The AFL stands for the Australian Football League and is the leading professional Australian Rules competition run down under each year.
Featuring 18 teams the league was founded back in 1897 as the Victorian Football League (VFL) when just eight teams from Victoria faced off. Five Australian states are now represented in the current AFL Premiership, which came about in 1990 when the league was officially renamed to make for a more national competition, although Victoria continues to dominate with 10 still in the mix including nine from Melbourne.
The other states with AFL teams are New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia each with two clubs in the competition. The first non-Victorian AFL club was the Sydney Swans that came about when South Melbourne relocated interstate in 1982 and interest in the game grew.
Unlike in the NRL there is no New Zealand AFL club, although New Zealand has been host to offshore AFL games over the years.
AFL Betting: Round 22 Preview
The current AFL teams are the:
- Adelaide Crows (SA)
- Brisbane Lions (QLD)
- Carlton Blues (VIC)
- Collingwood Magpies (VIC)
- Essendon Bombers (VIC)
- Fremantle Dockers (WA)
- Geelong Cats (VIC)
- Gold Coast Suns (QLD)
- Great Western Sydney Giants (NSW)
- Hawthorn Hawks (VIC)
- Melbourne Demons (VIC)
- North Melbourne Kangaroos (VIC)
- Port Adelaide Power (SA)
- Richmond Tigers (VIC)
- St Kilda Saints (VIC)
- Sydney Swans (NSW)
- West Coast Eagles (WA)
- Western Bulldogs (VIC)
Of these seven are foundation clubs having inaugurated in 1897 with: Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Geelong, Melbourne, St Kilda and Sydney the oldest AFL
clubs in the competition.
The AFL Premiership consists of a pre-season competition known as the NAB Challenge followed by a 23-week regular season that runs from March to September each year that sees all teams play 22 games each.
The 23 AFL Rounds lead into the highly anticipated AFL Finals football that pits the Top 8 teams on the AFL Ladder in a four-round series that culminates with the AFL Grand Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Some of the other key AFL games over the season are the Collingwood vs. Essendon ANZAC Day match at the MCG and the Queen’s Birthday fixture between Melbourne and Collingwood.
As well as the Premiership title there are plenty of other coveted AFL awards up for grabs for the teams and players each year including the Brownlow Medal awarded to the fairest and best player in the league – Brownlow Medal betting on offer throughout the season. Essendon and Carlton share the record of most VFL / AFL Premiership wins with 16 each. Collingwood meanwhile boast the most AFL Grand Final appearances with 43.
2017 AFL Season
The 2017 AFL Season begins with Round 1 on Thursday March 23, 2017 when Carlton take on Richmond. The standard AFL 2017 season concludes with Round 23 run from August 25 – 27 before the 2017 AFL Grand Final steals the show and decides the premiership winner on Saturday September 30, 2017.
- 2017 AFL Round 1 Starts: Thursday March 23, 2017
- 2017 AFL Grand Final Date: Saturday September 30, 2017
The same 18 AFL teams that have competed in the competition for the previous five seasons are in premiership contention again in 2017 and the Western Bulldogs are the defending AFL Premiers.