Guernsey (Australian rules football)

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Australian rules footballers wearing guernseys

A guernsey is a type of shirt worn by Australian rules football players. It is typically sleeveless, although long sleeves may also be worn. The word "jumper" is also used to describe a guernsey.[1][2]

The typical guernsey features the player's number on the back, the colours of the player's team, and the team logo. Sponsor logos may also appear on the guernsey. Unlike sports such as soccer and American football, the surnames of Australian rules footballers do not appear on their shirts. Australian rules football is unique in referring to the player's shirt as a "guernsey" with most other sports referring their respective uniforms as a "jersey".[3][4] As an extension of this tradition, the expression "to get a guernsey"[5] is a metaphor for being selected for something or gaining recognition for an achievement.

In 2013, the AFL considered adding names to the guernseys, with Kevin Sheedy claiming it would help fans recognise Greater Western Sydney players,[6] but after trialling the concept in round 5 decided not to go through with it, despite fans' positive reactions, citing lack of space as a practical limitation.[7]


In the 19th century, guernseys came in a variety of styles, often featuring laces and complemented by a cap.

See also


  1. ^ "Guernsey". Meanings and Origins of Australian Words and Idioms. Australian National Dictionary Centre. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  2. ^ AFL heritage critics slammed by Worsfold
  3. ^ Jackson, Glenn; "Pride in the Rabbitohs jersey - and dollars, too", Sydney Morning Herald, 20 December 2006, accessed 9 January 2007
  4. ^ "History of the ARU" [1] accessed 9 January 2007
  5. ^ Miller, Nick; "Technology gets a guernsey", Sydney Morning Herald, 21 November 2006, accessed 9 January 2007
  6. ^ Ryan, Peter (5 July 2013). "AFL is considering putting player names on jumpers". AFL. BigPond.
  7. ^ Schmook, Nathan (18 July 2014). "No names on jumpers, just numbers, says AFL". AFL. BigPond.
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