Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The Australian Football League or AFL is the national league for Australian Rules Football in Australia. It consists of 16 clubs that compete in a regular competition. The AFL is also used sometimes to denote the AFL Commission.
Eight clubs formed the Victorian Football League on 2 Oct 1896. These clubs (Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Fitzroy, Geelong, Melbourne, South Melbourne and St Kilda) formed the basis of the league, with further teams joining in later years. By 1925 Victoria boasted a 12 team competition widely acknowledged as the strongest state league in Australia. Known as the VFL it remained in this format until 1982, when the South Melbourne Football Club relocated to Sydney,NSW. A new era of expansion came as more teams were admitted, however, these teams were from other states than Victoria. The VFL changed its name in 1990 to become the Australian Football League (AFL).
Despite the success of the VFL, many teams were suffering financially. Much of this is blamed on "cheque-book recruiting", that is where teams attempted to buy successful players from other teams in the VFL or playing in other states. This lead to many clubs being technically bankrupt, with some being investigated by the Department of Corporate Affairs. In addition, crowds were falling, as were club memberships. Transfer fees were excessive and the competition was operating at a loss, whilst ground facilities were falling into disrepair. The new teams provided income to save the failing Victorian teams by firstly paying substantial licence fees to join the competition, and secondly by providing increased income from television rights. The money from these two areas helped refinance the teams in the VFL.
In admitting the inter-state teams, the view of the direction of the VFL changed. This is best summed up in the first underlying principle of the AFL's 5 year plan. "... we take a national view of football, simply not an expanded VFL view. The AFL emerged from the VFL and a Victorian focus was inevitable given the beginning. This plan, however, is based on the view that football followers throughout Australia are of equal importance." Hence the VFL became the AFL to reflect the change in focus from just Victoria, to Australia as a whole.
On December 4, 1985, the then VFL Board of Directors resolved to appoint a Commission with specific powers to administer the competition. The Commission was entrusted with the powers of the League, but required explicit approval by the League (teams) for major items, such as further Expansion, Mergers, Relocations, Major Capital Works and similar items. On August 11, 1992 the AFL Board of Directors recommended an independent review of the AFL structure. On March 1,1993 Mr David Crawford of KPMG Peat Marwick presented his report to the AFL Board of Directors and Commission. On July 19, 1993 the Board of Directors approved a new Memorandum and Articles of Association for the AFL , reflecting the recommendations of the Crawford Report. These being :
Admitted Team Logo (Current) ----------------------------------------------------------- 1897 Carlton Blues Collingwood Magpies Essendon Bombers Fitzroy Lions Geelong Cats Melbourne Demons South Melbourne Swans (Relocated in 1982) St Kilda Saints 1908 Richmond Tigers University Students (Disbanded 1914) 1925 Footscray Bulldogs Hawthorn Hawks North Melbourne Kangaroos 1982 Sydney Swans (ex South Melbourne) 1987 Brisbane Bears West Coast Eagles 1991 Adelaide Crows 1995 Fremantle Dockers 1996 Brisbane Lions (Fitzroy Lions amp&; Brisbane Bears Merged) 1997 Port Adeliade Power
Games usually start in the Premiership season in the last weekend of March, and continue through until the end of August. The Finals then Start, culminating in the Grand FInal being played on the last Saturday in September. A pre-season knock-out competition (the Ansett Australia Cup) with the majority of games being held as night fixtures is played in late February to the last week before the Regular Season Games are played. (1995 Ansett Australia Cup will be played from 24 Feb to 25 Mar 1995) Exhibition games are sometimes played overseas after the Grand Final. Actual games are played on Friday nights, Saturday afternoons and Sunday afternoons. Some Saturday and Sunday evening matches are being scheduled to cater for the increased number of matches in 1995. Games are occasionally scheduled on Monday afternoons on Public Holidays.
Each team plays 22 games in the regular (or Home and Away) Season. The majority of teams will play 11 games at home, and 11 games at away venues. The League for the purposes of scheduling games for the next season is split into 2 divisions, being the top and bottom eight teams (expansion team Fremantle is considered team number 16). Each team will play the teams in their division twice, whilst playing those in the other division once. There are some exceptions due to the AFL policy of maximising the number of potentially large audience games, such as West Coast vs Fremantle derbies.
The weekly results of games produce a Premiership ladder. The top eight teams at the end of the 22 Home and Away Games go through to the finals.The final 1994 Ladder was:
Team P W L D F A % Points WEST COAST 22 16 6 - 2078 1572 132.9 64 CARLTON 22 15 7 - 2351 1774 132.5 60 NORTH MELBOURNE 22 13 9 - 2383 1848 129.0 52 GEELONG 22 13 9 - 2403 2104 114.2 52 FOOTSCRAY 22 13 9 - 2106 1905 110.6 52 HAWTHORN 22 13 9 - 2188 2005 109.1 52 MELBOURNE 22 12 10 - 2190 1879 116.6 48 COLLINGWOOD 22 12 10 - 2017 2019 99.9 48 Richmond 22 12 10 - 2033 2167 93.8 48 Essendon 22 11 11 - 2075 2119 97.9 44 Adelaide 22 9 12 1 1876 2159 86.9 38 Brisbane 22 9 13 - 1940 2195 88.4 36 St Kilda 22 7 14 1 1809 2415 74.9 30 Fitzroy 22 5 17 - 1726 2456 70.3 20 Sydney 22 4 18 - 1987 2545 78.1 16
The ladder indicates the number of games played (P), the number of games won (W), lost (L) or drawn (D) and the Premiership Points the team has (Points). A team receives 4 points for a win and 2 points for a draw. This is the first way that teams are ranked on the ladder (according to Premiership Points). If teams have the same number of points , then the teams are ranked according to their percentage (%). The percentage is the average percentage of the oppositions score that the team makes. (e.g. a team with a percentage of 200.0 would double the oppositions score on average, a team with a percentage of 50.0 would only score half of what the opposition team does.) The percentage is worked out by taking the total points the team has scored (F) in the season to date, and dividing it by the total points that the opposition teams have scored in games against that team to date (A), and then multiplying the result by 100. The two points totals are referred to as the For and Against Points respectively.
