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Woggabaliri

Background

Children from the Bogan and Lachlan rivers area of New South Wales played a kind of football with a ball made of possum fur. The fur was spun by the women and made into a ball about 5 centimetres in diameter. It required great agility and suppleness of limbs to play this game with any degree skill.

Players

Groups of 4–6 players

Players stand in a circle about 2 metres apart

Equipment

A size 4 soccer ball, volleyball or a soft inflatable ball (such as a beach ball)

Game play and basic rules

This is a kicking volley game. The players do not take sides in this cooperative game emphasising skill.

One player kicks the ball up in the air and other players try to kick it (one touch only) again before it hits the ground. Younger or less experienced players may use two touches.

The main object is to keep the ball from hitting the ground. No player may kick the ball more than once in succession.

All ‘kicks’ are made with the feet or knees. Players must have one foot on the ground when kicking the ball.

Scoring

Each group attempts to volley the ball (consecutive kicks) in the air as many times as they can within a set time. The group with the greatest number of volleys in the time wins. If the ball touches the ground the count is restarted. A competition could require players to follow a set order.

Safety

  • Players are not allowed to push each other out of the way to reach the ball
  • Dangerous kicking at the ball is not allowed

Variations

  • Team competition. Two teams of four players play in an area the size of a volleyball court. Use indoor soccer goals at each end. In this game the ball is always played in the air. Possession is lost to the opposing team when the ball contacts the ground or when an infringement occurs. Tackling is not allowed, only pass interceptions. Goals may be scored from anywhere. The game is played for two halves of 10 minutes.
  • Warm-up. Players use their feet, thighs, chest and head. Each player has a maximum of three touches. For younger or less experienced players a beach ball may be used.

Language

The name for this game was taken from the Wiradyuri language for ‘play’ (woggabaliri). This language was spoken or understood by many Aboriginal groups in central and southern New South Wales.