AFL Draft Combine
The AFL Draft Combine known as the AFL Draft Camp, is a gathering of prospective talent, where selected potential draftees display their athletic prowess and relevant Australian rules football skills. Over four days participants are required to undergo a series of medical, psychomotor and fitness tests as well as interviews conducted by the 18 clubs in the Australian Football League; the first AFL Draft Camp was held in 1994 at Waverley Park. Each year the Draft Combine is held in the week following the AFL Grand Final; the testing results measured at the combine are used to inform recruiters of players' athletic attributes and skills heading into the AFL Draft, held in November. Recruiters have the opportunity to interview participants whom they may want to draft. Clubs are able to send a representative to the combine, where they are able to conduct a medical screening on participants; this screening gives clubs an idea of a player's past injuries and future injury concerns. To be eligible for the AFL Draft Combine, a player must receive at least 5 nominations from AFL clubs.
Leading into the combine, AFL recruiting managers are expected to submit a list of 70 players from the draft pool whom they would like to screen at the national combine. 100 invitees attend the draft combine. Draft hopefuls who don't receive enough nominations for the national combine but still receive 3 or 4 nominations have the opportunity to attend their respective state screening. Players who are overlooked for the national combine may be invited to attend a state-based combine, where similar testing is done; the following tests performed at the combine are associated with the attributes required to perform in the AFL. Players are to finish a 20-metre leg before the sound of the beep; the test starts at level 1 and finishes at level 21. When a person fails to make the line before the beep, they no longer are allowed to continue. In groups of 10-20, players are to complete a 3000-metre run as fast; the finishing time is recorded. This test is designed to measure both endurance. Here players complete six 30-metre sprints, with the cumulative time recorded.
The player starts standing upright. This is to measure a player's speed; the individual being tested begins in a crouched position. They are to sprint as fast as they can up to 20 metres. Sensors are used to measure the time taken to the 10m and 20m mark; each player is given 3 attempts with the quickest time being recorded. In this test an instrument called a vertec is used to measure a player jumping off one leg from a running start; the player being tested aims to hit the'fingers' on the vertec as high up as possible. This is similar to the running vertical jump, the player instead takes off on two feet from a stationary start; the aim again is to hit the fingers as high up as possible on the vertec. This test was devised by Nathan Buckley and is used measure a player's kicking efficiency over six kicks. Six targets are set out at distances of 20, 30 and 40 metres. An official is designated to call the instructions out to the kicker; the kicker proceeds hit the target. Each kick is given a score from one to five.
Matthew Lloyd designed this test to measure how well a player takes possession of a football and is able to dispose of it using a handball. Three targets are set up on both the left and right sides at distances of 6, 8 and 10 metres; the test starts with an official either throwing a football at the player. The player attempts to handball the ball at the target; this is done six times and a score from one to five is allocated for each handball. This test measures a player's accuracy kicking for goal; this test takes place on an oval with four markers placed at different angles and distances to kick from. Five kicks are taken in total: two set shots, two snaps and one kick on the run. A score is derived from the number of goals and behinds a player kicks. Measurements of a player's height, skinfolds, arm length and hand span are all recorded; the highest standing vertical jump recorded at any AFL combine was 91.4 cm by American prospect Justin Wesley at the 2014 US International Combine in Los Angeles.
