Night competition 1956-1971

Lake Oval

In 1956 the VFL introduced a post-season competition for the teams that did not make the final four. The matches were played in a knockout competition format, under lights, at the Lake Oval, South Melb. The competition ran until 1971 when the following years introduction of the final five made it impractical. Matches counted towards an umpire’s (and player’s) career match total.

From 1965 the competition attracted companies who sponsored it: Golden Fleece (1965-69), Radiant (1970), Heinz (1971).


See AFL pre-season competition on Wikipedia for more information

1956 South Melb. 13.16 (94) Carlton 13.10 (88)
F: H. Beitzel
B: L. Sutton M. Henderson
G: E. Thomas J. Lee

1957 South Melb. 15.13 (103) Geelong 8.4 (52)
F: F. Schwab
B: L. Sutton J. Geggie
G: F. Leverett J. Lee

1958 St. Kilda 16.13 (109) Carlton 15.11 (101)
F: W. Barbour
B: H. Rowland J. McNIff
G: F. Spokes J. Simmonds

1959 Fitzroy 10.10 (70) Hawthorn 4.16 (40)
F: A. Nash
B: P. Stone J. McNiff
G: K. Muggleston J. Lee

1960 South Melb. 10.12 (72) Hawthorn 8.11 (59)
F: R. Nunn
B: W. Treloar A. Cook
G: F. Caddy J. Simmonds

1961 Geelong 9.20 (74) North Melb. 9.8 (62)
F: J. Irving
B: R. Barker H. Calway
G: E. Traplin J. Lee

1962 Richmond 8.16.(64) Hawthorn 9.6 (60)
F: R. Nunn
B: C. Green G. Sullivan
G: R. Caird M. Lingwood-Smith

1963 Footscray 10.9 (69) Richmond 9.9 (63)
F: R. Nunn
B: D. Fitzgerald R. Kidd
G: J. Simmonds J. Perry

1964 Footscray 11.12 (78) St.Kilda 11.7 (73)
F: J. Crouch
B: J. Geggie R. Kidd
G: D. Parsons K. Cree

1965 North Melb. 14.13 (97) Carlton 9.3 (57)
F: S. Fisher
B: J. McNiff R. Kidd
G: K. Traplin H. Forsyth

1966* North Melb. 20.12 (132) Hawthorn 12.7 (79)
F: L. Perkins
B: C. Green J. Geggie
B: J. Hicks R. Calway
G: A. Stewart J. Barwick

1967 Footscray 15.11 (101) South Melb. 8.8 (56)
F: J. Crouch
B: B. Lowden J. Hicks
G: M Lingwood- Smith H. Forsyth

1968 Hawthorn 16.15 (111) North Melb. 6.14 (50)
F: D. Jolley
B: R. Kidd A. Cook
G: R. Caird J. Barwick

1969 Hawthorn 10.17 (77) Melbourne 9.18 (72)
F: R. Sleeth
B: P. Saultry C. Green
G: A. White T. Rossiter

1970 Footscray 13.17 (95) Melbourne 13.15 (93)
F: J. Crouch
B: P. Saultry N. Thomas
G: J. Barwick W. Schwensen

1971 Melbourne 12.7 (79) Fitzroy 9.9 (63)
F: W. Deller
B: P. Saultry M. Williams
G: R. Sankey A. White

* 4 boundary umpires used during competition


Night competition 1977-1993

VFL Park

The VFL Night Series recommenced in 1977 and since then has evolved from a competition played during the season, mainly on week nights, to a competition played in the pre-season, mainly on weekends and not necessarily at night!Initially involving only VFL clubs, over the seasons non-VFL clubs took part and, with the inception of the AFL competition, it was limited to those AFL teams.

Variously called the Amoco/Herald Australian Football Championships (1977-78), Escort Championships (1979-82), Sterling Cup (1983-84), CUB Cup (1985-86), Channel Seven Cup (1986) National-Panasonic Cup (1987-88) Panasonic Cup (1989), Fosters Cup (1990-94), Ansett Australia Cup (1995-2001), the Wizard Home Loans Cup (2002-2005) and, most recently, The NAB Cup and NAB Challenge (2006-2014). Matches have counted towards an umpire’s VFL match total only in the years 1977-1979 but do count for field umpires towards AFL 200 Club and AFL Life Membership.

