A Look at the AFL Toyota Premiership’s Origins
As we gear up for the 2017 AFL Toyota Premiership its always interesting to take a look back at how the sport has grown and changed over the years.
The first fields in use were large rectangular expanses that were often dotted with trees –with these sometimes being used as goals for games. The game was originally known as “footy” around the 1850s, and became known as “Victorian Rules” when it spread over the country in the 1870s. By the early parts of the 20th Century, after the Australasian Football Council formed as the sport’s national governing body, at the time including New Zealand, it became officially known as the Australasian Game of Football. This eventually evolved into Australian Football.
For many years, captains of teams doubled as umpires, and players were wearing caps while they kicked a circular ball around. There was no playing time set for games, and the first team which was able to score two goals was confirmed as the winning ones. Many of these early games ended before a winner could be affirmed because it started getting dark, or a quarrel broke out, and some even had to be called to a halt because the ball burst. Footballs were far too expensive for the players to be able to have spares available for games, and play would have to cease when the ball broke.
The first-ever game to be officially reported was played on the 7th of August 1858, and the teams competing were Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar. After four hours of play it became too dark to see, and the scores were levelled at one goal for each side. The teams continued the game for another eight hours over two Saturdays, but were unable to score another goal, so the game was eventually declared a draw.
The 2017 Toyota AFL Premiership Season
The Toyota Premiership Season for 2017 kicks off on Thursday the 23rd of March, and this home and away season will continue on until Monday the 28th of August.
The key dates for this season include:
- Round One
Thursday March 23rd to Sunday March 26th
- Round Four
Easter Weekend: Thursday April 13th to Monday April 17th
- Round Five
Anzac Weekend: Friday April 21st to Tuesday April 25th
- Round Ten
Sire Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round: Thursday May 25th to Sunday May 28th
- Round 19
Multicultural Round: Friday July 28th to Sunday July 30th
- Rounds 11 to 13
The Bye Rounds: Thursday June 1st to Sunday June 18th
- Round 23
Friday August 25th to Monday August 28th
- Pre-Finals Bye Round
Friday September 1st to Friday to Sunday September 3rd
- Finals Week One
Thursday 7th September to Sunday September 10th
The 2017 Toyota AFL Grand Final will take place on Saturday September 30th at the MCG.