Justin Wesley recorded a 2.81 at the 2014 US International Combine. The AFL has looked to expand the game beyond Australia in recent years, it is estimated over 100,000 people participate in the sport outside Australia. The Australian Football International Cup takes place every three years in Melbourne, where teams from 18 countries compete against each other; the growth of the game and the prospective talent overseas has led to the AFL establishing combines internationally. The US AFL Combine is held at IMG Academy in Florida. All 15 participants from the 2015 combine were from a college basketball background; each year a minimum of two of the group will be chosen to partake in the AFL National Combine held in Melbourne. Eric Wallace, Mason Cox and Jason Holmes are all AFL listed players who are former US Combine graduates; the European Combine is held in Dublin and overseen by AFL International Talent Manager Tadhg Kennelly, a former player for the Sydney Swans, drafted f
Hawthorn Football Club
The Hawthorn Football Club, nicknamed the Hawks, is a professional Australian rules football club in the Australian Football League. The club, founded in 1902, is the youngest of the Victorian-based teams in the AFL and has won thirteen VFL/AFL premierships, it is renowned as the only club having won premierships in each decade of the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. The team play in gold vertically striped guernseys; the club's Latin motto is spectemur agendo, the English translation being "Let us be judged by our acts". The Hawks' origins are in the inner-eastern Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn and at Glenferrie Oval, the club's former administrative and training base and social club. Matches, have not been played there since 1973. In 2006, Hawthorn's training and administration facilities were relocated to Waverly Park, located 27.8 km from the CBD and in the middle of the club's major supporter base in Melbourne's outer-eastern region. The mascot of Hawthorn FC is a hawk. Since 2007 Hawthorn have played four games a year at their second ground of York Park in Launceston, with the remaining games played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the club's current playing home ground.
Hawthorn's current Victorian Football League affiliate team is the Box Hill Hawks Football Club. The official club history books and many supporters believe that the club's origins date back to its founding in 1873 at a meeting at the Hawthorne Hotel. Although a Hawthorn Football Club did indeed form at this time—and the region has since continuously been represented by a football team—it was not the Hawthorn which competes at AFL level today, it is that today's club is the third club to carry the name'Hawthorn Football Club'. In The Daily Telegraph of 12 May 1883 it is stated that "The Hawthorn Club having disbanded, all engagements for the ensuing season have been cancelled." In 1889 the Riversdale Football Club is reported to have changed its name to the Hawthorn Football Club. This club ceased in 1890. No Hawthorn club existed from 1890 to 1892. A new representative club, called the'Hawthorn Football Club', was formed in 1893, it competed in the Victorian Junior Football Association until 1898.
Without a ground to play on, the club was disbanded in 1899. In March 1902, Alf Kosky formed a club from the various district clubs under the banner of Hawthorn Football Club to compete in the Metropolitan Junior Football Association; the club merged with Boroondara in 1905 and adopted Boroondara's colours of a black guernsey with red sash but retained the name of Hawthorn. In 1906 Hawthorn merged with successful junior club the Hawthorn Rovers to form the Hawthorn City Football Club as a result of Glenferrie Oval opening; the club opted to change the gold guernsey with a blue V of the Hawthorn Rovers. The council applied to the Victorian Football Association for inclusion, granted in 1914 when Hawthorn replaced the disbanded Melbourne City club; the first task for the club was to decide on club colours, their jumper of blue and gold was taken by Williamstown so a change was required. At a Special General Meeting held on 17 February 1914, a Mr J. Brain proposed brown and gold as the new colours and the motion was carried.
The Mayblooms won three games and a draw in their first season in the VFA. The effect of World War I with players enlisting caused the club to finish last in 1915; the VFA went into recess in 1916 and 1917, Hawthorn did not compete when resumption occurred in 1918. Upon Hawthorn's resumption in 1919 it was more competitive winning eight games and finishing sixth out of ten teams. Hawthorn dropped to eighth in 1920 but in 1921 they won seven games and finished sixth. Bill Walton was appointed captain-coach of Hawthorn in 1922, he was, refused a clearance by Port Melbourne and as a result spent the season playing for them, while coaching Hawthorn during the week. Twice that season, he had the unusual situation of playing a VFA game against the club that he coached. In one of those matches a Port Melbourne teammate had to be restrained from striking Walton over Walton's vocal support for the player's opponent. In 1922 the club missed the finals by percentage and Hawthorn set a new record score in the VFA scoring 30.31.211 to Prahran 6.9.45.
