Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have to be Australian to play?
NO! The New York Magpies welcome players from any nationality who are living in the New York Metro area to play. To compete within the United States Australian Football League (USAFL – http://www.usfooty.com/), we must have a 50/50 ratio of Australian citizens and non-Australian citizens (predominately composed of Americans). Therefore, even if you have never kicked a football before in your life you are still able to play for the Magpies!
The players are all amateur. As such, we organize our trainings and games to try and accommodate for the work schedules that many have in New York. The New York Magpies Australian Football Club is a registered not-for-profit charitable organization under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3).
The standard within the teams vary, including players who have previously played at a professional or amateur level in Australia, Americans who have played for a number of years in the US, and also both Australians and Americans who are learning the game for the first time. For those that have played football in Australia, a comparable standard of the New York Magpies is a mid-level amateur side, although rapidly improving in standard.
One of the best resources is the Auskick website which has great skills and training videos – Video Lessons.
- General Skills – Sidestep, Ruckwork, Picking up the Ball, Palming, Dummy, Bouncing on the Run, Baulking (Blind Turning), Ball Handling
- Marking Skills – Marking, Chest Mark, Hand Mark, Overhead Mark
- Defensive Skills – Smothering
- Handball Skills – Bounce, Rocket
- Kicking Skills – Kicking, Goal Kicking, Torpedo Punt, Drop Punt, Banana Kick
You can buy footballs in the US from the following locations:
- US Footy Store – Burley (US made) Footballs
- BigGrab Sports, North America’s Official Supplier of AFL Footy Gear – Sherrin Footballs
Australian Football is perfect for people who have previously played an American college sport, such as American football, Rugby, Lacrosse, Soccer etc. The level of fitness is similar to that of soccer players, but Australian Football also contains tackling.
On average, the New York Magpies played 10-13 games. In addition, we have 4 Metro League games and two “State of Origin” games in New York.
The current plan is to increase the number of Metro League games, our internal 9-a-side league, further increasing the opportunities for new players to play the game in New York.
With the introduction of the Metro League, players in New York have a chance to play up to 7 games of Australian Football a year without having to leave New York or attend training on a weekly basis. The Metro League is Australian Football in a slightly modified format (smaller field size, smaller number of player per team – usually 9-a-side), but with predominately the same rules as regular Australian Football. The New York Magpies have 4 Metro League teams – the Suburban Tollman, the Village Bohemians, the Hudson River Rats, and the Times Square Tourists.
Metro League footy is a great way for new players to learn how to play the game, for players with work or family commitments to continue to play without having to devote a weekend to an away game, and for those after a social kick of football to continue an involvement in the game.
Due to the interest in the game here in New York, the Magpies were able to establish a second representative team, the Gotham Magpies, at the Nationals tournament in 2005. The aim of the Gotham Magpies is to provide an opportunity for less experienced players to learn how to play the game, and for more experienced players to press their claim for selection in the New York Magpies first representative team.
The Magpies aim to provide an opportunity to play football at both a social and a reasonably serious level, through the local Metro League games, and through both of our representative teams in the New York Magpies and the Gotham Magpies.
As most players have significant work commitments, it is rare that players are available for all away trips or games, or indeed all trainings. The expected commitment is to make training and games when available, bearing in mind individual work and family commitments. Those who aim to play for the representative teams, the New York or Gotham Magpies, should try to be at as many trainings, both weekday and weekend, as possible.
Being aware that not all who are interested in playing are able to travel regularly or at all, the Magpies also provide the Metro League games as an opportunity for less experienced players to learn how to play the game, and for more experienced players to press their claim for selection in the representative Magpie teams.
The season runs from late March through early October. The Magpies provide the opportunity to play a game, either Metro League, or a Magpies home or away game approximately every second weekend, with major US holidays automatically rostered as off weekends.
The Metro League games are completely FREE. Players are however responsible for travel costs associated with games played outside the New York area. In many cases the team will however provide subsidies to all players to decrease travel expenditures.
In addition to eligibility to play both Club and Metro League, membership entitles you to discounts at stores, bars and restaurants around NYC, and at the club’s fundraising events.
Member funds are used to purchase equipment, e.g. jumpers, balls, water, pay for field permits etc., and provide umpires for games and the general running expenses of the club. The club also undertakes extensive fundraising and sponsorship activities to provide player subsidies and cover a portion of the general expenses of the club.
Yes, the Magpies play a number of away games per year. The Magpies have played in such locations as: Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, North Carolina, Boston, Florida, Las Vegas, Denver, Ohio, Dallas, and Milwaukee.
Away trips which require a flight are paid for by the players, but accommodation on these trips is generally subsidized by the Club. For away games that are within driving distance of New York (eg. Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston and Pittsburg) the Club hires vehicles to provide transportation. The club raises funds to subsidize player travel by hosting and promoting various fundraising events throughout the year.
With the introduction of the Metro League players in New York have a chance to play up to 7 games of Australian Football a year without having to leave New York or attend training on a weekly basis, making it an ideal alternative for those looking for an introduction to a new sport, or for those with full work and family commitments.
The Magpies train on Wednesday evenings at the Queens Sports Center, and on Saturdays at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx (Approx. 45 minutes from midtown Manhattan by subway). More details on the training located here.
Yes! American players are eligible to be selected in the American Revolution, the US National Team, which regularly plays in tournaments against teams from Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Ireland and Denmark. Based on performances in the 2004 season, the New York Magpies had 5 players make the Revolution team.
The Port Adelaide scholarship is a fully funded trip awarded by the Magpies to an American player on our roster to provide them an opportunity to spend a month training with a professional Australian Football club in Australia (the Port Adelaide Magpies in South Australia, one of our sister clubs) and to experience a slice of life in Australia. The scholarship is awarded annually, and is made available through fund raising events held by the club throughout the season. To view more details regarding the Port Adelaide Scholarship, click here.
No. The Magpies are an amateur club run by volunteers. Australians who have queries regarding employment or visas in the United States should contact either their local Australian Consulate or the Australian Embassy in Washington D.C.
Absolutely. Here it is!
Good ol’ New York forever
We know how to play the game.
Side by side we stick together
to uphold the Magpie name.
At the ball with strength and courage,
We’ll fight with all our might.
O the premiership is calling
for the good ol’ black and white.
If you have further queries, check out the forum and ask a question or contact one of us…