Do you have to be Australian to play?
NO! The San Diego Lions welcome players from any nationality who are living in the San Diego 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 welcome to play for the Lions!
Are the players professional or amateur?
Lions players are all amateur. As such, we organize our trainings and games to try and accommodate for the work schedules that many have in San Diego. The San Diego Lions Australian Football Club are a registered not-for-profit charitable organization under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3).
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 San Diego Lions is a mid-level amateur side, although rapidly improving in standard.
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.
How can I watch footy in the United States?
AFL games can be streamed live over the internet through Watch AFL Live TV.
What fitness level is required?
Australian Football is perfect for people who have previously played American sports, such as American Football, Basketball, Rugby, Lacrosse, Soccer, etc. The level of fitness is similar to that of soccer players, but Australian Football also contains tackling.
How many games are played per year?
On average, the San Diego Lions played 6 to 10 18-a-side games per year. In addition, we have six SCAFL games and our Co-ed Footy League.
What is the SCAFL?
Southern California Australian Football League (SCAFL) is a 9-a-side competition based exclusively of teams from Southern California including San Diego, Los Angeles, South Bay, Orange County, and Riverside.
What is the required commitment?
The Lions aim to provide an opportunity to play football at both a social and a reasonably serious level, through the local SCAFL and Co-Ed League games, and through our representative team, the San Diego Lions.
As most players have significant work commitments, it is rare that players are available for all away trips or games, or all trainings (practices). The expected commitment is to make training and games when available, bearing in mind individual work and family commitments.
How long does the season run?
The season runs from early March through late October. The Lions provide the opportunity to play a game, either home or away game approximately every second weekend, excluding major US holiday weekends. The Lions tend to take a four week break from mid-June through the Fourth of July holiday.
How much does it cost to play for the club?
Players are responsible for travel costs associated with games played outside the San Diego area. In many cases the team will provide subsidies to players to decrease travel expenditures. Lions dues are $150 per year. If players find the costs prohibitive, arrangements can be worked out to ensure interested players are included in the club.
What does the club use club dues for?
Dues 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.
Do the Lions travel to play teams outside of San Diego?
Yes, the Lions play a number of away games per year. The Lions have played in such locations as: Seattle, Sacramento, Phoenix, Austin, Tampa, Las Vegas, and Denver.
What if I don’t want to or cannot travel? Is there a social team?
With SCAFL and Co-Ed Footy played in the Southern California area, players have a chance to play up to six games of Australian Football a year without having to leave Southern California 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.
Where do the Lions train?
The Lions train on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-7:30pm at Doyle Elementary School.
More details on training times and locations are located here.
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, New Zealand, Ireland and Denmark and many others. 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 Lions have had many men make the Revolution team over the past decade, with many travelling to Australia to compete in the International Cup which takes place every three years.
Does the team organize social events?
Yes! The Lions host a variety of annual events every year including Australia Day, Pie Day, a Crawfish Boil, and a Flip-Flop Formal. Throughout the year, various pub-crawls or other social events are planned to keep the club active and fun. Stay tuned to the home page and schedule for postings for upcoming social events!
Does the team organize employment or visas for Australians?
No. The Lions 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.
Do the Lions have a club song?
(SUNG TO THE TUNE OF “WHEN JOHNNY CAME MARCHING HOME”)
THE LIONS COME CHARGING THROUGH THE PACK
WE’LL GIVE’EM A MIGHTY WELCOME BACK
THE CROWD WILL ROAR AND BOYS WILL GRIN
CAUSE VICTORY’S GREAT AND LOSING’S A SIN
AND THEY’LL ALL STEP BACK WHEN THE LIONS COME
WE WON THE GAME WE WON THE FIGHT
WE LET THEM FEEL THAT LIONS’ MIGHT
THE BALL WAS BOUNCED AND IN WE WENT
AND DOWN THEY WENT LIKE WET CEMENT
AND THEY ALL STEPPED BACK WHEN THE LIONS
CAME CHARGING THROUGH.
Where can I find out more?