 2008, resumed the series in 2008.
The series was deferred in 2009 but resumed with a two-test series in Ireland in October, 2010, followed by Ireland’s tour of Australia in 2011. An all-star indigenous team toured Ireland in 2013 before the Aussies hosted Ireland in front of a sell-out Perth crowd in 2014.
International Rules Results
|2015||1st Test||Ireland 3.11.5 (56) d Australia 1.13.7 (52)||Ireland||Croke Park||Ireland|
|2014||1st Test||Australia 0.17.5 (56) d Ireland 2.9.7 (46)||Australia||Patersons Stadium||Australia|
|2013||1st Test||Ireland 2.12.9 (57) d Australia 1.7.8 (35)||Ireland||Breffni Park||Ireland|
|2013||2nd Test||Ireland 6.22.14 (116) d Australia 0.2.2 (8)||Ireland||Croke Park||Ireland|
|2011||1st Test||Ireland 4.17.5 (80) d Australia 1.8.6 (36)||Australia||Etihad Stadium||Ireland|
|2011||2nd Test||Ireland 1.13.5 (50) d Australia 0.7.8 (29)||Australia||Metricon Stadium||Ireland|
|2010||1st Test||Australia 0.14.5 (47) d Ireland 1.8.10 (40)||Ireland||Gaelic Grounds||Australia|
|2010||2nd Test||Australia 0.14.13 (55) d Ireland 1.11.13 (52)||Ireland||Croke Park||Australia|
|2008||1st Test||Ireland 3.6.9 (45) d Australia 0.12.8 (44)||Australia||Subiaco||Ireland|
|2008||2nd Test||Ireland 4.8.9 (57) d Australia 3.8.11 (53)||Australia||MCG||Ireland|
|2006||1st Test||Ireland 1.12.6 (48) d Australia 1.9.7 (40)||Ireland||Pearse Stadium||Australia|
|2006||2nd Test||Australia 3.15.6 (69) d Ireland 0.7.10 (31)||Ireland||Croke Park||Australia|
|2005||1st Test||Australia 2.27.7 (100) d Ireland 3.11.13 (64)||Australia||Subiaco||Australia|
|2005||2nd Test||Australia 0.18.9 (63) d Ireland 0.11.9 (42)||Australia||Telstra Dome||Australia|
|2004||1st Test||Ireland 3.17.8 (77) d Australia 1.9.8 (41)||Ireland||Croke Park||Ireland|
|2004||2nd Test||Ireland 1.13.10 (55) d Australia 0.13.2 (41)||Ireland||Croke Park||Ireland|
|2003||1st Test||Australia 3.10.8 (56) d Ireland 1.10.10 (46)||Australia||Subiaco||Australia|
|2003||2nd Test||Ireland 2.9.9 (48) d Australia 1.10.9 (45)||Australia||MCG||Australia|
|2002||1st Test||Australia 2.15.8 (65) d Ireland 1.14.10 (58)||Ireland||Croke Park||Australia|
|2002||2nd Test||Australia 1.11.3 (42) drew with Ireland 1.8.12 (42)||Ireland||Croke Park||Australia|
|2001||1st Test||Ireland 2.13.8 (59) d Australia 1.13.8 (53)||Australia||MCG||Ireland|
|2001||2nd Test||Ireland 2.17.8 (71) d Australia 1.13.7 (52)||Australia||Football Park||Ireland|
|2000||1st Test||Australia 0.14.13 (55) d Ireland 1.11.8 (47)||Ireland||Croke Park||Australia|
|2000||2nd Test||Australia 2.15.11 (68) d Ireland 1.12.9 (51)||Ireland||Croke Park||Australia|
|1999||1st Test||Ireland 2.16.10 (70) d Australia 0.16.14 (62)||Australia||MCG||Ireland|
|1999||2nd Test||Ireland 1.11.13 (52) d Australia 2.12.4 (52)||Australia||Football Park||Ireland|
|1998||1st Test||Australia 2.13.11 (62) d Ireland 2.13.10 (61)||Ireland||Croke Park||Ireland|
|1998||2nd Test||Ireland 4.12.7 (67) d Australia 2.10.14 (56)||Ireland||Croke Park||Ireland|
|1990||1st Test||Ireland 0.12.11 (47) d Australia 0.10.8 (38)||Australia|
|1990||2nd Test||Ireland 3.9.7 (52) d Australia 0.7.10 (31)||Australia|
|1990||3rd Test||Australia 0.13.11 (50) d Ireland 0.12.8 (44)||Australia|
|1987||1st Test||Ireland 3.7.14 (53) d Australia 1.11.12 (51)||Ireland|
|1987||2nd Test||Australia 3.14.12 (72) d Ireland 3.6.11 (47)||Ireland|
|1987||3rd Test||Australia 0.14.17 (59) d Ireland 1.13.10 (55)||Ireland|
|1986||1st Test||Australia 1.14.16 (64) d Ireland 5.5.12 (57)||Australia|
|1986||2nd Test||Ireland 3.10.14 (62) d Australia 1.10.10 (46)||Australia|
