A book that broke new ground as the first ever to examine in detail the national development of Australian Rules Football, was named joint winner of the Australian Society for Sport History 2009 book award.
The History of Australian Rules Football was researched and written by Victoria University sports lecturers Robert Hess and Bob Stewart, along with VU doctoral graduate Gregory de Moore, and Matthew Nicholson from the University of Ballarat.The announcement was made at a gala dinner in Wellington, New Zealand on 3 July.
The book was published last year to commemorate the 150th anniversary of what is commonly believed to be the genesis of the code in 1858.
The Society’s Honours and Awards Committee noted that the book was the most complete coverage of the Victorian game ever produced, and set Australian football in its national context. It also said the book, which contained several never-before-published images and exposed a number of myths about the origins of the game, offered an insightful analysis, including information about the darker sides of the game.
The National Game: The History of Australian Rules Football was based on a wide range of primary and secondary sources, as well as the authors’ considerable research expertise. The award includes certificates and a cash prize of $1000.