In 1923 Walton was granted his clearance and the club made the finals finishing in fourth place and losing to Port Melbourne in the first semi-final. 1924 the club finished fifth. Since 1919 the VFL had nine clubs; the VFL was keen to do away with this bye via the admission of a tenth club. In 1924 a group calling itself the Hawthorn Citizens' League Campaign Committee began gathering support for the football club admittance to the VFL. Other representations came from Brighton, Footscray, North Melbourne, Prahran and Caulfield. On 9 January 1925 a committee meeting of the VFL, chaired by Reg Hunt of Carlton, examined the question of expanding the competition from nine clubs to twelve; the Mayblooms, as they were known became the perennial whipping boys of the competition. Hawthorn had an casual attitude towards playing football and, lying remote from major industrial areas and devoid of the business or political patrons available to Carlton and Collingwood, were not able to pay their players the match payment allowed by the Coulter Law.
Despite the presence of a number players of true class such as Bert Hyde, Bert Mills, Stan Spinks, Alec Albiston and Co
West Australian Football League
The West Australian Football League is an Australian rules football league based in Perth, Western Australia. The WAFL is the third-most popular league in the nation, behind the nationwide Australian Football League and South Australian National Football League; the league consists of nine teams, which play each other in a 24-round season lasting from March to September, with the top five teams playing off in a finals series, culminating in a Grand Final. The league runs reserves and colts competitions; the WAFL was founded in 1885 as the West Australian Football Association, has undergone a variety of name changes since re-adopting its current name in 2001. For most of its existence, the league was considered one of the traditional "big three" Australian rules football leagues, along with the Victorian Football League and South Australian National Football League. However, since the introduction of two Western Australia-based clubs into the VFL – the West Coast Eagles in 1987 and the Fremantle Football Club in 1995 – the popularity and standard of the league has decreased to the point where it is considered a feeder competition to the AFL.
Although payments are made to players, it is considered to be a semi-professional competition. A salary cap of A$200,000 per club is in place; the league is affiliated with the two Western Australia-based AFL clubs. Players who are not selected to play with their respective AFL clubs instead play for allocated clubs in the WAFL; the competition is governed by the West Australian Football Commission, based at Subiaco Oval. There are ten teams that compete in the WAFL: a Claremont played at the Claremont Showgrounds from 1925 to 1927 and again from 2014 until 2016 when Claremont Oval was closed for re-development, at Subiaco Oval from 1945 to 1947 when Claremont Oval was being rebuilt after a grandstand fire in 1944. B East Fremantle played at Fremantle Oval from 1898 to 1952, excluding a period in 1906 where home games were played at East Fremantle Oval. C East Perth played at Wellington Square from 1902 to 1909, at Perth Oval from 1910 to 1987 and from 1990 to 1999, at the WACA Ground during 1988 and 1989.
D Perth played at the WACA Ground from 1899 to 1958 and during 1987 and 1988. E Subiaco played at Shenton Park between 1901 and 1905, at Mueller Park in 1906 and 1907, at Subiaco Oval from 1908 to 2003. F West Perth played at Leederville Oval from 1915 to 1993. Ten other clubs competed in the competition: Fremantle Football Club was known as Unions Football Club from 1886 to 1889.a Up until the turn of the century, there were a limited number of grounds available for use by the clubs, with all clubs sharing the different grounds. As such, the Esplanade Park and Fremantle Park in Fremantle, the Old Recreation Ground and the New Recreation Ground in Perth were all used as "home" grounds by the above teams. B The High School withdrew from the competition due to lack of players two rounds into the inaugural season. C Rovers were a "wandering" team – they had no home ground, drew players from all over the metropolitan area. D West Australian Football Club merged with Victorians in 1889 to form the Metropolitan Football Club, which in turn became the West Perth Football Club.
