The Terminology of Australian Football: Understanding the Different Names for Goals

Australian football is a unique sport that has gained significant popularity both in Australia and around the world. With its fast-paced action, high-scoring matches, and distinctive rules, it’s no wonder that fans are drawn to this thrilling game. One aspect of Australian football that often confuses newcomers is the terminology used to refer to goals. So, what do you call a goal in Australian football? Let’s explore the different names given to goals in this exciting sport.

1. Goal

A commonly used term in Australian football when referring to scoring points is simply “goal.” When a player successfully kicks or handballs the ball between the two tall posts at either end of the field, it results in six points – known as a goal.

1.1 Behind

However, not every successful kick or handball between these posts is classified as a goal. If the ball passes through one of two shorter posts adjacent to each tall post without touching any player or object during its journey, it scores one point – referred to as a behind.

1.1.1 Rushed Behind

Sometimes defenders may deliberately force an opposition player into kicking or knocking the ball across their own team’s defensive goal line under pressure from an attacking team member. In such cases, if no attacking player was involved during this action and neither team claims ownership of intentionally causing it, then it counts as another type of behind called a rushed behind.

1.1.A Quick Note on Scoring Accuracy:

It’s worth noting that accuracy plays a vital role in achieving higher scores for teams participating in Australian football games since only goals (the 6-point variety) contribute towards tallying up total match scoreboards.

2. Major

Another term commonly used by fans and players alike in Australian football is “major.” This term serves as an alternative to the word “goal” when referring to a six-point score.

2.1 Minor

Similarly, the word “minor” can be used interchangeably with “behind” to describe the one-point scores achieved by successfully kicking or hitting the ball between either of the shorter posts.

2.1.1 Rushed Minor

Just like a rushed behind, if a defending player forces an opposition player into knocking or kicking the ball across their own team’s defensive goal line under pressure without any involvement from attacking players, it results in a rushed minor – contributing one point to the opponent’s overall score.

2.1.A Scoring Strategy:

Teams often strategize ways to maximize major scoring opportunities while minimizing minor scores for their opponents during matches—focusing on achieving higher totals through goals rather than conceding points through behinds.


Understanding the terminology associated with scoring goals in Australian football is essential for both newcomers and avid followers of this thrilling sport. From traditional terms like “goal” and “behind” to alternatives such as “major” and “minor,” each name carries its significance within this exciting game. So, whether you’re cheering from home or attending your first match at an Australian football stadium, you’ll now confidently know what each goal-related term means when announcers use them during gameplay discussions!