Mark (Australian rules football)
A mark is a skill in Australian rules football where a player cleanly catches a kicked ball that has travelled more than 15 metres without anyone else touching it or the ball hitting the ground. Although catching the ball is found in other codes of football, along with kicking the ball, it is one of the most prevalent skills in Australian football. Marking can be one of the most spectacular and distinctive aspects of the game, the best mark of the AFL season is awarded with the Mark of the Year, with similar competitions running across smaller leagues; the top markers in the Australian Football League, like Jason Dunstall and Jonathan Brown took an average of over eight marks per game. An AFL match between St Kilda and Port Adelaide in 2006 set a record of 303 marks in a single game. Upon taking a mark, the umpire will blow the whistle to signify the mark and a player is entitled to an unimpeded kick of the ball, to advance their team towards their goalposts; the nearest opposition player stands on the spot where the player marked the ball, known as the mark, becomes the man on the mark.
When taking the set kick, the player must either kick the ball over the mark. The criterion for a mark is that it be caught cleanly, i.e. the player have complete control of the ball, for any length of time. As such, if the ball is caught in one grab, punched out from between the player's hands, a mark is paid if they have held it for only an instant. If a ball is controlled, dislodged by another player or the ground, the mark will still be paid. Although the rules make no provision for two players marking the ball by convention the umpire will award the mark to the man in front, i.e. the player who has the front position in the marking contest. The mark has been included in the compromise rules used in the International Rules Football series between teams from Australia and Ireland since 1984. Various forms of football descended from English public school football games of the 19th century have featured a fair catch or mark, it was abolished early in the development of soccer but still exists in rugby union and American football.
The mark has been one of the most distinctive features of Australian football since rules were drawn up in 1859. Some people claim that the origin of the term mark comes from the practice of a player who has just taken a mark physically marking the ground with his/her foot, or cap which formed part of the attire worn by players in the 19th century, to show where he took the fair catch. Others claim that the origin of the mark comes from the traditional Aboriginal game of Marn Grook, said to have influenced Tom Wills' writing of the laws of the game, it is claimed that in Marn Grook, jumping to catch the ball, called "mumarki", an Aboriginal word meaning "to catch", results in a free kick. Some counterclaim this theory as false etymology. In Australian football, marks are described in combination of the following ways. Overhead mark: catching the ball with hands extended above the head Contested mark: catching the ball against one or more opponents who are attempting to mark or spoil the player attempting the mark.
This skill is declining in the professional game due to coaches discouraging preferring to avoid contests. Pack mark: catching the ball against one or more opponents and/or teammates all close to the fall of the ball. High mark: catching the ball whilst jumping up in the air. Stewart "Buckets" Loewe, Matthew Richardson and Simon Madden are notable exponents of the high mark. Spectacular mark: sometimes nicknamed'specky','screamer' or'hanger', this term is most used when a mark taken whilst jumping in the air. Additional elevation is achieved by using the legs to spring off the back or shoulders of one or more opponents and/or teammates; the movement of other players beneath the player marking can cause them to lose balance in mid air and land or fall awkwardly, enhancing the spectacle of the mark. The name reflects its popularity among spectators. Chest mark: catching the ball and drawing it in to the chest; this is considered the easiest mark to take, is used in wet weather. At professional level this skill is discouraged by coaches due to it giving opponents a much better chance of intercepting the ball from most directions.
Out in front: catching the ball with arms extended forward from the body. This skill is difficult with the ball travelling low and at high speeds. At professional level this skill is preferred by coaches, as it gives opponents less chance of spoiling from behind, if the ball spills, it will be "front and centre" of the player, which makes it much easier for rovers to predict and to execute game strategy. One-handed mark: catching the ball with only one hand. Used in a contested situation where one player's arm is impeded by an opponent, or where the player uses upper body strength to physically fend off their opponent. While spectacular, this skill is discouraged by coaches due to a low percentage of success and is sometimes seen as "showing off" or "lairising". Diving mark: leaping horizontally to catch the ball before it hits the ground. With the flight of the ball: a mark taken running in the direction that the ball is travelling. In order to do this, the player must take their eyes off opposition players sometimes running at fast pace in the opposite direction.
