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Leopard Skin Cover by Graeme


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This story is going to be an education for folks not familiar with Aussie Rules football as well as being another great Graeme read. I find it fascinating so far, but then again I'm a couple of chapters ahead as I get to pre-read the chapters in the time between I receive them and they get into the posting queue.

Many of you may not be familiar with Graeme's writing, which thankfully has resumed after a hiatus of a few years, but if one chapter a week of Leopard Skin Cover doesn't satisfy you... you can always check out his other outstanding novels and countless short stories HERE.

Welcome back, Graeme!

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Thank you! I didn't like having a hiatus of almost five years, but I'm happy to be writing again :)

For the readers who don't like starting a story that may not get completed, I finished the first draft of the final chapter on the weekend, so I can guarantee that the story will be completed.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Dabeagle

I'm enjoying this, although I expect to still not understand anything about Aussie Rules. But, if it's done, perhaps more - a litlte quicker - wouldn't be out of the question? No?

I tried.

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LOL -- thanks, but I want to work on a sequel, and I want to give myself time to have a decent start before Leopard Skin Cover finishes posting. This will be my first sequel and I don't want to be rushed :icon1:

I will say that Leopard Skin Cover is 15 chapters in length, so you won't have to wait overly long before it's finished.

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Guest Dabeagle

I find it depressing how accurate the casual homophobia is that is portrayed in this series. I think one unique aspect of this story is that there are so many straight characters and that we get their conversations. As I said, it's really unfortunate how accurate these conversations are - before they realize a gay person is on the room with them.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I've gone searching on YouTube and found the following highlight's from the opening game of this season's VFL competition. This will give you an idea of the game, as well as an indication of how popular it is (check out the size of the crowd watching. The scenery is also pretty nice:

The AFL is a lot more popular :icon1:

And for those wanting to know what a 'mark' is, this clip shows quite a decent mark, plus a more typical mark as part of 'goal of the day'.

That game featured the Box Hill Hawks who appear in the story. They were last season's premiers.

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Are they allowed to block each other? In American football the offense players clear a path for the ballcarrier by knocking defenders out of the way, or forming a screen so the defenders can't tackle him. I saw a lot of milling around in that video but not a whole lot of contact. Is deliberate contact not legal? And what's the penalty if someone does knock a player from the other team off the ball?


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Blocking is allowed. Holding onto a player who doesn't have the ball can invoke a penalty. The standard penalty is a free kick to the person who was held (a free kick is the standard penalty for almost all infractions). That is, the player is given the ball and has a short period of time in which they can kick the ball to another player without any interference (they have some other options, as well). You'll also sometimes see a 50 metre penalty being applied if there's interference or other penalty after the umpire has made a call. Since the entire oval is approximately 150 metres in length, having someone advance 50 metres before taking a free kick can have a significant impact on the game (it's not unusual for it to result in a goal, since the 50 meters can taken them almost to the goal posts).

You'll usually see blocking when a player if running down the ground and other teammates use their bodies to stop the opposition from getting to them. Most of the time, though, the ball progresses through kicks or handballs so you won't see that many blocks. It happens, though.

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Yeah, but it has to be done when covering the person with the ball. That's not that easy, considering the size of the ground, the number of players (18), and how quickly the ball moves. Most of the time, the players will only have a few seconds to make a decision as to what to do :icon1: Having said that, I have noticed that North Melbourne had an American playing in the VFL last year. I believe he's got a basketball background, though, not football :icon1: He's number 51 in this video

As an aside, what's the stamina like for those 300+ pound footballers? Australian rules football tends to be more fluid and constant than American football (as I understand it) which tends to be short bursts of activity.

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Timing is everything.... In today's news: Australia's major sporting codes (including Australian Rules Football) commit to ending homophobia

In a world first, executives from Australia's major sporting codes made a commitment on Wednesday to rid their sports of homophobia.

All four football codes as well as Cricket Australia presented a united front in Sydney, emphasising the need to end discrimination in sport.

The agreement came ahead of the Bingham Cup, the world cup of gay rugby, with all codes agreeing to introduce policies in line with the new Anti-Homophobia and Inclusion Framework by the end of August.

It marks the first time in all the major professional sports in a country have collectively committed to tackling discrimination based on sexual orientation by way of inclusion policies.

"Put simply, we believe that every individual - whether they're players, supporters, coaches or administrators - should all feel safe, welcome and included, regardless of race, gender and sexuality," ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I must admit that when I started to read this story I found myself somewhat put off by the references to Australian Rules Football, something I have no knowledge off and like most people on this side of the world, find completely baffling. Since then I have found myself increasingly drawn into this story and I have found myself, somewhat against my original expectation, fully involved with the characters.

This is a fine and compelling story that deals with a number of issues very well and is exceptional well constructed and highly compelling. Can't wait for the next chapter.

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Thank you!

Australian Rules Football has some similarities to Gaelic football -- enough that there's an international challenge between the two codes each year. Sadly, the Irish have easily won the last couple of years. The international rules are a compromise between the two codes, using a round ball instead of an ovoid, as well as other changes.

I used to know someone who played Australian Rules Football, Gaelic football and American football. He was a keen sportsman....

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Now that chapter 15 is posted, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone, and to say that I'm working on the sequel. The sequel, 'Leopard Spots' will pick up from where Leopard Skin Cover finishes. I expect it'll be one or two months before I start posting the new story, though, as the writing is going slowly....

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Graeme, many thanks for this story, it was well written and delightfully insightive where it needed to be. I can't wait to see the sequel.

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  • 1 year later...

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