|1986||3rd Test||Ireland 4.8.7 (55) d Australia 0.7.11 (32)||Australia|
|1984||1st Test||Australia 2.15.13 (70) d Ireland 4.8.9 (57)||Ireland|
|1984||2nd Test||Ireland 3.18.8 (80) d Australia 1.18.16 (76)||Ireland|
|1984||3rd Test||Australia 1.18.16 (76) d Ireland 5.11.8 (71)||Ireland|
Rules of the Game
A game lasts 72 minutes, comprising four 18-minute quarters. There are five-minute intervals at the end of the first and third quarters and a 15-minute break at half-time.
Each team has 15 players on the field. There are six defenders, six forwards, two midfielders and a goalkeeper, plus eight interchange players.
At either end of the ground are two point posts and two goal posts with a crossbar and soccer-style net between the goal posts.
A goal (worth six points) is scored when the ball is kicked or knocked (not handpassed) into the net.
An over (three points) is scored when the ball goes over the crossbar but between the goal posts and is worth three points.
A behind (one point) is scored when the ball is kicked or directed between the goal and point posts.
If the ball bounces back into play after hitting any of the four posts or the crossbar, play-on is called. A goalkeeper protects the goal area.
Out of bounds
There are no boundary throw-ins. When a ball goes out of play, a free kick is awarded (as in soccer and basketball) against the team that last touched the ball. The opposition can either kick or handpass the ball back into play.
The playing field
International Rules is played on a rectangular field measuring about 145 metres by 90 metres.
Only two players per team are allowed in the centre area for the start of play.
Ball on ground
A player on the ground or on his knees may not pick up the ball or drag it back under him. If he does, he will have a free kick awarded against him. When in this position, a player can only knock the ball on. This ensures continuous, fast-moving play.
A player must bounce or touch the ball on the ground, AFL-style, every 10 metres and is allowed a maximum of two bounces. However, there is no limit on how many times he can solo (play the ball between hand and foot).
Tackling an opponent above the thighs and below the shoulders is permitted.
Side (shoulder) bumps are allowed provided neither player is airborne. Shirtfronts and shepherds are not permitted.
Handpassing (AFL style) is permitted but only four in a row before a player must kick to avoid being penalised.
Players can be interchanged at any time during the game (maximum 10 a quarter). As in Australian Football, players must leave and enter the field through the designated interchange area.
A referee can send off any player for a period of 10 minutes (yellow card) or for the remainder of the game (red card) depending on the incident and severity of it. Players cannot be replaced and a red card also results in a penalty kick.
Each team is permitted one official runner to make team changes and deliver the coach’s instructions to players.
Deciding the series
In the event of a tied series, the winner is decided by calculating the aggregate scores from the two tests. The team with the higher score wins the series. If both teams score an equal amount of aggregate points from the two tests, or if both games are tied, the International Rules Series trophy will be retained by the side that won the previous series.
Jim Stynes Medal
|2013||Ashley McGrath||Brisbane Lions|
|2006||Ryan O'Keefe||Sydney Swans|
|2003||Brent Harvey||North Melbourne|
|1999||Jason Akermanis||Brisbane Lions|