The WAFL has a salary cap in place. In 2016 the Total Player Payments cap is $294,000 for the non-AFL aligned clubs, while the cap for East Perth and Peel Thunder is $191,100. In January 2015, the WAFL executive announced. Under the arrangement, Seven agreed to a three-year deal involving the telecast of 18 home and away matches as well as all Finals matches, broadcast throughout Western Australia; the WAFL match of the round was broadcast on ABC throughout Western Australia every Saturday afternoon during the regular home and away season. Matches were replayed nationwide on-demand from the ABC iView service and re-broadcast on the ABC2 channel early Friday morning at 2.30 am local time. Radio stations which cover the competition include 720 ABC Perth, ABC Grandstand Digital, 91.3 SportFM, 107.3 HFM and KIX Country Digital. Since 2015, the current major sponsor of the WAFL Premiership is Telecommunications Company Optus. Prior to that, AAMI were major sponsors of the league. Attendance at WAFL matches dropped when each of the two Western Australian based AFL teams entered the league.
In recent years, however the attendances have increased with 2009 recording the first combined annual attendance of more than 200,000 since 1994. A largest recent crowd was 24,638 at the 2010 WAFL Grand Final between Swan Districts and Claremont at Subiaco Oval; the all-time attendance record is 52,781 in 1979 for East Fremantle v South Fremantle at Subiaco Oval. Patrons at the WAFL pay at the gates; the following are the most recent attendance figures. Organised football in the Perth/Fremantle region of Western Australia dates back to 1881. Back though rugby union was the dominant football code, with only one senior club, "Unions", playing Australian Rules. In 1883 a second club, "Swans", but Australian Rules' growth remained much subdued compared to that of Victoria and South Australia. However, in those days many young men of Perth's wealthier families were educated in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. On returning home from there they wished to play the sport they'd grown up with and no doubt exerted some influence on their less affluent peers as to such.
Coincidentally, the press at the time reported there was a growing dissatisfaction with rugby as a spectacle. During the 1880s, the discoveries of gold
Australian Football League
The Australian Football League is the pre-eminent professional competition of Australian rules football. Through the AFL Commission, the AFL serves as the sport's governing body, is responsible for controlling the laws of the game; the league was founded as the Victorian Football League as a breakaway from the previous Victorian Football Association, with its inaugural season commencing in 1897. Comprising only teams based in the Australian state of Victoria, the competition's name was changed to the Australian Football League for the 1990 season, after expanding to other states throughout the 1980s; the league consists of 18 teams spread over five of Australia's six states. Matches have been played in all states and mainland territories of Australia, as well as in New Zealand and China to promote the sport abroad; the AFL season consists of a pre-season competition, followed by a 23-round regular season, which runs during the Australian winter. The team with the best record after the home-and-away series is awarded the "minor premiership."
The top eight teams play off in a four-round finals series, culminating in the AFL Grand Final, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground each year. The grand final winner is termed the "premiers", is awarded the premiership cup; the current premiers are the West Coast Eagles. The Victorian Football Association was established in 1877 and went on to become Victoria's major Australian rules football competition. During the 1890s, an off-field power struggle occurred between the VFA's stronger and weaker clubs, the former seeking greater administrative control commensurate with their relative financial contribution to the game; this came to a head in 1896 when it was proposed that gate profits, which were always lower in matches involving the weaker clubs, be shared amongst all teams in the VFA. After it was intimated that the proposal would be put to a vote, six of the strongest clubs—Collingwood, Fitzroy, Geelong and South Melbourne—seceded from the VFA, invited Carlton and St Kilda to join them in founding a new competition, the Victorian Football League.
The remaining VFA clubs—Footscray, North Melbourne, Port Melbourne and Williamstown—were given the opportunity to compete as a junior sides at a level beneath the VFL, but rejected the offer and remained for the 1897 VFA season. The VFL's inaugural season occurred in 1897, it made several innovations early on to entice the public's interest, including an annual finals tournament, rather than awarding the premiership to the team with the best record through the season. Although the VFL and the VFA continued to compete for spectator interest for many years, the VFL established itself as the premier competition in Victoria. In 1908, the league expanded to ten teams, with Richmond crossing from the VFA and University Football Club from the Metropolitan Football Association. University, after three promising seasons, finished last each year from 1911 until 1914, including losing 51 matches in a row; as a result, the club withdrew from the VFL at the end of 1914. Beginning sporadically during the late 1890s and from 1907 until World War I, the VFL premier and the premier of the South Australian Football League met in a playoff match for the Championship of Australia.
