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Australian Football League
General Information
Founded 1897, Melbourne
Previous names Victorian Football League or VFL (1897-1989)
Current clubs Adelaide
Brisbane Lions
Gold Coast
Greater Western Sydney
North Melbourne
Port Adelaide
St Kilda
Sydney Swans
West Coast Eagles
Western Bulldogs
Stadiums Melbourne Cricket Ground
ANZ Stadium
Etihad Stadium
Adelaide Oval
Sydney Cricket Ground
Subiaco Oval
The Gabba
Skilled Stadium
Aurora Stadium
Manuka Oval
Marrara Oval
Carrara Stadium
Sydney Showground Stadium
2015 Season
Premiers Hawthorn 16:11 (107) defeated West Coast 8:13 (61)
Attendance 98,633
Norm Smith Medalist Ryan O'Keefe
Minor Premiers Freemantle
Wooden spoon Carlton Football Club
NAB Cup Adelaide
Brownlow Medallist Jobe Watson
Coleman Medallist Jack Riewoldt
Total attendance 6,778,830
Average attendance 32,748
Total Finals Series attendance 538,936
Average Finals Series attendance 59,882

The Australian Football League (AFL) is the Australian national league in the sport of Australian Rules Football. The league is the most popular sports competition in Australia. In 2012, nearly 6.8 million people watched a game in a stadium.

The league started in the city of Melbourne, and was known as the Victorian Football League from 1897 to 1989. In the 1980s, the league expanded outside the state of Victoria into New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, and entered South Australia in 1991. With the league becoming more national, the VFL changed its name to the Australian Football League in 1990.

As of the latest season of 2012, the league's 18 teams play against each other in 22 games over 23 rounds between late March and early September. These matches are followed by a series of finals matches which end up in the two best teams playing off for the premiership in the AFL Grand Final, one of the largest domestic club championship events in the world.

The chief executive, titled "Commissioner", is Gillon Mclachlan.

The clubs

National Competition

In the most recent 2012 season, there were nine clubs from Melbourne, one from Victoria's second largest city, Geelong, two teams from South Australia's capital of Adelaide, two from the Perth area in Western Australia, two from Queensland and two from Sydney, New South Wales.

AFL is the dominant league in television, print and radio news in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania. Also Australian rules football has more people playing than any other football code in these states and territories.

The AFL is becoming more popular in the states of New South Wales and Queensland. This happened after the finals wins by the Brisbane Lions (2001, 2002 and 2003) and Sydney Swans (2005). With the success of these sides, interest in Australian rules football has grown rapidly in these states in recent years. This directly led to new clubs being added in both states in the 2010s—Gold Coast in 2011 and Greater Western Sydney in 2012.

Major annual awards

  • Brownlow Medal
  • Coleman Medal
  • AFL Rising Star
  • Leigh Matthews Trophy
  • Norm Smith Medal
  • Jock McHale Medal
  • Michael Tuck Medal
  • AFL Mark of the Year
  • AFL Goal of the Year
  • All Australian Team
  • Club Best and Fairest Awards

Present teams

Club Nickname City Home Ground Entered Competition No. of Premierships Notes
Adelaide Football Club Crows Adelaide, South Australia Adelaide Oval 1991 2 Formed as a joint team from the South Australian National Football League in 1991.
Brisbane Lions Football Club Lions Brisbane, Queensland Brisbane Cricket Ground (The 'Gabba) 1997 3 Club formed after merger of Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy Football Club in 1996.
Carlton Football Club Blues Carlton, Victoria Etihad Stadium/Melbourne Cricket Ground 1897 16
Collingwood Football Club Magpies Collingwood, Victoria Melbourne Cricket Ground 1897 15
Essendon Football Club Bombers Essendon, Victoria Etihad Stadium 1897 16
Fremantle Football Club Dockers Fremantle, Western Australia Domain Stadium 1995 Nil
Geelong Football Club Cats Geelong, Victoria Simonds stadium 1897 8
Gold Coast Football Club Suns Gold Coast, Queensland Carrara Stadium 2011 Nil
Greater Western Sydney Football Club Giants Sydney, New South Wales Sydney Showground Stadium
ANZ Stadium
2012 Nil
Hawthorn Football Club Hawks' Hawthorn, Victoria Melbourne Cricket Ground 1925 10
North Melbourne Football Club Kangaroos North Melbourne, Victoria Etihad Stadium 1925 4
Melbourne Football Club Demons Melbourne, Victoria Melbourne Cricket Ground 1897 12
Port Adelaide Football Club Power Alberton, South Australia Adelaide Oval 1997 1
Richmond Football Club Tigers Richmond, Victoria Melbourne Cricket Ground 1908 10
St Kilda Football Club Saints St Kilda, Victoria Etihad Stadium 1897 1
Sydney Swans Football Club Swans Sydney, New South Wales Sydney Cricket Ground
ANZ Stadium
1897 5 Relocated from South Melbourne, Victoria in 1982.
West Coast Eagles Football Club Eagles Perth, Western Australia Domain Stadium 1987 3
Western Bulldogs Football Club Bulldogs Footscray, Victoria Etihad Stadium 1925 1 Formerly the Footscray Football Club, renamed in 1998.

Legends of the Game

In 1996, twelve Hall of Fame members were declared Legends of the Game. Now, each year another member of the Hall of Fame is declared a legend. The following is a list of Legends of the Game.

