BY DAVE BLANK
The Atlanta Kookaburras, Dallas Magpies, Nashville Kangaroos and the defending champions Golden State Roos (men) and the San Francisco Iron Maidens (women) are among the teams expected to participate in the United States Australian Football League (USAFL) National Championships at the Soccer Complex of Racine (SCORe), 9505 Dunkelow Road, Franksville, on Oct. 13-14. Admission is free to spectators. Approximately 60-70 teams from both U.S. and Australia consisting of 2,500 players, coaches and family members are expected that weekend.
Australian Football, nicknamed “footy,” is an exciting, physically demanding game played on a huge oval-shaped field (approximately 200 yards long). Each team of 18 players is allowed to move the ball (also called a “footy”) using any part of their bodies. Points are scored by kicking, hitting or running the ball through the goal.
The Racine area and SCORe are no strangers to Australian football as this will be the third USAFL event to be held there.
“I would like to personally thank Real Racine for their continued support over the years,” said USAFL Operations Manager Doren James. “Racine hosted the Central Regional Tournament in 2015 and extended great hospitality to our women’s teams during their training camp in 2016. We’re excited to announce that our National Championship will travel to Racine for the first time.”
This is a big deal! Last year the finals were held in San Diego. We are so happy to have the USAFL return to the SCORe Complex in Franksville! Just how big is this? The Australian Consulate from Chicago will be there.
This year marks the centennial anniversary of U.S.- Australian fighting side by side at the Battle of Hamel in Northern France in WWI. In recognition of this major anniversary, the Australian Embassy and the USAFL are inaugurating the Mateship Cup at the 2018 National Championships. Featuring members of both the Australian and American military, teams will be wearing specially designed uniforms and will be playing for the honor of hoisting the Mateship Cup.
The MVP of the match will receive the Bull Allen MVP Medal. Allen was a footballer and an Australian Digger who was awarded both the Australian Military Medal and US Silver Star, exemplifying the Australian-US relationship. This match will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, just prior to the women’s and men’s final matches.
Matches will take place each day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on five fields, with the divisional finals in the men’s and women’s divisions taking place on Sunday afternoon. Bring along a chair. Spectators are free. Food and beverages are available. For more information check out realracine.com.
Dave Blank is the president/CEO of Real Racine (Racine County Convention & Visitors Bureau).