South Australia's Port Adelaide was the most successful club of the competition winning three titles during the period along with an earlier victory. In 1925, the VFL expanded from nine teams to twelve, with Footscray and North Melbourne each crossing from the VFA. North Melbourne and Hawthorn remained weak in the VFL for a long period. Although North Melbourne would become the first of the 1925 expansion sides to reach a Grand Final in 1950 it was Footscray that adapted to the VFL with the most ease of the three clubs, by 1928 were well off the bottom of the ladder. Between the years of 1927 and 1930, Collingwood became the first, only VFL team, to win four successive Premierships. In 1952, the VFL hosted ` National Day'. Matches were played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Brisbane Exhibition Ground, North Hobart Oval, Albury Sports Ground and Victorian country towns Yallourn and Euroa. Footscray became the first of the 1925 expansion teams to win the premiership in 1954. Melbourne became a powerhouse during the 1950s and early 1960s under coach Norm Smith and star player Ron Barassi.
The club contested seven consecutive grand finals from 1954 to 1960, winning five premierships, including three in a row from 1955 to 1957. Television coverage began with direct telecasts of the final quarter permitted. At first, several channels competed through broadcasting different games. However, when the VFL found that television was reducing crowds, it decided that no coverage was to be allowed for 1960. In 1961, replays were introduced although direct telecasts were permitted in Melbourne. In 1959, the VFL planned the first purpose built mega-stadium, VFL Park, to give it some independence from the Melbourne Crick
Australian rules football
Australian rules football known as Australian football, or called Aussie rules, football or footy, is a contact sport played between two teams of eighteen players on an oval-shaped field a modified cricket ground. Points are scored by kicking the oval-shaped ball between behind posts. During general play, players may position themselves anywhere on the field and use any part of their bodies to move the ball; the primary methods are kicking and running with the ball. There are rules on how the ball can be handled: for example, players running with the ball must intermittently bounce or touch it on the ground. Throwing the ball is not allowed and players must not get caught holding the ball. A distinctive feature of the game is the mark, where players anywhere on the field who catch the ball from a kick are awarded possession. Possession of the ball is in dispute at all times except when mark is paid. Players can use their whole body to obstruct opponents. Dangerous physical contact, interference when marking and deliberately slowing the play are discouraged with free kicks, distance penalties or suspension for a certain number of matches, depending on the seriousness of the infringement.
The game features frequent physical contests, spectacular marking, fast movement of both players and the ball and high scoring. The sport's origins can be traced to football matches played in Melbourne, Victoria in 1858, inspired by English public school football games. Seeking to develop a game more suited to adults and Australian conditions, the Melbourne Football Club published the first laws of Australian football in May 1859, making it the oldest of the world's major football codes. Australian football has the highest spectator attendance and television viewership of all sports in Australia, while the Australian Football League, the sport's only professional competition, is the nation's wealthiest sporting body; the AFL Grand Final, held annually at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, is the highest attended club championship event in the world. The sport is played at amateur level in many countries and in several variations, its rules are governed by the AFL Commission with the advice of the AFL's Laws of the Game Committee.
Australian rules football is known by several nicknames, including Aussie rules and footy. In some regions, it is marketed as AFL after the Australian Football League. There is evidence of football being played sporadically in the Australian colonies in the first half of the 19th century. Compared to cricket and horse racing, football was viewed as a minor "amusement" at the time, while little is known about these early one-off games, it is clear they share no causal link with Australian football. In 1858, in a move that would help to shape Australian football in its formative years, "public" schools in Melbourne, Victoria began organising football games inspired by precedents at English public schools; the earliest such match, held in St Kilda on 15 June, was between Melbourne Grammar and St Kilda Grammar. On 10 July 1858, the Melbourne-based Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle published a letter by Tom Wills, captain of the Victoria cricket team, calling for the formation of a "foot-ball club" with a "code of laws" to keep cricketers fit during winter.