This type of mark is branded "courageous", because in attempting the mark, the player must ignore the danger of a high
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
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
Melbourne Cricket Ground
The Melbourne Cricket Ground known as "The G", is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Victoria. Home to the Melbourne Cricket Club, it is the 10th largest stadium in the world, the largest in Australia, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, the largest cricket ground by capacity, has the tallest light towers of any sporting venue; the MCG is within walking distance of the city centre and is served by Richmond and Jolimont stations, as well as the route 70 tram and the route 246 bus. It is part of the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct. Since it was built in 1853, the MCG has been in a state of constant renewal, it served as the centrepiece stadium of the 1956 Summer Olympics, the 2006 Commonwealth Games and two Cricket World Cups: 1992 and 2015. It is famous for its role in the development of international cricket; the annual Boxing Day Test is one of the MCG's most popular events. Referred to as "the spiritual home of Australian rules football" for its strong association with the sport since it was codified in 1859, it hosts Australian Football League matches in the winter, with at least one game held there in most rounds of the home-and-away season.
The stadium fills to capacity for the AFL Grand Final. Home to the National Sports Museum, the MCG has hosted other major sporting events, including international rules football matches between Australia and Ireland, international rugby union matches, State of Origin games, FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Concerts and other cultural events are held at the venue, with the record attendance standing at around 130,000 for a Billy Graham evangelistic crusade in 1959. Grandstand redevelopments and occupational health and safety legislation have limited the maximum seating capacity to 95,000 with an additional 5,000 standing room capacity, bringing the total capacity to 100,024; the MCG is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and was included on the Australian National Heritage List in 2005. Journalist Greg Baum called it "a shrine, a citadel, a landmark, a totem" that "symbolises Melbourne to the world". Founded in November 1838 the Melbourne Cricket Club selected the current MCG site in 1853 after playing at several grounds around Melbourne.
The club's first game was against a military team at the Old Mint site, at the corner of William and Latrobe Streets. Burial Hill became its home ground in January 1839, but the area was set aside for Botanical Gardens and the club was moved on in October 1846, to an area on the south bank of the Yarra about where the Herald and Weekly Times building is today; the area was subject to flooding, forcing the club to move again, this time to a ground in South Melbourne. It was not long before the club was forced out again, this time because of the expansion of the railway; the South Melbourne ground was in the path of Victoria's first steam railway line from Melbourne to Sandridge. Governor La Trobe offered the MCC a choice of three sites; this last option, now Yarra Park, had been used by Aborigines until 1835. Between 1835 and the early 1860s it was known as the Government or Police Paddock and served as a large agistment area for the horses of the Mounted Police, Border Police and Native Police.
The north-eastern section housed the main barracks for the Mounted Police in the Port Phillip district. In 1850 it was part of a 200-acre stretch set aside for public recreation extending from Governor La Trobe's Jolimont Estate to the Yarra River. By 1853 it had become a busy promenade for Melbourne residents. An MCC sub-committee chose the Richmond Park option because it was level enough for cricket but sloped enough to prevent inundation; that ground was located. At the same time the Richmond Cricket Club was given occupancy rights to six acres for another cricket ground on the eastern side of the Government Paddock. At the time of the land grant the Government stipulated that the ground was to be used for cricket and cricket only; this condition remained until 1933 when the State Government allowed the MCG's uses to be broadened to include other purposes when not being used for cricket. In 1863 a corridor of land running diagonally across Yarra Park was granted to the Hobson's Bay Railway and divided Yarra Park from the river.
The Mounted Police barracks were operational until the 1880s when it was subdivided into the current residential precinct bordered by Vale Street. The area closest to the river was developed for sporting purposes in years including Olympic venues in 1956; the first grandstand at the MCG was the original wooden members’ stand built in 1854, while the first public grandstand was a 200-metre long 6000-seat temporary structure built in 1861. Another grandstand seating 2000, facing one way to the cricket ground and the other way to the park where football was played, was built in 1876 for the 1877 visit of James Lillywhite's English cricket team, it was during this tour. In 1881 the original members' stand was sold to the Richmond Cricket Club for £55. A new brick stand, considered at the time to be the world's finest cricket facility, was built in its place; the foundation stone was laid by Prince George of Wales and Prince Albert Victor on 4 July and the stand opened in December that year. It was als
Setanta Ó hAilpín
Setanta Ó hAilpín is a Fijian-Irish sportsman. He was a hurler with the Cork senior team before becoming a professional Australian rules footballer, he is of mixed Irish and Rotuman background. His brothers Seán Óg, Teu and Aisake are noted sportsmen. Ó hAilpín was born in Australia to an Irish father and a mother from the Fijian dependency of Rotuma. The family moved to Cork in Ireland in 1988 and Ó hAilpín played both hurling and Gaelic football for Na Piarsaigh concentrating on hurling. In 2000 he was selected for the Cork minor team, he studied at Waterford Institute of Technology and starred on its Fitzgibbon Cup-winning side in March 2003. He joined his elder brother, Seán Óg, on the Cork team for the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship 2003, which lost the final to Kilkenny in September, his contribution to the campaign earned him an All-Star award and the Young Hurler of the Year award. In December 2003 Ó hAilpín announced his move to Australia to play Australian rules football for the Carlton Football Club in Melbourne.
