Victorian Football Association

Photos by Competition and Team


The Victorian Football Association (VFA) was formed in 1877 including Senior and Junior teams. The teams in the VFA have varied over the years and at least 50 different clubs have competed in the VFA competition.

The creation of the VFL in 1897 caused the loss of many clubs. The next big change occurred from 1925 with loss of Hawthorn, Footscray and North Melbourne to the VFL and the folding of the Geelong (VFA) team. During this time, new teams entered the competition to fill the gaps and the VFA was expand to 12 teams with the inclusion of six new teams (see dates below). The 1950s and 60s saw the VFA expand into an 18 team competition with two divisions. Boyles VFA photos are taken mainly in the 1930s and reflect the VFA team list from that era.

A summary of participation in the VFA is shown in the table below.


Many teams participated in the VFA over its lifetime.

Charles Boyles took photos of the VFA mainly during the 1930s. Team pages for the relevant clubs are listed below:

Brighton (VFA) 1908-
Brunswick (VFA) 1897-
Camberwell (VFA) 1926-
Coburg (VFA) 1925-
Geelong A (VFA) 1922-1927
Essendon A (VFA) 1900-1921
Northcote (VFA) 1908-
Oakleigh (VFA) 1929-
Port Melbourne (VFA) 1886-
Prahran (VFA) 1898-
Preston (VFA) 1926-
Sandringham (VFA) 1929-
Williamstown (VFA) 1884 -
Yarraville (VFA) 1928-

Moorabbin (VFA) 1951-63
Box Hill (VFA) 1951-

Until 1960 the VFA competed with the VFL for Saturday afternoon crowds. The competition then migrated to matches on Sundays

The VFA was renamed the VFL in 1996.


For Individual Ground Pages see Photos by Location


Rules of play at VFA matches have not always matched those in the VFL/AFL. The VFA was often innovative and introduced playing conditions before they were later adopted by the VFL.

Throw Pass

The Throw-Pass was a distictive part of the VFA game until 1949. Basically a rugby throw, a fairly technical description can be found in the Argus:

The Argus 17-Jul-1951 p2
The Argus 17-Jul-1951 p2

Football Council Rejects Move On "Throw Pass". (1951, July 17). The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved October 5, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48980809

In 1949 the Association joined the Australian National Football Council (where they stayed until the 1970s) and changed their rules so that the throw-pass was no longer allowed at VFA games.

VFA LIKELY TO FAVOUR AFFILIATION. (1949, July 14). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 19. Retrieved October 5, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22764513

1938 Introduction see
BRUNSWICK CHOSEN V.F.A. Decision Surprises. (1938, August 16). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 16. Retrieved October 6, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12468890

Onfield Players

1897 Onfield Players from 20 to 18
1908 Onfield Players from 18 to 17
1912 Onfield Players from 17 to 16
1918 Onfield Players from 16 to 18
1959 Onfield Players from 18 to 16
1992 Onfield Players from 16 to 18


1929 One substitute Allowed (Introduced one year before the VFL). Team photos from 1929 may feature 19 players, though often feature only 18.

For Introduction see:
FOOTBALL. (1929, April 19). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 10. Retrieved October 6, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3998829

Out of Bounds

During the 1930s the VFL and VFA both played with rules that meant there were no boundary throw ins. This favoured play down the centre of the field. During this period a number of full forwards achieved 100 goals per season. The boundary throw in was re-introduced into the VFA in 1938 and into the VFL in 1939, this spread out the play and reduced the importance of the full forwards.

CROWDS WILL BE ATTRACTED BY NEW RULES. (1938, April 16). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 22. Retrieved February 16, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11170542


JJ Liston Trophy (1945-) - Best and Fairest VFA Senior Player
Recorder Cup (1923-1941)
VFA Medal (1933-1940)
Reference_ VFA - Leading Goalkicker Medal (Jim Frosty Miller Medal)

External References


Football Jumpers Over Time

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