- 1897 VFL season
Infobox Victorian Football League season
year = 1897
clubs = 8
home-and-away season = 14 rounds
premiership team = Essendon
count = 1st
minor premiers = Geelong
mpcount = 1st
top goal kicker =
Eddy James(27)Results and statistics for the Victorian Football Leagueseason of 1897. It was the inaugural season of VFL/AFL football.
Six of the eight foundation teams in the VFL still exist and are still permanently based in Victoria (five in Melbourne), and compete in the
Australian Football League.Fitzroy merged with Brisbane to form the AFL's Brisbane Lionsin 1996. South Melbourne became close to defunct in the early 1980's, and the remains of that club including it's players were used to form the Sydney Swans. The Sydney Swans first season of playing home games in Sydney was 1982.
In 1897, the VFL competition consisted of eight teams of 20 on-the-field players each, with no "reserves" (although any of the 20 players who had left the playing field for any reason could later resume their place on the field at any time during the match).
Each team played each other twice in a home-and-away season of 14 rounds.
Once the 14 round home-and-away season had finished, the 1897 VFL "Premiers" were determined according to the conditions dictated by the specific format and conventions of the 1897 VFL Premiership System.
Note: Geelong's 16.18.114 was the highest score in 1897.
List of Australian Football League premiersfor a complete list."
No grand final held. Essendon won the premiership for finishing on top of the
round robinfinals ladder.
All teams played 14 games during the home and away season, for a total of 56. An additional 6 games were played during the finals series.
* The 1897 VFL Premiership team was Essendon.
* The VFL's leading goalkicker was
Eddy Jamesof Geelong with 27 goals.
* "The Argus" newspaper's "Player of the Year" was Melbourne's
* St Kilda took the "wooden spoon" in 1897.
George Stuckey, the captain of the Essendon Football Clubteam that won the VFL's inaugural premiership also won the 130-yard Stawell Giftin 1897, in 12.2 seconds, off a handicap of 12 yards.
* In the first round of 1897, the VFL revoked the VFA's push-in-the-back rule. The rule was reinstated before the second round's matches on the following Saturday.
* On 3 July 1897, Fitzroy rover
Bill McSpeerinweaves and bounces the length of the Brunswick Street Oval to score a goal against St KIlda.
Early VFL Final systems
* Maplestone, M., "Flying Higher: History of the Essendon Football Club 1872-1996", Essendon Football Club, (Melbourne), 1996. ISBN 0-959-17402-8
* Rogers, S. & Brown, A., "Every Game Ever Played: VFL/AFL Results 1897-1997 (Sixth Edition)", Viking Books, (Ringwood), 1998. ISBN 0-670-90809-6
* Ross, J. (ed), "100 Years of Australian Football 1897-1996: The Complete Story of the AFL, All the Big Stories, All the Great Pictures, All the Champions, Every AFL Season Reported", Viking, (Ringwood), 1996. ISBN 0-670-86814-0
* [http://stats.rleague.com/afl/seas/1897.html 1897 Season - AFL Tables]
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