Interstate Competition


Representative teams have played each other in many ways over time. The concept needs some clarification.


Inter-League (Club v Club, Club v League)

Inter-League matches commonly occurred, especially in combination with end of season trips. Visiting VFL teams would holiday in Tasmania or regional Victoria and often played combined teams from the local region.

As well as end of season trips, variety of competitions have existed over time where teams from different Leagues have played off against each other.

Inter-League (League v League)

In other instances inter-league games were often played within a State. In Tasmania the North Western Football Union would play the Tasmanian Football League who were based in the South of the State and in Western Australia the Western Australian Football League would play the Goldfields Football Association.

In Victoria the VFL occasionally played the VFA or occasional sent representative teams to country Victoria to play combined teams from the local League.

Fot a list of matches - See:

Inter-State (League v League, League v Combined Leagues)

The formation of the Australian National Football Council in the early 1900's essentially formalised an arrangement where one body would represent each State. In Victoria this meant that the VFL represented Victoria. There was no process where a combined VFA/VFL team was chosen. In other States, for example W.A. and Tasmania, inter-League matches were played and combined teams were picked.

The VFA played matches against interstate Leagues and against the VFL. In 1950, the VFA joined the ANFC so that in the regular inter-state carnivals, Victoria was represented by two teams. For convenience, the FullPointsFooty website which compiled a list of interstate games treat the VFA as another State.

Fot a list of matches - See:

To further add to the mix. Multiple representative teams from the same League would play at the same time. For example Victorian Teams may play in South Australia and in Tasmania on the same day, or a VFL Team would play an interstate match while another VFL team represented the State at the regular ANFC Football Carnival.

1914 Carnival - Source:Charles Leski
1914 Carnival - Source:Charles Leski
1924 Australasian Football Carnival - Source: Charles Leski
1924 Australasian Football Carnival - Source: Charles Leski
1933 Australian National Football Carnival - Sydney - Source: Col Hutchinson
1933 Australian National Football Carnival - Sydney - Source: Col Hutchinson

State of Origin

By the 1960's/1970's the VFL was moving away from the Leagues in other States. In a time when there was little money in playing football, the best players were more evenly distributed between the leagues. With the rise in professionalism, the best players gravitated toward the strongest and richest competition, the VFL.

To even out what was becoming a one sided competition, from the late 1970's interstate matches were organised allowing interstate teams to include some interstate players playing within the VFL/AFL.

For more information see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_matches_in_Australian_rules_football

Related Issues

The Best Team versus a Representative team

Representative teams varied in their organisation. Often a representative team was organised so not to disadvantage a particular club. Thus the squad would be made of of an even number of players from each club rather than just selecting the best player in the League in each position.

First Class Statistics and Records

The blurriness of interstate football makes it difficult to find an agreed understanding for statistics and records.

In Cricket there is a concept of 'First Class' Matches, and a players total statistics from all competitions are added together to produce a total. Thus in cricket an understanding can be made that cannot be made in football. Who played the most career games? Who kicked the most career goals? are simple questions that football struggles to answer.

Other Interstate Competitions

Schoolboy competitions, Amateur competitions and interstate competitions within the Police Force, Railways and others have added to the diversity of Interstate football. A 'Victorian' team photo may represent any of these groups.


If you have better quality images and would like to have them included here. Please send them in and we will add them.

Representative Teams - ACT
Representative Teams - Queensland
Representative Teams - NSW
Representative Teams - South Australia
Representative Teams - Tasmania
Representative Teams - Victoria
Representative Teams - Western Australia

Representative Team - New Zealand
Bendigonian 15-Sep-1908 p16 NZ Football Team
Bendigonian 15-Sep-1908 p16 NZ Football Team

Useful External Websites on Interstate/representative Football


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