North Melbourne Football Club
The North Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed the Kangaroos or less formally the Roos, the Kangas or North, is the fourth oldest Australian rules football club in the Australian Football League and is one of the oldest sporting clubs in Australia and the world. It is based at the Arden Street Oval in the inner Melbourne suburb of North Melbourne, but plays its home matches at the nearby Docklands Stadium; the club's mascot is a grey kangaroo, its use dates from the middle of the 20th century. The club is unofficially known as "The Shinboners", a term which dates back to its 19th-century abattoir-worker origins; the club's motto is Victoria amat curam, Latin for "Victory Demands Dedication". In two aspects North Melbourne stands second to none. One is the loyalty of its supporters; the other is the determination to carry on, despite its disadvantages. In the face of adversity, which might well have broken the spirit of most men, we find that from the earliest days there were always enthusiasts to fight for North Melbourne.
North Melbourne Football Club originated in the year 1869, when a football team was formed for local cricketers desiring to keep fit over the winter months. One thought is that the club was connected to the St Mary's Church of England Cricket Club, now the St Mary's Anglican Church North Melbourne, whose colours – blue and white – are reflected in the North Melbourne's colours today; the association between the St Mary's Church of England Cricket Club and the establishment of the North Melbourne Football Club is believed to have been an informal gathering to play some competitive sport. Information on the club's first match is limited, but it is known that it took place in Royal Park, which served as the club's home ground until 1882; the ball used in the match was purchased by a local resident called Tom Jacks, who sold some roofing iron to pay for it. James Henry Gardiner is considered the founder of the club, he continued an active role with North Melbourne until his death in 1921. Regular premiership matches of Australian Football commenced in Victoria in 1870.
Although North Melbourne was a part of this, it was classed as a "junior club". The Australasian noted them as being "one of the best of many junior clubs"; the club continued graduating to senior ranks in 1874 finishing 4th. Along with the promotion, the club adopted its first uniform of white horizontal stripes. In 1876 North Melbourne disbanded and many of its player and members joined Albert-park, giving the club such a strong North Melbourne character that many described it as "Albert-park cum North Melbourne". In 1877, the club was re-established as a stand-alone club under the new name of "Hotham". Football took a giant step forward in 1877, with the formation of Victoria's first colonial football league, the VFA. Hotham were prime movers in establishing this league and were afforded a place in light of their previous contributions to Australian Football; the 1880s marked the emergence of the modern identity today. In 1882, the club amalgamated with the Hotham Cricket Club and moved into the North Melbourne Recreation Reserve, which remains the home of the club today.
The joint venture was aimed at affecting improvements at the Hotham Cricket Ground, the name of the Reserve at the time. Four years the club adopted the traditional uniform of blue and white vertical stripes at the insistence of the VFA, who wanted a visible contrast between Geelong's and Hotham's uniforms; the third significant development occurred in 1888 with the club returning to its original name of the North Melbourne Football Club. This followed the name of the local area reverting from Hotham to North Melbourne; the 1880s saw the club develop a penchant for inter-colonial travel with trips to Tasmania and South Australia. Hotham found itself well represented at the first inter-colonial representative game in 1879 with four players from the club gaining selection for Victoria; the VFA grew to 13 senior clubs in the 1890s. Led by Geelong and Essendon, the largest clubs of the VFA formed their own break away league, the Victorian Football League, in 1896. Despite finishing 6th in 1896, North Melbourne was not invited to the breakaway competition.
The main reasons for being excluded were: North had not won a premiership yet, thus was not considered a powerful club The industrialisation of the locality had drained the club's income streams The club had a strong reputation for hooliganism from their fans There was a lot of bad blood between Collingwood and North following a torrid engagement in the previous season Essendon felt threatened by the proximity of North Melbourne A court case against the North Melbourne Cricket Club had damaged the Football Club's statusNorth continued on in the depleted VFA, emerging as a powerhouse, finishing 2nd in 1897, 1898 and 1899. In 1903, after 34 years of competing, the club won its first premiership, defeating Richmond in the final; the club became back to back premiers in 1904 after Richmond forfeited the grand final due to the appointment of an umpire whose performance when the two teams met earlier in the year was criticised by Richmond players and officials. North merged with fellow VFA football club West Melbourne in 1907, which at the time had lost its home ground.
