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In Australian rules football the 50-metre arc (or simply called the fifty) is one of the arcs that exist at each end of the ground, 50m from the goal line. On AFL grounds, the arcs are coloured (blue at one end, and red at the other) with a thinner white edge, and are broken twice at the flanks with a number 50 pained in each gap; on suburban grounds, the arcs are simply white and unlabelled, and are often only 40 or 45 metres from goal.
The 50-metre arc was introduced from the WAFL to the VFL during the 1980s. When introduced, the 50-metre arc was there to assist umpires in measuring the new 50m penalty as it replaced the 15m penalty. When the 50m penalty was introduced into the WAFL, there was also a 25m penalty introduced which gave rise to a similar 25m arc. The 25m penalty was shortlived and the 25m arc disappeared as its rationale was gone.
The arcs obtained significance for the first time in Wizard Cup competitions in 2003, with two relevant rule changes. Firstly, a goal scored from outside the arc (known as a "super goal") was worth 9 points, rather than the usual 6 points. To claim the supergoal, the kicker must be completely behind the arc; this has led to some contentious judgement calls when the player kicks from on top of the painted 50, where the arc is broken.
The second rule stated that a mark taken from a backwards kick would be called play-on, unless taken within the 50-metre arc. This rule was introduced into regular-season VFL for the 2006 season, with the intention of trialling it as a possible remedy to the so-called "chip-chip" style of play. Whether or not it will be adopted into the AFL in this form remains to be seen; in the 2007 NAB Cup and VFL, the same rule was trialled at the halfway point of the ground instead of the 50-metre arc.
In 2005, the length of the centre square was increased from 45m to 50m; as a result, the 50-metre arcs intersected the centre square at the notoriously small Sydney Cricket Ground. To remedy the situation, the curators painted 45-metre arcs instead of 50-metre arcs. After statisticians argued that the inside-50 statistic could no longer be accurately collected, the 50-metre arcs were reinstated; the portions of the arcs that overlap the centre square are not painted onto the field. Since the construction of the Victor Trumper Stand the playing surface SCG has been lengthened by 5 metres, permanently resolving the situation.
Goals kicked from outside or on the 50-metre arc are seen as big kicks. Fifty metres is the typical upper limit that most players can consistently kick. A player taking a set shot from within the 50-metre is expected to have a good chance of scoring a goal, while a player who marks outside the arc may try to pass the ball to a teammate who is closer to goal.