See AFL pre-season competition on Wikipedia for more information

Listed below are the Grand Final umpires for the competition from 1977 to 1993.
1977 Hawthorn 14.11 (95) Carlton 11.5 (71)
F: I. Robinson W. Deller
B: K. Mitchell L.Paterson
G: K. Barker B. Pratt

1978 Fitzroy 13.18 (96) North Melb. 2.8 (20)
F: K. Smith W. Deller
B: K. Mitchell G. Willcox
G: B. Page B. Pratt

1979 Collingwood 12.8 (80) Hawthorn 7.10 (52)
F: P. Cameron W. Deller
B: A. Ryan L. Paterson
G: B. Page B. Pratt

1980 North Melb. 8.9 (57) Collingwood 7.12 (54)
F: I. Robinson. W. Deller
B: A. Ryan L. Paterson
G: R. Barker B. Pratt

1981 Essendon 9.11 (65) Carlton 6.5 (41)
F: I. Robinson P. Cameron
B: G. Grant B. McLellan
G: P. Taylor T. Johnson

1982 Sydney 13.12 (90) North Melb. 8.10 (58)
F: G. James R. Sawers
B: P. Nicholls L.Paterson
G: B. Farrow G. Danne

1983 Carlton 14.16 (100) Richmond 10.6 (66)
F: K. Smith N. Nash
B: M. Williams A. Kovess
G: B. Gilham G. Macdonald

1984 Essendon 13.11 (89) Sydney 5.8 (38)
F: G. James R. Sawers
B: P. Sutton L.Paterson
G: R. Ferguson A. Sinclair

1985 Hawthorn 11.11 (77) Essendon 10.8 (68)
F: G. James P. Cameron
B: P. Nicholls L.Paterson
G: R. Taggart A. Sinclair

1986 Hawthorn 9.12 (66) Carlton 5.6 (36)
F: R. Castle J. Russo
B: A Ryan G. Hunichen
G: G. Williams L. Keen

1987 Melbourne 8.10 (58) Essendon 8.6 (54)
F: S. McDonald R. Sawers
B: A. Hammond A. Rigby
G: D. Purss D. Mitchell

1988 Hawthorn 10.10 (70) Geelong 9.13 (67)
F: P. Cameron I. Clayton
B: R. Barr G. Scherger
G: W. Pryde P. Watson

1989 Melbourne 10.16 (76) Geelong 9.13 (67)
F: P. Carey I. Clayton
B: R. Barr A. Rankin
G: M. Pulham G. Best

1990 Essendon 17.10 (112) North Melb. 10.16 (76)
F: B. Sheehan D. Rich
B: P. McDonald A. Wheeler
G: D. Flegg C. Hood

1991 Hawthorn 14.19 (103) North Melbourne 7.12 (54)
F: P. Carey B. Sheehan
B: T. Charles R. Sheppard
G: D. Flegg R. Davies

1992 Hawthorn 19.14 (128) Fitzroy 8.15 (63)
F: C. Mitchell G. Dore
B: R. Leslie P. Simms
G: R. Selwood P. Watson

1993 Essendon 14.18 (102) Richmond 11.13 (79)
F: D. Goldspink H. Kennedy
B: J. Morris P. Miesen
G: G. Best G. Kennedy

Pre-season 1994-2013

Stadium at Docklands

During the period from 1994 umpiring crew configurations changed regularly as experiments were trialled in the pre-season cup.The third field umpire was added in 1993 and was so successful that it was immediately incorporated into the season proper. The following year a third boundary umpire was added. The boundary umpires would interchange at each break. 2003 saw the introduction of a fourth field umpire who rotated off the bench. That year boundary umpires began interchanging mid-quarter to spread the load more evenly.


A change in the laws governing bringing the ball back into play following a behind led to an increase in goal umpires from two to four in 2003 – two at each end.

Recent seasons have seen four boundary umpires on the ground at once to cater for speedier throw-ins and 2006 saw a reduction of goal umpires back to two in anticipation of a new kick-in law that would be used in the season proper – without additional goal umpires. Goal umpires did rotate quarter by quarter in an attempt to give each umpire as much exposure as possible to the new law prior to the premiership season, an appointment regime that has continued since.

In 2014 the pre-season, known as the NAB Challenge, reverted to a series of practice matches with no grand final.

