Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Australian Football League (AFL)

I thought i would write about some of the sports people in Australia play, i am only going to do one at a time though as there is alot of information about some of the sports

The first one i thought i would write about is Australian Football League or AFL as most Australians know it....

In 1857, Tom Wills, one of the founders of Australian Football, returned to Australia after schooling in England where he was football captain of Rugby School, being a cricket player he advocated that there should be a game that could be played through winter to keep the cricket players fit.

Wills wrote a letter in 1858 to Bell's Life in Victoria & Sporting Chronicle, stating the need to form a "foot-ball club"

Thomas Wills got together with William Hammersley, James Thompson, and Thomas Smith 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 soccer (the positional names) Players could swap clubs during the season and the premier was decided by consensus.

The Melbourne Football Club was formed on August 7, 1858 – the year of the code’s first recorded match between Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar School.

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
  • St Kilda.

In 1866 some early rule changes were implemented, with the introduction of time limits for matches and behind posts next to the goal posts, the winning team became to be the one with the most goals scored in a set time.

In 1873 team uniforms introduced. Previously sides where distinguished only by their caps.

In 1897 the system of scoring points was introduced.

Up until 1868 Australian Rules football had been played in two halves but that year four quarters were introduced into the game. Around the same time umpires began playing a bigger role, now bouncing the ball (instead of throwing it up) at the start of each quarter and after each goal.

In 1897 the scoring system was formalised with six points being awarded for a goal and one point for a behind. This scoring method still remain in place today in the modern game. In the same year the first finals were held (won by Essendon).

The foundation clubs –

  • Carlton,
  • Collingwood,
  • Essendon,
  • Fitzroy,
  • Geelong,
  • Melbourne,
  • St Kilda
  • South Melbourne.

In 1908, Richmond and University joined the competition.

But after the 1914 season, University left the League.

In 1925,

  • Footscray (now the Western Bulldogs),
  • Hawthorn
  • North Melbourne (now the Kangaroos) joined the VFL.

In 1982 South Melbourne where moved to Sydney becoming The Sydney Swans

1987 the competition expanded with the teams below joining

  • West Coast Eagles
  • Brisbane Bears.

In 1990 VFL changed to their name to AFL, after that three more teams joined in the following years

  • 1991 Adelaide
  • 1995 Fremantle
  • 1997 Port Adelaide

Foundation club Fitzroy merged with the Brisbane Bears to form the Brisbane Lions (after the 1996 season).

How things evolved for AFL

1879- Football was allowed on M.C.G

1858-1891- The creation of football began and certain decisions where made to decide the structor of the game. 1887-20 players where agreeded for each side more where allowed if agreed.

1896- Oct 3rd new rules including crossbar on goals, abolition of behinds and no marks under ten yards. Throw-ins to be from ten yards either side of the goals were introduced

1955- 15 yard penalty was introduced against offending players this stops players holding the man. 1962- V.F.L- replays were permited on Saturday nights.

1966- Umpires are instructed to cut ball ups penalise the flick pass and give frees when scrimmages delop.

1976- Two umpires are used for the first time.

1979- V.F.L. match played in March For the first time.

1988- May 11- The V.F.L.introduced the 50 metre penality

1994- Feb 9 - In addition to the final eight, the A.F.L. reduces the length of the quarters to 20 minutes plus time added on for stoppages.

1980- The match of the day was broadcasted for the first time.

There are now 16 teams that play each weekend.

Players each year are up for an award called The Brownlow Medal, its in the memory of
Charles Brownlow who was veteran of over forty years with the Geelong Football Club and the VFL.

Some Links for AFL Pages

AFL Football

Full Points Footy