FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do you have to be Australian to play?
  • Are the players professional or amateur?
  • What level of football is the USAFL?
  • Where can I learn more about the skills of the game?
  • Where can I buy a football in the US?
  • How can I watch footy in the United States?
  • What fitness level is required?
  • How many games are played per year?
  • What is NYCAFL?
  • What is the required commitment?
  • How long does the season run?
  • How much does it cost to play for the club?
  • What does the club use member funds for?
  • Do the Magpies travel to play teams outside of New York?
  • How are these trips funded?
  • What if I don’t want to or cannot travel? Is there a social team?
  • Where do the Magpies train and play?
  • Is there an opportunity to represent my country?
  • Does the team organize social events?
  • Does the team organize employment or visas for Australians?
  • Do the NY Magpies have a club song?
  • Where can I find out more?

  • 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), we must have a 50/50 ratio of Australian citizens and non-Australian citizens (predominantly 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!

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    Are the players professional or amateur?

    Magpies 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).

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    What level of football is the USAFL?

    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.

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    Where can I learn more about the skills of the game?

    One of the best resources is the AFL Website, which has information covering the history, skills and laws of the games.

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    Where can I buy a football in the US?

    You can buy footballs in the US from the following locations:

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    How can I watch footy in the United States?

    AFL games can be streamed live over the internet through Watch AFL Live TV.

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    What fitness level is required?

    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.

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    How many games are played per year?

    On average, the New York Magpies played 8 to 10 games per year. In addition, we have four NYCAFL games and one State of Origin game in New York.

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    What is NYCAFL”?

    New York City Australian Football League (NYCAFL) is an intra club competition designed to promote and develop new players to the game as well as foster camaraderie and friendship. The NYCAFL is part of the club’s development program and usually runs on Friday nights during summer. NYCAFL is a 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. NYCAFL 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.

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    What is the required commitment?

    The Magpies aim to provide an opportunity to play football at both a social and a reasonably serious level, through the local NYCAFL games, and through both of our representative teams in the New York Magpies and the New York Lady Pies.

    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 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 NYCAFL 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.

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    How long does the season run?

    The season runs from late March through early October. The Magpies provide the opportunity to play a game, either NYCAFL, or a Magpies home or away game approximately every second weekend, with major US holidays automatically rostered as off weekends.

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    How much does it cost to play for the club?

    Attending training and NYCAFL 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.

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    What does the club use member funds for?

    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.

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    Do the Magpies travel to play teams outside of New York?

    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.

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    How are these trips funded?

    Due to the huge growth of the Magpies over the past decade and limited funds the club receives, away trips are generally self-funded by players, including flights and accommodation. The club subsidizes some expenses, such as medical equipment, bus rental to and from games, field rental, umpires and other equipment. For away games that are within driving distance of New York (eg. Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC and Baltimore) 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.

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    What if I don’t want to or cannot travel? Is there a social team?

    With NYCAFL played in the New York area, players have a chance to play up to four 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.

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    Where do the Magpies train?

    The Magpies train on Tuesday evenings at the Queens Sports Center, which is two subway stops from Times Square. More details on training times and locations is located here.

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    Is there an opportunity to represent my country?

    Yes! American male players are eligible to be selected in the USA Revolution, the US National Team, which regularly plays in tournaments against teams from Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Ireland and Denmark. Women players are eligible to play for the USA Freedom team as well as the USA Liberty, the feeder team to the USA Freedom.

    The Magpies have had many men and women make the National teams over the past decade, with many travelling to Australia to compete in International Cup.

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    Does the team organize social events?

    Yes! The Magpies hosted three major social / fundraising events: The Australia Day event in late January; ANZAC Day in late April; and the AFL Grand Final event in late September.

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    Does the team organize employment or visas for Australians?

    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.

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    Do the NY Magpies have a club song?

    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.

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    Where can I find out more?

    If you have further queries, check out the club’s Facebook Page and ask a question or contact one of us.