Welcome to Royal Australian Navy Football


Selection to the RAN Australian Football Association team represents the pinnacle of accomplishment for all Navy AFL players, as it is considered the highest level of representation that a footballer can achieve in the Navy. This website has been designed for past and present players, officials and lovers of Navy Football, whether they are ashore or afloat.


Since it began in 1986, the National ADF Australian Football Championships has developed a reputation as one of the foremost ADF sporting competitions.  Participation in the National Carnival is the pinnacle of ADF Australian Rules, with the cream of Navy talent selected from all over Australia to represent at the annual competition.  RANAFA’s strong focus and development of grass roots football across the past 20 years has resulted in Navy becoming a force within the ADF football community. 


RANAFA’s development and growth over the years and its ongoing operation today is one of a labour of love of past and present members.  RANAFA continues to succeed on the preparedness and willingness of its members to be involved in the management and development of RANAFA programs.  RANAFA would like to thank its valued members, sponsors and corporate partners. Through these strong partnerships, RANAFA is able to continue its support to the development of grass roots football while maintaining a resilient and successful National program.


RANAFA welcomes enquiries from all prospective players, members, umpires, supporters and sponsors (navysport.afl@defence.gov.au).



Formed in the 1980’s, the Royal Australian Navy Australian Football Association (RANAFA) was established to oversee the custodianship of Australian Rules Football within Navy.  Through the positive promotion of Aussie Rules as a team-based game, RANAFA aspires to foster leadership, teamwork, camaraderie and fitness across playing and non-playing participants at all levels within Navy, the Australian Defence Force and the community.


The Navy has a long and proud history of playing Australian Rules Football, with historical documents and imagery depicting sailors playing ‘footy’ as far back as 1914.  Requiring very little equipment to start up an informal ‘kick-to-kick’, football has remained a favoured distraction of our armed forces during times of conflict.  During World War I, sailors, soldiers and aviators on RnR often undertook fiercely contested exhibition games where service pride and bragging rights were the spoils of the victor.  The same values and competitive spirit live on today, as the Navy Women and Men’s teams battle their Army and Air Force counterparts at the annual National ADF Australian Football Championships.





Visit of a HMAS Australia football team from the Australian Navy. Four competitors fly high in an attempt to mark the ball in an incident in the Australian Rules match against the AIF Headquarters (HQ) team at Battersea Park. Left to right: Staff Sergeant (S Sgt) Thewlis, Australian HQ (dark shirt); unidentified; Corporal McNamara (obscured); S Sgt Inkster, Australian Army Postal Corps (left man in mark); four unidentified; Private J. Porter (arms folded) (circa 1918) (image courtesy of AWM)

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