The top eight teams after the regular season go through to the finals. The ranking of teams according to how they finished the season and then which Finals games they have won is all important. The McIntyre Final Eight System was introduced in 1994 and operates as follows:
1st Preliminary Final Winner
2 vs Winner of 2nd Semi Final
2nd Preliminary Final Winner 1 vs Winner of 1st Semi Final
The two losing teams are eliminated.
The two winning teams advance to the Grand Final on 4th weekend.
Winner of 1st Preliminary Final
Winner of 2nd Preliminary Final
Winning team is the Premiership
Team for that season.
The team that won the Premiership in 1994 was the West Coast Eagles.
There are several ways in which teams can acquire players, but the system is heavily regulated to foster the strengthening of weaker teams. The major ways of being registered with an AFL team are as follows:
The National Draft is primarily used to draft young players from minor leagues in anticipation of starting an AFL career, but that is not a hard and fast rule.
In addition, if a players Father played at least one senior game in the WAFL prior to 1987, or in the SANFL prior to 1991, prior to the above qualifications (50 games/5 years), then an AFL club in the respective States of those competitions can select him under this rule.
This rule also applies to fathers having played in the QAFL or SFL (NSWAFL) at any time (providing it is not to provide entitlement under this rule) for AFL clubs in the respective states of those competitions.
Each state has its own elite level of competition. As stated previously, the VFL, which was the strongest competition, has expanded and become the AFL, however, the previous VFL Reserves competition has now become the Victorian State Football League (VSFL), which renamed itself Victorian Football League (VFL) for this season. There are two other leagues which have provided the majority of non-Victorian players. These are Westar Rules (the former Western Australian Football League (WAFL)) based in Western Australia, and the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) based in South Australia. ("National football" and "Victorian Rules" were archaic names for Aussie Rules.) Contact addresses for each of these leagues as well as the other state leagues are provided below:
Mr L. Whicker (General Manager) South Australian National Football League GPO Box 1 West Lakes SA 5021
Mr J. Ovens (Chief Executive) Western Australian Football League (Inc) PO Box 275 Subiaco WA 6008
Mr S. Dobbie (General Manager) ACT Australian Football League PO Box 364 Woden ACT 2606
Mr C. Davis (General Manager) NSW Australian Football League PO Box 333 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
Mr H. Johns (General Manager) Northern Territory Football League PO Box NTFL 1 Casuarina NT 0811
Mr P. Cummiskey (General Manager) Queensland Australian Football League (Inc) PO Box 1211 Coorparoo DC Qld 4151
Mr B. Breen (General Manager) Statewide Tasmanian Football League GPO Box 427E Hobart Tas 7001
Mr Ken Gannon (General Manager) Victorian State Football League GPO Box 1449N Melbourne Vic 3001
Australian Football League
GPO Box 1449N MCG Melbourne Brunton Avenue Vic 3001 Jolimont, Vic, 3002 Telephone: (03) 654 1244 Media Dept. Fax: (03) 650 3189
National Australian Football Council (NAFC)
Mr E. Biggs (Executive Officer) National Australian Football Council 120 Jolimont Road Jolimont Vic 3002
The AFL provides financial or practical assistance to Leagues in Britain, Canada, Denmark, Japan and New Zealand. Respective details of several of these leagues are:
Greg Everett / BARFL c/o The Redback Club 264 Acton High Street Acton W3 9BH England Telephone/Fax: 081 752 1823 Intl: +44 181 752 1823
10 team competition, formed in
Six London clubs and four country clubs.
Season begins in May, and runs to the end of August.
Andrew Lonsborough (League President) Phone: (416) 926-5759
7 teams competition, formed in
Team contact details:
Toronto Panthers Scott MacDonald
Lawrence Park Rebels Andrew Lonsborough (416) 926-5759
Balmy Beach Saints Graeme Hewitt (416) 922-3737
Brampton Wolverines Doug Clark (905) 391-7545
Broadview Hawks Helga Cunning (416) 924-1728
Hamilton Wildcats Lyle Ralph (905) 575-7604
Mississauga Mustangs Terry McPhee (905) 274-5507
Season runs from end of May to start of October, for 14 rounds (play each other teams twice and 2 byes.) Final Four system is used for finals.
Hamilton home games begin at 11AM. Two games every Saturday at Centennial Park, 8.30 AM and 10.30 AM.
Takashi Kariya (JAFA Coordinator) E-mail: email@example.com
c/- Simon Kinniburgh ph. 64-3-325-3180 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Competition played at QE2 Stadium
(Site of '74 Commonwealth Games)
Season runs from May to October.
Games start at 1.15 PM on Sundays.
Uniforms and footys supplied by the AFL.
(Gloves are worn too - no delays for snow !)
Game versus Gaelic Football Club every 3 weeks also played.
All welcome to play or spectate.
The Australian Rugby League has undergone massive upheaval as a corporation (News Ltd) has attempted to start a new Rubgy League competition - the Super League, by offering massive contracts to Rugby League players. Massive division has resulted with a threatened expulsion of teams from the ARL, and threatened extinction of others. News Ltd's motivation is in broadcasting this Super League over its Pay-TV empire. (News Ltd's Head Rupert Murdoch has already done this in the US with the NFL, and in the UK with the Premier League.) There is mounting speculation that the AFL may be the next target for a 'Super League'.