Worthington grad is Australian rules football standout

Robert Ward, a 22-year-old Thomas Worthington graduate, wants you to know something about the sport where he's built an all-star reputation. It's not soccer. And, while Ward played rugby at Ohio State, that's not what his team, the Columbus Jackaroos, is all about, either.

Ward's passion, a game you might have seen on ESPN late at night or very early in the morning, is Australian Rules Football.

It often appears to the uninitiated as an organized melee that features tremendous kicking, running, plenty of physical tackling and all-out bashing, with no pads or helmets.

Not bad for a man whose parents didn't want him to play high school football because he might get hurt.

"If you're within five meters of the ball, you're fair game to get hit, as long as it's not from behind," Ward said of the action that often sees large men leaping over each other for a catch.

"When the ball's kicked in the air, there's no rules against knocking somebody out of the air as long as it looks like you're going for the ball."

For the full story visit Columbus Local News online >

Watch AFL