This was considered surprising, as AFL recruiters in Ireland targeted Gaelic footballers and Ó hAilpín had concentrated on hurling. Younger brother Aisake followed Setanta to Carlton, while elder brother Seán Óg continued with the Cork hurlers. Ó hAilpín returned to Ireland in 2004 to play for the Irish team in the 2004 International Rules Series against Australia. During his trip, he turned out alongside his brothers for Na Piarsaigh as they won the Cork Senior Hurling Championship. Placed on the rookie list, strong performances for Carlton's VFL-affiliate, the Northern Bullants, saw Setanta elevated to the primary list in place of Anthony Franchina during 2004, he made his AFL debut during 2005, but had limited game time, scoring a goal with his only kick – a set shot at the end of the game. Ó hAilpín was placed on Carlton's senior list in 2006. After playing in the forward line for the first years of his development, he was shifted to half-back in early 2006, he gained regular senior selection late in the season, going on to play in the final ten games of the season.
Ó hAilpín began the 2007 season playing at full-back. An injury to Cameron Cloke saw Ó hAilpín replacing him as a back-up ruckman, he has been rotated forward from the ruck position, making him versatile. In June 2007, Setanta exchanged punches with teammate Cain Ackland in a training match; the event drew some media attention, however the club at the time brushed the incident off. Ó hAilpín became a crowd favourite among Carlton fans. His nickname, "Carlos", is derived from the similarity between "Setanta" and "Santana", the surname of the Mexican-American guitarist Carlos Santana. "Setanta" was the birth-name of hero of the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology. On 6 February 2009, Ó hAilpín was suspended indefinitely by the Carlton Football Club for his involvement in a violent altercation with teammate Cameron Cloke in an internal trial match, his actions were scrutinised by the AFL's match review panel on 9 February and he faced being forced into anger management counselling. On 9 February 2009, Ó hAilpín was suspended for four weeks by the AFL tribunal after being charged with a level four offence for striking Cloke and a level two offence for kicking him.
He came close to returning to Ireland.Ó hAilpín was back in the side in Round 5 for the Blues' game with the Western Bulldogs. In Carlton's Round 11 clash with Brisbane at the Gabba, Ó hAilpín played his 50th AFL game, the third Irishman to achieve the milestone, he set up Brendan Fevola for one as the Blues won by six points. Ó hAilpín played one of his best games against the unbeaten Saints on Round 12 clash. He kicked set-up another to Brendan Fevola. Ó hAilpín's match performances only got better and, for the first time he kicked four goals in a game against Fremantle in which the Blues came from behind at three quarter time to score an important win. Before the game that would have seen Ó hAilpín play his first AFL final, he was dropped by the Carlton selection committee before the elimination final against Brisbane. Following the departure of Fevola in the 2009/10 offseason, Ó hAilpín became the regular full forward/half forward in the Carlton line-up, he began to average over two goals per game, on 2 May 2010 he kicked a career high five goals, becoming the first Irish player to do so.
