The object of the game is to kick goals, which are worth six points if the ball soars between two center uprights set seven yards apart. Two more uprights are placed seven yards to either side of the main uprights. Balls kicked between an outer and an inner upright are worth one point. Umpires wearing long white lab coats and white hats judge the kicks.
If a player catches a kicked ball, it is called a "mark," since a referee marks the spot where the ball was caught. The player who catches the ball gets a free kick.
Kicking is only one way to move the ball downfield. Players can run, if they bounce the ball every 10 yards. They can pass the ball only by punching it. Defenders can tackle or grab any offensive player with the ball. There is no offsides.
The ball itself is not as pointy as an American football. It is red for day games and gold for night games.
A game is divided into four 25-minute periods. Extra time is added when the ball goes out of bounds. There is no stoppage for injuries or fights unless both teams (18 per side) are totally involved in the brawl. After a six-point goal has been kicked, play resumes in the center of the oval field with an umpire bouncing the ball. If only one point is scored, the scored-upon team kicks the ball back into play.