The joint venture saw a chance of promotion, the club applied for admission to the more prestigious VFL in 1908, but Richmond and University were admitted instead. North was kicked out of the VFA during the 1907/08 offseason as a result of applying to join the VFL, before the local community reestablished the North Melbourne Football Club under a new committee enabling the club to play in the VFA in the 1908 season; the reformation of the Club necessitated a
The Charles Brownlow Trophy, better known as the Brownlow Medal, is awarded to the "best and fairest" player in the Australian Football League during the home-and-away season, as determined by votes cast by the officiating field umpires after each game. It is the most prestigious award for individual players in the AFL, it is widely acknowledged as the highest individual honour in the sport of Australian rules football. The medal was first awarded by the Victorian Football League, it was created and named in honour of Charles Brownlow, a former Geelong Football Club footballer and club secretary, VFL president, who had died in January 1924 after an extended illness. Although the award is spoken of the "best and fairest", the award's specific criterion is "fairest and best", reflecting an emphasis on sportsmanship and fair play, as the 1924 somewhat illuminated citation expressly states: Mr. Edward Greeves Geelong Football ClubTHE CHARLES BROWNLOW TROPHYDear Sir, On behalf of the Victorian Football League, we desire to place on permanent record the appreciation of your excellent play during the Season 1924.
You were selected as the fairest and best player and we have pleasure in presenting the accompanying Gold Medal in recognition of those sterling qualities. Trusting that you will be long spared to interest yourself in the adancement of the Game. We are, yours sincerelyW. Baldwin Spencer, M. E. Green, E. L. Wilson The VFL was the last of the four major mainland leagues to strike an award for league best and fairest: the SANFL's Magarey Medal had been awarded since 1898, while the WAFL's Sandover Medal and the VFA's Woodham Cup had been struck more recently. Over time, all of these awards have migrated towards similar rules regarding eligibility, but for the change of the monogram from VFL to AFL in 1990, the design and size of the medallion itself has remained unchanged from that of 1924. To determine the best player, the three field umpires confer after each home-and-away match and award 3 votes, 2 votes and 1 vote to the players they regard as the best, second best and third best in the match respectively.
On the awards night, the votes from each match are tallied, the player or players with the highest number of votes is awarded the medal. The current voting system has been used for the vast majority of Brownlow Medal counts. There have been different voting systems for short periods in the past: until 1930, only one vote was cast in each game; this was changed to the current 3–2–1 system after the 1930 season saw three players tied on four votes apiece. Since the rules were changed in 1980, if two or more eligible players score the equal highest number of votes, each wins a Brownlow medal. Prior to 1980, if two or more players were tied, a single winner was chosen on a countback: up to 1930, the winner was the player who had played the fewest games. With these considerations, these countbacks failed to separate Des Fothergill and Herbie Matthews, who tied for the medal in 1940; the league decided to keep the original award replica medals to the two winners. In 1989, the eight players who since the inception of the award had tied on votes but lost on a countback were awarded retrospective medals.
The fairest component of the medal is achieved by making ineligible any player, suspended by the AFL Tribunal during the home-and-away season. An ineligible player cannot win the Brownlow Medal, regardless of the number of votes he has received. A player remains eligible for the Brownlow Medal under the following circumstances: if he is suspended during the finals or pre-season; the application of the ineligibility criteria has remained consistent throughout the history of the award, with some subtle changes. For example, from 2005 until 2014, whether or not a player was ineligible was based on the penalty determined by the Tribunal's Match Review Panel before applying adjustments based on a player's good or bad record, or for accepting an early guilty plea or a player's existing good record – meaning that a player could be ineligible based on an infringement, worthy of a one-game suspension, but still avoid suspension by taking an early guilty plea on the charge. Since 2015, the criteria has been based upon whether or not the player is suspended during the season.
