Australian rules football
Australian rules football is a sport that is rich in tradition and has been a very important part of Australian culture for many years. The first game of Australian rules football was played in Melbourne in 1858, with the first set of rules being drawn up the following year.
Australian rules football is the most highly attended spectator sport in Australia.
Australian Football League (AFL)
The AFL is the top professional competition for Australian rules football. It has 18 teams in five states, with 10 of those teams based in Victoria. The AFL season traditionally commences in late March and ends with a grand final on the last Saturday in September or first Saturday in October. Games are generally played across the weekend though there are also some mid-week games.
||Greater Western Sydney
AFL matches are hosted at a number of sports stadiums around Australia. In Victoria, there are 3 venues which are used. With large crowds in attendance, the atmosphere at an AFL game is an experience not to be missed.
Etihad Stadium is a sporting and entertainment venue that is located in the heart of Docklands. It hosts football, soccer and rugby matches, plus concerts and functions. The stadium has a fully retractable roof and can seat over 53,000 spectators. (Docklands)
GMHBA Stadium is located within Kardinia Park and is the home ground of the Geelong Football Club. Seating over 28,000 spectators, it hosts football, soccer, rugby and cricket matches. It is also used as a concert and function venue. (Geelong)
Located in Yarra Park, the MCG is Melbourne's favourite premier sporting ground. It hosts football, rugby, soccer and cricket matches, and was also the main stadium for the 1956 Olympic Games and 2006 Commonwealth Games. The venue can seat around 100,000 fans and behind the scenes guided tours of this iconic stadium are available. (East Melbourne)
As well as the national AFL competition, there are many other leagues throughout Victoria.
The VFL is the major Victorian-based football league with 13 clubs from Melbourne plus Geelong and Ballarat. Most VFL clubs have an affiliate team in the AFL.
Many country towns have an Aussie rules club and their followers are just as passionate about their team as AFL fans. Most games are played on Saturdays and it's not too difficult to find a game to watch somewhere in the state.