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There are 4 different types of football games in Australia, Australian Football League (AFL), National Rugby League (NRL), Rugby Union (NRU), and Soccor (NSL). Another game in Australia is Cricket, i have written how the game started in Australia and the history of the Ashes.

This page will explain the game of AFL. To find out  information about the other games you can go to the Aussie Link page, or Click the links at the bottom of this page.


 The game originated when four men, three being cricket players. Thomas Wills, William Hammersley, James Thompson, and Thomas Smith who was a teacher at Scott College came together  on May 17, 1859, to draw up a set of rules.

The game that was drew up was to become Melbourne Rules Football. They borrowed liberally from other football codes, Gaelic football (kicking and marking) Rugby (shape of the ball and the body contact) and soccor (the positional names) Players could swap clubs during the season and the premier was decided by consensus.

When the game first started in 1877,  it was called the Victoria Football Association (VFA) , the competition included as Foundation clubs Albert Park, Ballarat, Barwon, Beechworth, Carlton, Castlemaine, Geelong, Hotham, Inglewood, Melbourne, Rochester and St Kilda.

In 1869 the rules were changed.Winning was the first team to score two goals, the winning team became to be the one with the most goals scored in a set time. 1873 team uniforms introduced. Previously sides where distinguished only by their caps. In 1897 the system of scoring points was introduced.

The competition went along like that till 1897 when it became Victoria Football League (VFL), six clubs Collingwood, Essendon, Geelong, Fitzroy, Melbourne and South Melbourne were the most financially secure and best performed clubs of the VFA and they decided to form a breakaway group and invited Carlton and St Kilda to join them.

The VFL expanded to 12 teams by 1925. Richmond and University joined in 1908, but University was out of the competition by 1914. In 1925 Hawthorn, Footscray and North Melbourne joined the VFL, the 12 team game stayed like till 1987.

The South Melbourne Football Club was relocated to Sydney in 1982, they became the Sydney Swans.

Two teams West Coast Eagles (from Western Australia) and the Brisbane Bears (from Queensland), joined and expanded VFL compeition in 1987.

In 1990 the name VFL was changed to Australian Football League (AFL),
in 1991 the Adelaide Crows (from South Australia) joined the AFL and in 1995 the Fremantle Dockers (from Western Australia) were welcomed.

        Fitzroy merged with the Brisbane Bears to become the Brisbane Lions. Port Adelaide joined in 1997. There are 16 teams that play each weekend.

 AFL Clubs

Adelaide The Crows - Joined the AFL in 1991, they won back to back premierships in 1997 and 1998.

Carlton The Blues - Has won 16 premierships

Brisbane Lions  - The Brisbane Lions were formed at the end of 1996 where there was a merger between the Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy. The Brisbane Lions are yt to win a premiership.

Collingwood The Magpies - Joined the AFL in 1897 it is one of the oldest surviving clubs. They have a reputation of the unluckest club in the AFL, between 1958 and 1990 they played in nine Grand Finals for eighght losses and a draw. They lost the replay. The drought was broken in 1990.

Essendon The Bombers - Essendon won the first league premiership in 1897, they are one of the AFL's powerhouse clubs.

Fremantle - They played their first match in 1995.They are yet to make a finals appearance.

Geelong The Cats - They are the second oldest club in Australia, they were formed in 1859. Geelong has won six premierships, but its last was in 1963.

Hawthorn The Hawks - Hawthorn joined in 1925. Hawthorn won their first premiership in 1961.

Kangaroos - The Kangaroos joined the AFL in 1925 as the North Melbourne Football Club. The name was changed at the end of the 1999 season.

Melbourne  The Demons - Australia's oldest club was formed in 1858 to make it one of the worlds oldest football clubs.

Port Adelaide  Port Power - Joined the AFL in 1997, in 1999 it has played in its first final. Port Adelaide boasts a long and proud tradition as the Port Adelaide Magpies in the South Australian compeition in the SAFL.

Richmond The Tigers- Richmond was admitted to the AFl in 1908.

St Kilda The Saints- St Kilda was one of the VFL's foundation clubs in 1897 but has won only one premiership in 1966.

Sydney Swans - Sydney was once known as the South Melbourne Football Club relocating to Sydney in 1982.

West Coast Eagles - Joined the AFL in 1987 and became the first club outside of Victoria to win the AFL premiership in 1992.

Western Bulldogs  -  Joined the AFL in 1925.Footscray changed its name before the start of the 1997 season.

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Official AFL Webpage

Sports Australia

                                                                   Aussie Link Page