Born in Australia, Wills played a nascent form of rugby football whilst a pupil at Rugby School in England, returned to his homeland a star athlete and cricketer. His letter is regarded by many historians as giving impetus for the development of a new code of football today known as Australian football. Two weeks Wills' friend, cricketer Jerry Bryant, posted an advertisement for a scratch match at the Richmond Paddock adjoining the Melbourne Cricket Ground; this was the first of several "kickabouts" held that year involving members of the Melbourne Cricket Club, including Wills, Bryant, W. J. Hammersley and J. B. Thompson. Trees were used as goalposts and play lasted an entire afternoon. Without an agreed upon code of laws, some players were guided by rules they had learned in the British Isles, "others by no rules at all". Another significant milestone in 1858 was a match played under experimental rules between Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College, held at the Richmond Paddock; this 40-a-side contest, umpired by Wills and Scotch College teacher John Macadam, began on 7 August and continued over two subsequent Saturdays, ending in a draw with each side kicking one goal.
It is commemorated with a statue outside the MCG, the two schools have competed annually since in the Cordner-Eggleston Cup, the world's oldest continuous football competition. Since the early 20th century, it has been suggested that Australian football was derived from the Irish sport of Gaelic football, not codified until 1885. There is no archival evidence in favour of a Gaelic influence, the style of play shared between the two modern codes was evident in Australia long before the Irish game evolved in a similar direction. Another theory, first proposed in 1983, posits that Wills, having grown up amongst Aborigines in Victoria, may have seen or played the Aboriginal game of Marn Grook, incorporated some of its features into early Australian football; the evidence for this is only circumstantial, according to biographer Greg de Moore's research, Wills was "almost influenced by his experience at Rugby School". A loosely organised Melbourne side, captained by Wills, played against other football enthusiasts in the winter and spring of 1858.
The following year, on 14 May, the Melbourne Football Club came into being, making it one of the
1992 AFL draft
The 1992 AFL draft is the annual draft of talented players by Australian rules football teams that participate in the main competition of that sport, the Australian Football League. It consisted of the pre-season draft and the trade period. In 1992 there were 124 picks. There was a mid-year draft held during the 1992 season. Players recruited in this draft were able to take their places in their AFL clubs in the latter part of the 1992 season, although not all chose to do so; the 1992 draft suffered from three high-profile cases of draft tampering involving rated South Australian players: No. 6 selection Robert Pyman, No. 10 selection Brett Chalmers, No. 13 selection Andrew McKay. Prior to the draft, all three players contacted AFL clubs which they did not want to play for, told those clubs that they would remain in South Australia if drafted by them. However, this action was contrary to the rules; the most serious offence was by Chalmers, who had contacted most clubs in an effort to ensure that only Collingwood would draft him.
He was fined $30,000, was made ineligible to play for Collingwood for three years. McKay and Pyman, who had warned only the AFL's struggling clubs against drafting them, but had not contrived to end up at a specific club, were fined only $10,000 and were permitted to continue playing for their new clubs. Brisbane Bears zone selection Nathan Buckley and the North Melbourne Football Club were forced to defend accusations that they had come to a draft-tampering agreement for Buckley to be traded to North Melbourne, but after a long and costly legal battle both parties were found not guilty
Melbourne Park is a sports venue in the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct in Melbourne, Australia. Since 1988, Australian's bicentenary, Melbourne Park has been home of the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament, played annually in January; the park has facilities capable of hosting basketball, music concerts and other events. In the past Melbourne Park has hosted ice skating, international swimming and motorsport events. Melbourne Park is owned by Melbourne & Olympic Parks, which runs the adjacent Melbourne Rectangular Stadium; the Yarra Park section of the Sports and Entertainment Precinct is run separately. The park was known as Flinders Park until 1996, when then-Premier, Jeff Kennett decided to change the name to Melbourne Park to advertise the name "Melbourne" to a wide international audience during events held there; the decision was met with strong opposition, was compared by some to renaming Stade Roland Garros "Paris Park". However, over the years, the name has become accepted by Melburnians.