Umpires cast their votes for each game independent of eligibility criteria of the players. Prior to 1991, votes could not be awarded to a player in a match in which he was reported, but this rule was eliminated in 1991 so that a player would not be disadvantaged if he would have gained votes in a match in which he was reported but cleared by the tribunal. On three occasions, an ineligible player has tallied the highest number of Brownlow votes: In 1996, Core
Tackle (football move)
Most forms of football have a move known as a tackle. The primary and important purposes of tackling are to dispossess an opponent of the ball, to stop the player from gaining ground towards goal or to stop them from carrying out what they intend; the word is used in some contact variations of football to describe the act of physically holding or wrestling a player to the ground. In others, it describes one or more methods of contesting for possession of the ball, it can therefore be used as both a defensive or attacking move. In Middle Dutch, the verb tacken meant to handle. By the 14th century, this had come to be used for the equipment used for fishing, referring to the rod and reel, etc. and for that used in sailing, referring to rigging, equipment, or gear used on ships. By the 18th century, a similar use was applied to harnesses or equipment used with horses. Modern use in football comes from the earlier sport of rugby, where the word was used in the 19th century. In American football and Canadian football, to tackle is to physically interfere with the forward progress of a player in possession of the ball, such that his forward progress ceases and is not resumed, or such that he is caused to touch some part of his body to the ground other than his feet or hands, or such that he is forced to go out of bounds.
In any such case, the ball becomes dead, the down is over, play ceases until the beginning of the next play. A tackle is known as a quarterback sack when the quarterback is tackled at or behind the line of scrimmage while attempting to throw a pass. A tackle for loss indicates a tackle that causes a loss of yardage for the opposing running back or wide receiver; this happens when the quarterback is sacked, when either a rusher or a receiver is tackled behind the line of scrimmage, or when the ball is fumbled behind the line of scrimmage and was picked up by an offensive player who does not manage to move past the line before being tackled. When a player who does not have the ball is taken down, it is referred to as a block. Tacklers are not required to wrap their arms around the ball carrier before bringing him to the ground. Tackles can be made by grabbing the ball carrier's jersey and pulling him to the ground; as mentioned above, the referee can declare that a play is dead if the ball carrier's forward progress has been stopped if he has not been taken to the ground.
To protect players from catastrophic injury, there are some restrictions on tackles and blocks. At no time may a defensive player tackle an offensive player by grabbing the facemask of their helmet. Although spear tackles are allowed in gridiron football, a player may not use his helmet to tackle an opponent as the technique can cause serious injury to both players and warrants a 15-yard penalty as well as a fresh set of downs if committed by the defending team. A similar penalty is assessed to any player attempting to make contact with his helmet against another opponent's helmet, known as a helmet-to-helmet collision. Grabbing a ball carrier by the pads behind his neck and pulling him down is known as a "horse collar", a method, made illegal at all levels of American football, it is illegal to tackle a player who has thrown a forward pass after he has released the ball. However, in the NFL a player can continue forward for one step, which means that a player, committed to attacking the quarterback will still make a tackle.
Place kickers and punters are afforded an greater protection from being tackled. Once the play is ruled complete, no contact is permitted. Blocks that occur in the back of the legs and below the knees, initiated below the waist, or clotheslines are generally prohibited and players who use them are subject to much more severe penalties than other illegal tackles. However, a player who plays on the line can block below the knees as long the block is within five yards of the line and the player they block is in front of them and not engaged by another blocker. In the National Football League, tackles are tracked as an unofficial statistic by a scorekeeper hired by the home team. Though the statistic is cited, the league does not verify that the counts are accurate. Unlike other codes, tackles in association football have to be predominantly directed against the ball rather than the player in possession of it; this is achieved by using either leg to wrest possession from the opponent, or sliding in on the grass to knock the ball away.