  • Ron Barassi Junior (added 1996)
  • Haydn Bunton Senior(added 1996)
  • Roy Cazaly (added 1996)
  • John Coleman (added 1996)
  • Jack Dyer (added 1996)
  • Graham Farmer (added 1996)
  • Leigh Matthews (added 1996)
  • John Nicholls (added 1996)
  • Bob Pratt (added 1996)
  • Dick Reynolds (added 1996)
  • Bob Skilton (added 1996)
  • Ted Whitten Senior (added 1996)
  • Ian Stewart (added 1997)
  • Gordon Coventry (added 1998)
  • Peter Hudson (added 1999)
  • Kevin Bartlett (added 2000)
  • Barrie Robran (added 2001)
  • Bill Hutchison (added 2003)
  • Jock McHale (added 2005)
  • Darrell Baldock (added 2006)
  • Darcy Coombs "(added 2009)"

VFL/AFL Records

  • Highest score
    Geelong - 37.17 (239) vs. Brisbane Bears
    Carrara Oval, May 3, 1992.
  • Highest winning margin
    Fitzroy - 190 points
    Waverley Park, July 28, 1979.
  • Highest aggregate score
    52.33 (345) - Melbourne 21.15 (141) vs St Kilda 31.18 (204)
    MCG, May 6, 1978
  • Highest score in one quarter
    South Melbourne - 17.4 (106) vs. St Kilda
    Lake Oval, July 26, 1919
  • Largest crowd
    Carlton v Collingwood - 121,696
    MCG, September 26, 1970 (Grand Final)
  • Largest Home & Away Season crowd
    Melbourne v Collingwood - 99,346
    MCG, 1958
  • Largest crowd for a game between a Victorian and non-Victorian club
    Adelaide Crows v St Kilda Saints - 99,645
    MCG, September 27, 1997 (Grand Final)
  • Largest crowd for a game between non-Victorian clubs
    West Coast Eagles v Sydney Swans - 97,431
    MCG, September 30, 2006 (Grand Final)
  • Largest International crowd
    Melbourne v Sydney - 32,789
    B.C. Place, Vancouver, Canada, 1987
  • Most premierships
    Carlton 16, most recent 1995, Essendon 16, most recent 2000
  • Most wooden spoons (last position at the end of the Home and Away Season)
    St Kilda - 26, most recent 2000
  • Most consecutive premierships
    Collingwood - 4
  • Most games won in a season
    Essendon - 24 (incl. finals)
  • Most consecutive wins
    Geelong - 23
  • Most consecutive games unbeaten
    Geelong - 26
  • Most consecutive losses
    University - 51 (1911-1914)
  • Most games played in a career
    Brent Harvey (North Melbourne) - 431 games
  • Most games as club captain
    Stephen Kernahan (Carlton) - 226 games
  • Most goals in a career
    Tony Lockett (St Kilda) - 1359 goals
  • Most goals in a game
    Michael Bezzeene (Western Bulldogs) - 27 Goals
  • Most goals in a season
    Bob Pratt (South Melbourne, 1934) and Peter Hudson (Hawthorn, 1971) - 150 goals
  • Most consecutive matches
    Jim Stynes (Melbourne) - 244
  • Most consecutive matches from debut
    Jared Crouch (Sydney) - 194 (Ended Rd 13, 2006 due to unknown injury)
  • Tallest player
    Aaron Sandilands (Fremantle), Peter Street (Western Bulldogs) - 211cm
  • Shortest player
    Danny Craven (St Kilda/Brisbane) - 162cm
  • Heaviest player
    Aaron Sandilands (Fremantle) - 124kg
  • Longest kick
    Albert Thurgood (Essendon) - 98.48m (109 yards, 1 foot, 3.2 inches)


Below are the venues used during the 2018 AFL season.

Melbourne, Victoria Perth, Western Australia Melbourne, Victoria Adelaide, South Australia
Melbourne Cricket Ground Perth Stadium Docklands Stadium Adelaide Oval
Capacity: 100,025 Capacity: 60,000 Capacity: 56,347 Capacity: 53,583
AFL Grand Final 2010 on the Melbourne Cricket Ground.jpg Perth Stadium, December 2017 01.jpg Aerial view of Etihad Stadium.jpg Completed Adelaide Oval 2014 - cropped and rotated.jpg
Sydney, New South Wales Brisbane, Queensland
Sydney Cricket Ground The Gabba
Capacity: 48,000 Capacity: 42,000
SCG members.jpg The Gabba Panorama.jpg
Geelong, Victoria Gold Coast, Queensland
Kardinia Park Carrara Stadium
Capacity: 34,074 Capacity: 25,000
Skilled-stadium-geelong.jpg Adelaide v Gold Coast - Carrara crowd.jpg
Sydney, New South Wales Launceston, Tasmania Hobart, Tasmania

Canberra, ACT

Sydney Showground Stadium York Park Bellerive Oval Manuka Oval
Capacity: 24,000 Capacity: 21,000 Capacity: 19,500 Capacity: 13,550
SkodaStadiumSouthernEnd.jpg Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs - 31st May 2008 181.jpg Bellerive oval hobart.jpg Manuka Oval.JPG
Darwin, Northern Territory Cairns, Queensland Alice Springs, Northern Territory Shanghai, China
Marrara Oval Cazaly's Stadium Traeger Park Jiangwan Stadium
Capacity: 12,500 Capacity: 13,500 Capacity: 10,000 Capacity: 25,000
TIO Stadium.jpg Cazaly's Stadium.jpg Traeger Park 4916.jpg Jiangwan Stadium main grandstand.jpg

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