During the AFL Trade Week at the end of 2010, Ó hAilpín was linked with a move to the Western Bulldogs after being unhappy at being dropped from the Blues' side midway through the season and never getting back in. He was delisted at the end of the season. In the following offseason, Ó hAilpín was recruited to the inaugural AFL playing list of the Greater Western Sydney Giants, the club using its fifth round selection in the 2011 AFL National Draft to recruit him, he played his first match for Greater Western Sydney in Round 6, 2012, against his former team Carlton, kicking two goals before rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in the third quarter of the game. He scored five goals on his comeback from this injury in Round 4 of the 2013 season against Melbourne. Ó hAilpín was delisted by the Giants at the end of the 2013 season after playing seven games for the club. In December 2013 he was appointed by NSW/ACT, the governing body of Australian Rules in New South Wales, as the "Multicultural
Carlton Football Club
The Carlton Football Club, nicknamed the Blues, is a professional Australian rules football club based in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 1864 in Carlton, an inner suburb of Melbourne, the club competes in the Australian Football League, was one of the competition's eight founding member clubs in 1897; the club's headquarters and training facilities are located in Carlton at Princes Park, its traditional home ground, it plays its home matches at either Docklands Stadium or the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Carlton has been one of the AFL's most successful clubs, having won sixteen senior VFL/AFL premierships, equal with Essendon as the most of any club; the club has fielded a team in the AFL Women's league since its establishment in 2017. Carlton has had a long and successful history, winning the most premierships of any club in the VFL era. Together with fierce rivals Collingwood and Essendon, Carlton was considered to be one of the league's "Big Four" clubs, enjoys a healthy rivalry with all three others.
Since winning its last premiership in 1995, Carlton is experiencing its longest premiership drought, has finished bottom of the ladder the most of any club since the competition became known as the AFL. The Carlton Football Club was formed in July 1864. In the early days, Carlton became strong and having grown a large supporter base, it became a fierce rival to the Melbourne Football Club in early competition, including the South Yarra Challenge Cup, which it won in 1871. Carlton won four premierships during the pre-VFA era in the 1870s. In 1877, Carlton became one of the foundation clubs of the Victorian Football Association, was a comfortable winner of the premiership in the competition's inaugural season. Carlton was one of the first clubs to have a player worthy of the superstar tag: champion player George Coulthard, who played for Carlton between 1876 and 1882, was noted by The Australasian as'The grandest player of the day', he died of tuberculosis in 1883, aged 27. The club won one more VFA premiership, in 1887, but after that during the 1890s, the club went from one of the strongest clubs in the Association to one of the weaker, both on-field and off-field.
In spite of this, the club was invited to join the breakaway Victorian Football League competition in 1897. The club continued to struggle in early seasons of the new competition, finished seventh out of eight teams in each of its first five seasons. Carlton's fortunes improved in 1902; the Board elected the respected former Fitzroy footballer and Australian test cricketer Jack Worrall the secretary of the Carlton Cricket Club, to the same position at the football club. As secretary, Worrall took over the managing of the players, in what is now recognised as the first official coaching role in the VFL. Under Worrall's guidance in the latter part of the 1902 season, Carlton's on-field performances improved, in 1903 he led Carlton to the finals for the first time. Carlton built a strong reputation and financial position, was able to convince many great players to shift to the club from other clubs, or out of retirement. Worrall led the club to its first three VFL premierships, won consecutively, in 1906, 1907 and 1908.
Carlton became the first club in the VFL to win three premierships in a row, its win-loss record of 19–1 in the 1908 season was a record which stood for more than ninety years. N 1Following these premierships, Carlton went through a tumultuous period off-field; some players had become frustrated by low payments and hard training standards, responded by refusing to train or play matches. The club removed Worrall from the coaching role, after significant changes at board level after the 1909 season, Worrall left the club altogether. Many players who had supported Worrall left the club at the end of the season. In 1910, several players were suspected of having taken bribes to fix matches, with two players both found guilty and suspended for 99 matches. Despite this backdrop, Carlton continued its strong on-field form, reaching the 1909 and 1910 Grand Finals, but losing both. Carlton fell out of the finals in 1913, but returned in 1914 under coach Norm Clark, with many inexperienced players, to win back-to-back premierships in 1914 and 1915 VFL seasons.
Most football around the country was suspended during the height of World War I, but Carlton continued to compete in a VFL which featured, at its fewest, only four clubs. Altogether, between Jack Worrall's first Grand Final in 1904 and the peak of World War I in 1916, Carlton won five premierships and contested nine Grand Finals for one of the most successful times in the club's history; the only success which eluded the club was the Championship of Australia. Through the 1920s and the Great Depression of the 1930s, Carlton maintained a strong on-field presence; the club was a frequent finalist. However, premiership success did not follow, the club contested only three Grand Finals for just one premiership during this period, endured the second longest premiership drought in the club's history; the drought was broken with the club's sixth VFL premiership in 1938, when former Subiaco and South Melbourne champion Brighton Diggins was recruited
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