Throughout the history of the Victorian Football League/Australian Football League, an entirety of twelve finals systems have been used, adjusting for differing team numbers and evolving laws. The trial of so many systems in the past has lead to the current AFL final eight system and its success.

Themed rounds

To keep things interesting, the AFL has also hosted many special matches and themed rounds over the past century. These include the Women’s Round, Rivalry Round, and Heritage Round. One of the main desired effects of these rounds is to entertain the fans, particularly evident in the Rivalry Round, where traditional rivals are paired with each other. This marketing tactic has been especially effective, selling out stadiums with audience members eager to see the rivals battle it out regardless of the current rankings of the two teams within the premiership season.

The Indigenous Round

The Indigenous Round is one of the highest celebrated themed rounds. This came about in 2007 following a series of favourable matches called “Dreamtime at the G”. A yearly Indigenous Round was created, in honour of the Indigenous Australian people. All the players in each of the 18 teams are clothed with special artworks on their jerseys, by indigenous artists. The round is completed with one unique “Dreamtime at the G” match, which usually draws a crowd of over 80,000 to the MCG.

Semi-Finals

A week into the Finals Series means high energy from fans and players as they anticipate the semi-final matches. The winners of Week One’s qualifying matches have already flown through to Week Three of the competition. The failing teams from the previous week’s qualifying matches are to play home in the semi-finals against the successful teams of last week’s elimination matches. Two teams have already been eliminated and Week Two will determine the next two teams to be removed from the series.