A defender is permitted to use their body to obstruct the motion of a player with the ball, this may be part of a successful tackle. Pulling a player to the ground in the style of tackle common to other codes is absent from the game. Although some contact between players is allowed, the rules of association football limit the physicality of tackles, explicitly forbidding contacts which are "careless, reckless or excessive force
Australia international rules football team
This article concerns the men's team. The Australia international rules football team is Australia's senior representative team in International rules football, a hybrid sport derived from Australian rules football and Gaelic football; the current team is made up of players from the Australian Football League. Although Australian rules football is played around the world at an amateur level, Australia is considered far too strong to compete against at senior level. Hence, selection in the Australian international rules team is the only opportunity that Australian rules footballers have to represent their country; until 2004 the majority of the men's Australian squad was composed of members of the All-Australian team, as well as other outstanding performers from the season. In 2005 the decision was made to select players best suited to the conditions of the hybrid game, which resulted in a younger and quicker team being selected; however this was reverted to the All-Australian model ahead of the 2014 series.
For the 2013 Series only, the decision was made to select an all-Indigenous team, known as the Indigenous All Stars. Competing in the International Rules Series, the only team Australia plays against is the Ireland international rules football team; the series has been played intermittently since 1984. Australian under-age teams have been represented in the past, as well as a women's team in 2006. Australia last hosted the International Rules Series in 2014. 1 Travis Boak 2 Paddy Ryder 3 Michael Hibberd 4 Jack Gunston 5 Kade Simpson 6 Zach Merrett 7 Nat Fyfe 8 Brendon Goddard – Goalkeeper 9 Shaun Burgoyne - Captain 10 Scott Pendlebury 11 Rory Sloane 12 Robbie Tarrant 14 Joel Selwood 15 Dayne Zorko 16 Ben Brown 17 Neville Jetta 18 Eddie Betts 20 Chad Wingard 21 Luke Shuey 22 Shaun Higgins 29 Rory Laird 35 Patrick Dangerfield Toby Greene withdrew from the squad after breaking his toe and Gary Ablett withdrew for personal reasons. Selwood missed the first game due to an ankle injury and Ryder only played the first game, Higgins was added to the team for the second game.
Hayden Ballantyne Eddie Betts Grant Birchall Luke Breust Patrick Dangerfield Dustin Fletcher – Goalkeeper Andrew Gaff Brendon Goddard Robbie Gray Dyson Heppell Luke Hodge – Captain Sam Mitchell Leigh Montagna David Mundy Robert Murphy Nick Riewoldt Tom Rockliff Jarryd Roughead Nick Smith Jake Stringer Harry Taylor Easton Wood Coach – Alastair ClarksonJim Stynes Medal: Harry Taylor Grant Birchall Travis Boak Luke Breust Patrick Dangerfield Dustin Fletcher – Goalkeeper Nathan Fyfe Brendon Goddard Robbie Gray Brent Harvey Luke Hodge Kieren Jack Steve Johnson Jarrad McVeigh Sam Mitchell Leigh Montagna Nic Naitanui Nick Riewoldt Tom Rockliff Joel Selwood – Captain Brodie Smith Harry Taylor Jobe Watson Chad Wingard Coach – Alastair ClarksonJim Stynes Medal: Luke Hodge Tony Armstrong Dom Barry Eddie Betts Aaron Davey Alwyn Davey Shaun Edwards Cam Ellis-Yolmen Lance Franklin Jarrod Harbrow Josh Hill Leroy Jetta Lewis Jetta Nathan Lovett-Murray Ashley McGrath – Goalkeeper Steven Motlop Jake Neade Mathew Stokes Lindsay Thomas Sharrod Wellingham Daniel Wells – Captain Chris Yarran Coach – Michael O'LoughlinJim Stynes Medal: Ashley McGrath Richard Douglas James Frawley Robbie Gray Brad Green – Captain Shaun Grigg James Kelly Jake King Ben McGlynn Trent McKenzie Stephen Milne Angus Monfries Robin Nahas Mark Nicoski Mitch Robinson Liam Shiels Zac Smith Matt Suckling – Goalkeeper Andrew Swallow Jack Trengove Bernie Vince Callan Ward David Wojcinski Easton Wood Joel Patfull Coach – Rodney EadeJim Stynes Medal: James Kelly Todd Banfield Eddie Betts Matthew Boyd Daniel Cross Patrick Dangerfield Paul Duffield Dustin Fletcher – Goalkeeper James Frawley Bryce Gibbs Sam Gilbert Tyson Goldsack Adam Goodes – Captain Brad Green Garrick Ibbotson Kieren Jack Jarrad McVeigh Leigh Montagna Liam Picken Jack Riewoldt Kade Simpson Dane Swan Travis Varcoe David Wojcinski Coach – Mick Malthouse Jim Stynes Medal: Dane Swan Nathan Bock – Goalkeeper #1 M
