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Australian Football League

From Academic Kids

This is a page about the national league in Australian Rules Football. For information about the rules and history of the game see the Australian Rules Football page.

The Australian Football League is the elite, national competition in Australian Rules Football. It was formed through the expansion of the Victorian Football League, during the 1980s and 1990s.

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Contents

General description

A 16-team, single division competition, the season is based around a 22-week "home-and-away" (regular) season starting in March through to August. The top eight teams play off in a series of finals culminating in the Grand Final, always held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and usually held on the last Saturday in September. The regular season is preceded by the Wizard Cup, a pre-season, "night" competition.

In Victoria, where a majority of teams are still based and in the traditional Australian Rules football states of South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania, much of the citizenry takes an obsessive interest in the competition. Massive crowds attend many of the games.

All players are now full-time professionals; however, since only a few elite players can expect to earn enough to support themselves for the rest of their lives, many study during their playing careers. The clubs, whilst still owned by their large membership base, are large businesses.

Since 1999, in order to counter the increasing overseas influence of the International Australian Football Council, the AFL established an 'International Development Section', which actively assists - through logistical and financial support - newly formed national Australian Football associations. The IAFC does not dispute the AFL as the 'keeper of the code', and chooses at this stage not to openly challenge the AFL on jurisdictional issues.

Current teams

Club City Home Ground*
Adelaide Crows Adelaide, South Australia AAMI Stadium
Brisbane Lions Brisbane, Queensland The Gabba
Carlton Blues Melbourne, Victoria Telstra Dome
Collingwood Magpies Melbourne, Victoria Melbourne Cricket Ground
Essendon Bombers Melbourne, Victoria Telstra Dome
Fremantle Dockers Fremantle, Western Australia Subiaco Oval
Geelong Cats Geelong, Victoria Skilled Stadium
Hawthorn Hawks Melbourne, Victoria Melbourne Cricket Ground
Kangaroos Melbourne, Victoria Melbourne Cricket Ground
Melbourne Demons Melbourne, Victoria Melbourne Cricket Ground
Port Adelaide Power Adelaide, South Australia AAMI Stadium
Richmond Tigers Melbourne, Victoria Melbourne Cricket Ground
St. Kilda Saints Melbourne, Victoria Telstra Dome
Sydney Swans Sydney, New South Wales Sydney Cricket Ground
West Coast Eagles Perth, Western Australia Subiaco Oval
Western Bulldogs Melbourne, Victoria Telstra Dome

(Note: Many clubs play several "home" matches at alternate grounds.)

Former teams

  • University (Withdrew in 1915)
  • Fitzroy (Merged with the Brisbane Bears after the 1996 season to form the Brisbane Lions)
  • South Melbourne (Moved to Sydney in 1981 to become the Sydney Swans)
  • Brisbane Bears (Merged with Fitzroy after the 1996 season to form the Brisbane Lions)

Future Expansion

Occasionally, there is talk in the media and amongst fans of increasing the number of AFL teams from outside Victoria. Several areas have been discussed as possibilities, most often Tasmania, western Sydney, North Queensland, the Gold Coast, Canberra and Darwin; but the AFL have a stated aim to keep the competition in its current 16-side form. It is generally thought that if the AFL expands into a new area, one of the less financially well-off Victorian clubs will re-locate, rather than an entirely new club being formed. The Western Bulldogs and Kangaroos are most often considered candidates for re-location, and some theorise that their respective name changes in the 1990s were in anticipation of such a move. The Kangaroos play regular premiership season games at Manuka Oval in Canberra, and the Bulldogs have played in Cairns and Darwin, leading to more speculation that they are attempting to build a supporter base in those areas for future re-location.

AFL/VFL Hall of Fame

For the centenary of the VFL/AFL in 1996, a Hall of Fame was formed. That year 136 Australian Rules identities were inducted, including 100 players, 10 coaches, 10 umpires, 10 administrators and 6 media representatives. "Legend of the Game" status was conferred on several players, with further players being named in the years since.

The original legends (in alphabetical order):

Later additions:

Team of the Century

To celebrate the 100th season of the VFL/AFL, the "AFL Team of the Century" was named in 1996.

Backs: Bernie Smith (Geelong) Stephen Silvagni (Carlton) John Nicholls (Carlton)
Half Backs: Bruce Doull (Carlton) Ted Whitten (Footscray) Kevin Murray (Fitzroy)
Centres: Keith Greig (North Melbourne) Ian Stewart (St Kilda, Richmond) Francis Bourke (Richmond)
Half Forwards: Alex Jesaulenko (Carlton, St Kilda) Royce Hart (Richmond) Dick Reynolds (Essendon)
Forwards: Leigh Matthews (Hawthorn) John Coleman (Essendon) Haydn Bunton Senior (Fitzroy)
Followers: Graham Farmer (Geelong) Ron Barassi (Melbourne, Carlton) Bob Skilton (South Melbourne)
Interchange: Gary Ablett (Hawthorn, Geelong) Jack Dyer (Richmond) Greg Williams (Geelong, Sydney, Carlton)

See also

External links

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