Flinders park was developed in 1988 beside the Jolimont Yard as a new precinct to host the Australian Open. The previous venue, Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, had become too small for the burgeoning tournament. Flinders Park's construction was completed in 1988 at a cost of at least $94 million; the unveiling of the new precinct was met with positive reviews by players and spectators, with some labelling the facilities and amenities the best of the four Grand Slams. Expansion of the precinct next occurred in 1996, when a further $23 million was invested to create two seated and larger show courts and eight new ‘Ace’ courts, as well as a large grassy space, now known as ‘Garden Square’; the organisation responsible for managing the precinct is the Melbourne & Olympic Parks Trust, established in October 1995 in accordance with the provisions of the amended Melbourne & Olympic Parks Act 1985. In April 2018, Tennis Australia revealed it harboured ambitions to take over management rights of the entire precinct, with the hope of maximising its use for other sporting and cultural events outside of the Australian Open.
While it is best known for being a tennis venue, Melbourne Park plays host to a number of other sports and musical events throughout the year. The venue tends to be used by more popular international performers, as it is the largest the city has to offer, excluding the Docklands Stadium in the Docklands and the nearby Melbourne Cricket Ground. Aside from the Australian Open, which attracts crowds in excess of 700,000, other sports to be played at Melbourne Park's arenas include netball and basketball. More infrequently events like the UCI Track Cycling World Championships and ice hockey exhibition matches have been held at Melbourne Park. Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena are the two venues most used for music concerts. Melbourne Park is the only Grand Slam tennis venue to have three courts installed with a retractable roof, allowing play to continue in the event of rain or extreme heat. All three stadium courts/arenas are multi-purpose, being used for a variety of other sporting and musical events during the year, outside of their Australian Open commitments in January.
In total there are 35 outdoor Plexicushion tennis courts at Melbourne Park. Known as Centre Court, Rod Laver Arena has a capacity of nearly 15,000 and has a retractable roof; the arena was opened in 1988 prior to that year's championships and was known as the National Tennis Centre at Flinders Park. It was not until January 2000 that the arena was named after one of the greatest Australian tennis players, Rod Laver. Rod Laver Arena has played host to some of the most memorable tennis matches, such as: Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer – The Federer-Nadal rivalry includes two finals at the Australian Open, each eight years apart and shared between the pair. Both are considered classics; the 2009 final was noteworthy for Federer's tears during the post-match presentation. Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal – Considered one of the greatest matches Djokovic clinched his third Australian Open title in a near-six hour epic, defeating Nadal 7-5 in the fifth set, it was the longest final in Grand Slam history, lasting 5 hours 53 minutes and eclipsing the previous record set by Mats Wilander and Ivan Lendl at the 1988 US Open final.
Lleyton Hewitt vs. Roger Federer – Labelled "one of the greatest comebacks in Australia's long Davis Cup history," Hewitt defeated a still rising Federer, 5-7 2-6 7-6 7-5 6-1 before a raucous Melbourne crowd and booked Australia's place in the final; the second largest court is Melbourne Arena, opened in 2000. It has a capacity of 10,500, has a retractable roof. Completed in 2000 for a cost of $65 million, the arena has hosted a wide variety of sporting and other events since its inception including boxing bouts such as Anthony Mundine vs. Lester Ellis, as well as Grand Finals in netball and basketball and concerts performed by Scissor Sisters, BB King, Nicki Minaj and One Direction. During the Australian Open, Melbourne Arena hosts numerous day and night matches up to the end of the fourth round. Most notably it is the venue of the longest women's singles match in a Grand Slam. Francesca Schiavone defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 1-6 16-14 in four hours and forty-fo