Glossary of Australian rules football
This list is an alphabetical glossary of Australian rules football terms and slang. While some of these entries are shared with other sports, Australian rules football has developed a unique and rich terminology. Where words in a sentence are defined elsewhere in this article, they appear in italics. 1-2: an action where a player handpasses to a teammate, who handpasses back. 12-10 Rule: A rule in the VFL concerning the selection of AFL-listed players in teams with an AFL affiliate team. When a team, affiliated with an AFL team plays against a team, not affiliated with an AFL team, the affiliated team must play at least 12 VFL-listed players and no more than 10 AFL-listed players; the 12-10 rule does not apply when two AFL-affiliated teams play each other, in those games, teams may play as many AFL-listed players as they wish. This rule has since been abolished. 19th man: at a time in the game before the substitute bench was introduced in 1930, one reserve player was named in addition to the 18 players who started the game on the ground.
These players could enter the game only if one of the original 18 did not return. This was extended to the 20th man when a second reserve was introduced in 1946. Free interchange of the 19th and 20th players has been allowed in the VFL since 1978; this can refer to the philosophy of the South Australian crowd being the 19th man for the Adelaide Crows, who have retired the number 19 guernsey, sell sporting merchandise with the number 19 on it. Advantage paid: umpiring decision in which play continues after an infringement if the team with the ball is infringed upon. AFL: Australian Football League; this acronym is used colloquially as an alternative name for the sport when distinguishing it from other football codes in Queensland and New South Wales. After the siren: a set shot for goal. All-Australian: a player, chosen in the best team of the AFL competition each year, the All-Australian Team. Angle: the geometric angle formed by an imaginary line between a player taking a set shot and the centre of the goals, another imaginary line perpendicular to the goal line.
So, a player with "no angle" is taking a kick from directly in front. Arena: the playing surface. Assist: to kick or handpass to a player who scores either a goal or a behind; the term is common across many world sports. Australian football: name used by the AFL for the sport. Bag: colloquialism for five or more goals scored by one player. Ball!: yelled by spectators when an opposition player is tackled in possession of the ball. Short for "holding the ball". Ball burster: colloquialism for a massive kick a torpedo punt which travels over 70 metres. Ball-up: the act of a field umpire putting the ball back into play, either by throwing it vertically upwards into the air, or by bouncing the ball in such a way that it mimics the throwing action. See bounce-down. A ball-up is required at the start of each quarter, after a goal is scored or to restart the game from neutral situations in the field of play. Banana: see checkside. Banner: a large crêpe paper and sticky-tape banner that players run through prior to a match.
Barrack: to cheer for a team. A fan is known as a "barracker", while to ask someone who they barrack for is to ask which team they support. Barrel: see torpedo. Baulk: a manoeuvre where a player holds the ball out to the side in one hand runs in the other direction to evade a defender. Behind: a score worth one point, earned by putting the ball between a goal post and a behind post, or by the ball hitting a goal post, or by the ball being touched prior to passing between the goalposts. Behind posts: two shorter vertical posts 19.2m apart on the goal line at each end of the ground, centred about the taller goal posts. Bench: the interchange area; the "bench" refers to the seat used by the players in this area. Best on ground: player judged the best player taking part in any game. Sometimes referred to as BOG, pronounced "bee-oh-gee". Big dance: colloquial term for a grand final. Blinder: an exceptional performance by a player or team. Bounce-down: the act of a field umpire putting the ball back into play by bouncing the ball in such a way that it mimics a vertical throw.