See AFL pre-season competition on Wikipedia for more information


Listed below are the Grand final umpires for the period.
1994 Essendon 15.12 (102) Adelaide 9.14 (68)

F: G. Caulfield G. Dore B. Sheehan

B: A. Skidmore G. Harding  S. Leslie

G: P. Kelly L. Page

1995 North Melb. 14.9 (93) Adelaide 8.15 (63)

F: A. Coates C. Mitchell G. Vernon

B: C. Macdonald D. Hammond M. Vitiritti

G: C. Larter P. Herrick

1996 St.Kilda 20.10 (130) Carlton 10.12 (72)

F: P. Carey B. Sheehan M. Nash

B: S. Jansen M. Bell S. Leslie

G: R. Davies M. Harrison

1997 Carlton 14.13 (97) Geelong 5.10 (40)

F: M. Nash G. Dore B. Sheehan

B: M. Bellizia M. Vitiritti S. Hutton

G: A. Black M. Powell

1998 North Melb. 14.13 (97) St.Kilda 12.11 (83)

F: H. Kennedy B. Sheehan D. Howlett

B: C. Macdonald D. Hammond J. Fleming

G: D. Gourlay C. Clark

1999 Hawthorn 12.11 (83) Port Adelaide 5.6 (36)

F: G. Dore M. Nash H. Kennedy

B: D. Fletcher S. Leslie A. McDonald

G: F. Raiti M. Canning

2000 Essendon 16.21 (117) Kangaroos 11.10 (76)

F: A. Coates B. Allen S. McLaren

B: M. Bell G. Muir S. Hutton

G: D. Flegg D. Dixon

2001 Port Adelaide 17.9 (111) Brisbane 3.8 (26)

F: D. Goldspink B. Sheehan G. Dore

B: D. Wilson A. Chehade S. Jansen

G: D. Dixon A. Black

2002 Port Adelaide 10.11 (71) Richmond 9.8 (62)

F: S. McLaren M. James M. Ellis

B: D. Wilson M. Vitiritti G. Sinclair

G: C. Clark D. Gourlay

2003 Adelaide 2.13.8 (104) Collingwood 1.9.10 (73)

F: S. McLaren D. Morris

F: B. Allen S. McBurney

B: D. Wilson S. Leslie G. Muir

G: C. Clark C. Martino

G: A. Black A. Perkovic

2004 St.Kilda 1.14.5 (98) Geelong 1.10.7 (76)

F: S. McInerney S. McLaren

F: C. Rowe M.Vozzo

B: G. Muir M. Vitiritti D. Wilson

G: A. Black A. Perkovic

G: M. Harrison C. Hood

2005 Carlton 1.14.18 (111) West Coat 1.11.9 (84)

F: S.McLaren S.Meredith

F: S.Ryan S.Wenn

B: A. Chehade C. Macdonald

B: J. Morris D. O’Donnell

G: A. Perkovic D. Shawcross

G: M. Canning A. Galea

2006 Geelong 3.10.5 (92) Adelaide 1.10.15 (84)

F: M. Ellis S. Ryan

F: S. McInerney D. Woodcock

B: M. Thomson M. Foster

B: T. Bryant N. Doig

G: D. Dixon M. Canning A Perkovic

2007 Carlton 2.12.7 (97) Brisbane 0.10.12 (72)

F: M. Stevic S. Ryan

F: M. Vozzo S. Jeffery

B: R. Haala M.Payton T. Bryant

G: L. Corrieri M. Harrison L. Walker

2008 St.Kilda 2.7.9 (69) Adelaide 0.9.10 (64)

F: M.Vozzo D.Margetts

F: B.Rosebury S. Jeffery

B: I.Burrows M.Foster J.Creasey

G: S.Axon P.Gonis J.Savage

2009 Geelong 0.18.19 (127) Collingwood 1.6.6 (51)

F: S.McLaren C.Donlon

F: M.Nicholls S. Jeffery

B: C.Ward R.Haala

B: L.Roberts C.Morrison

G: L.Walker T.Mavroudis D.Wilson

2010 Western Bulldogs 2.13.8 (104) St.Kilda 0.9.10 (64)

F: B.Rosebury M.Stevic

F: M. Chamberlain

B: C.Gordon M.Lefevre

B: J.Creasey M. Saunders

G: C. Appleton C. Roffey D. Edwick

2011 Collingwood 1.15.9 (108) Essendon 0.13.8 (86)

F: B.Rosebury M.Stevic

F: M. Nicholls M. Jennings

B: C.Gordon M.Lefevre

B: J.Collingridge M. Hill

G: M. Hammond T. Symes A. Wojcik

2012 Adelaide 2.10.17 (95) West Coast 2.5.13 (61)

F: J. Dalgleish S. McBurney

F: S. McInerney J. Mollison

B: A. Deckys M.Marantelli

B: C. Roberts S. Thiele

G: P. Gonis A. Peacock S. Williams

2013 Carlton 2.7.9 (69) Brisbane 0.16.13 (109)

F: J. Bannister D. Margetts

F: S. Jeffery S. Stewart

B: J. Collingridge D. Kowalski

B: G. Large M.Saunders

G: B. Rogers D. Wilson S. Williams