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Defending

Standing the Mark

If the opposition takes a mark (catching the ball on the full after being kicked by one of your team members or one of their own players), then you need to stand on the place the ball was caught, which the umpire will indicate. You need to then stretch your arms up and jump in anticipation to try to intercept the ball, once it is/ as it is being kicked. If you manage to intercept the kick, it is known as a smother. You are not allowed to go forward of that spot and only one person is allowed to stand on the mark. If you or a team mate do not hold the mark, it may result in the player who marked the ball, heading off unopposed.


Spoiling

If the pressure is on, then it might be safer to just repel the ball out of the playing area by punching the ball away. Defenders are often seen doing this if it is too risky for them to fail attempting to take a mark or if the defenders are behind their opponent and can't take full control of the ball. Be careful not to push your opponent in the back while doing this.

 

Smothering

Smothering is known when a player kicks the ball and it is intercepted by the opposition, usually with their hands. It is a great achievement to do this and takes some courage and accuracy.

There is definitely an art to angle your body and position your hands and arms to prevent any injuries.

 

 

 

Marking Up

Like most sports, when you are in defense, it is important to have your opposition marked. It only takes one player on your team to give the opposition the advantage by letting them have loose players. Even your forwards need to mark up on a player when your opposition has possession. Particularly with Australian Football, get as close as you possibly can to your opponent.