See ball-up. Boundary line: the line drawn on the ground to delimit the field of play. Boundary throw-in: the act of throwing the ball back into play by the boundary umpire; the boundary umpire throws the ball backwards over their head. This is used to restart play from neutral situations. Boundary umpire: an official who patrols the boundary line, indicating when it has crossed the line, who executes boundary throw-in to return the ball to play. There are two of these umpires per game, one on each side of the oval, but there will be four in top grade games. Break: short for "break in play". Brownlow: the Brownlow Medal is awarded the week of the Grand Final to the player judged to be the fairest and best player in the league for the season, based on accumulated votes awarded by the field umpires at the conclusion of each match during the season. Bump: a contact
Laws of Australian rules football
The rules of Australian rules football were first formed by the Melbourne Football Club in 1859, been refined over the years as the game evolved into its modern form. The laws predate the advent of a governing body for the sport; the first national and international body, the Australasian Football Council, was formed in 1905 to govern Australian Football. Since 1994, the rules for the game known as Australian football have been governed by the AFL and the organisation's Laws of the Game committee. Australian rules football 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: including rules against running too far with the ball, throwing the ball and holding the ball.
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. If a player marks the ball, they are allowed a free kick; this encourages marking contests. 18 players are permitted to be on the field per team at any one time, with an additional 4 players on an interchange bench. The equipment needed to play the game is minimal; as in other kinds of football, players wear boots with stops in the soles, a thick, strong shirt or jumper known as a guernsey sleeveless, although long sleeve jumpers are sometimes worn in cold weather by some players. Protective gear is minimal. Most players wear a mouthguard but only a few wear a helmet a bicycle style helmet with a soft outer covering, only after medical advice, such as if they have been concussed numerous times; some players, predominantly ruckmen, wear shin guards.
All protective equipment must be approved by the umpires to ensure that it can not injure other players. The game is played on a grassed oval. Four posts, aligned in a straight line, 6.4 metres apart from each other, are erected at either end of the oval. The size of the ground is not fixed, but is between 135-185m long and 110-155m wide. Lines are drawn on the field to mark the boundary, a 50m-wide centre square a diamond shape, two concentric circles in the centre with diameters 3m and 10m, both bisected by one line, a 9×6.4m goal square at each end of the ground, a 15m-wide "interchange area" on one flank of the oval. A curved line at each end, 50 metres from the goal line Prior to a ground redevelopment at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the "Fifty Metre Lines" were replaced by 45m lines due to the ground's short length, to avoid overlapping with the centre square. In the 1980s, 25m lines were used in Western Australia; the game is a fast-paced combination of speed, athleticism and physical toughness.
Players are allowed to tackle the player with the ball and impede opposition players from tackling their teammates, but not to deliberately strike an opponent. Like most team sports, tactics are based around trying to get the ball – through a combination of running with the ball, hand-passing and kicking – to deliver it to a player, within range of goal; because taking a mark entitles the player to a free kick, a common tactic is to attempt to kick the ball on the full to a teammate, within kicking range of goal. In this situation, packs of players form around the goal square, the opportunity arises for spectacular marks in which players launch themselves off opponents' backs to mark the ball, high in the air; this particular skill is regarded as a spectacle, an annual "Mark of the Year" is awarded at the end of a season. There are no set positions in the rules of the game, but traditionally the field was divided into three major sections: the forward line, back line, midfield; the forward and back lines consisted of six players, arranged into two lines of three players each.
The midfield consists of the designated ruckman and players who either stay in the centre area of the ground or follow the ball and are not confined to a particular area. The modern game, has discarded positional play in favour of a free flowing running game and attempting to have loose men in various positions on the ground; the rise in popularity of the hand-pass since the 1970s has influenced this style of play, with players more willing to follow the ball and move it amongst themselves rather than kicking long to a one-on-one marking contest. In the late 1990s a tactic known as flooding was devised and shifted focus away from set positions; when a team "plays a flood", they direct two or more of their midfield or forward line players into their defence, thus out-numbering their opponent and making it difficult for any opposing forward to take an uncon
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