Arena Footy Match Report

A new and exciting version of Aussie Rules Football was played on a big stage on Sunday, when the Orange County Bombers and the San Diego Lions clashed at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. The match was played on the Arena Football League field as a part of the pre-game entertainment for the LA Avengers. The Arena field is 66 yards by 25 yards with the boundary a padded wall and huge nets on either side of the goal posts meaning that the ball was in play most of the time and the action was fast and furious. The goals were only 9 feet wide with a 14 ft high crossbar determining goals (6 points) and overs (3 points).


The first quarter saw the Bombers jump to an early lead thanks to a brilliant 6 pointer from new recruit and former AFL player Marcus Baldwin in the opening minute. The Lions had their own ex AFL’er in Cameron O’Brien who was also dominating, plus both clubs had pretty solid lists to choose from with only 7 players per side on the field at one time, so the standard was pretty high. Such was the speed and intensity of the match that the benches for both teams were rotating often giving everyone a run, from former professionals all the way down to guys playing their first ever game. The Bombers settled well early and adjusted to the conditions better, holding a handy lead for most of the first half. Then the Lions found their feet, settled and started hitting targets which was crucial in such a close-in game. The disposal skills of Freddy McDonald and Cameron O’Brien, among others, started to rattle the tiring Bombers, and once the Lions got in front late in the first half they never let go of the lead despite a challenge from the Bombers in the last quarter which got them within a couple of kicks. The American players seemed to revel in the more familiar surroundings, with Revolution players Marty Curry and Jeff Purcell particularly strong.

Final scores; SD 117, OC 99.


The Bombers and the Lions sold over 200 tickets to the event meaning a very handy financial windfall to go along with the exposure gained from the match, not to mention the enjoyment the players got from doing it. The clubs have been invited back next season to continue and advance the concept, and it is hoped that footy, or at least this version of it, will be brought to an even larger audience in the future.


Visit the Bombers photo gallery for pictures from the game.

- USAFL Office Manager

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