Criteria for the inclusion and exclusion of matches


Why is this necessary?

Prior to 1888, the Victorian Football Association did not organise an official system of ranking teams, or even determine the premiers. In addition, there was no clear definition of which games might count towards the premiership, only a definition of those which fell under the jurisdiction of the Association, for the purposes of resolving disputes, determining player eligibility etc.


Therefore, I have come up with my own list. In doing so, my over-riding criteria was: 'did this game count (at least potentially) towards the calculations of deciding the premier club?'



The criteria


Post-1888 - Matches to be included

The VFA established the Proportional Points system, including the specifics of which matches were to count, so therefore this is straightforward.


Pre-1887 - Matches to be included

1. All matches between VFA-affiliated Senior Metro clubs and Senior Geelong clubs played on or after May the first.

2. Matches involving Ballarat clubs:

== 1877-1878 Only Ballarat FC was a member of the VFA. Their games against the other VFA clubs included.

== 1879-1882 Ballarat was very weak and played few games, often with a team representing the city (eg. vs Geelong, Sep 1880, lost 13-0). Against Carlton in July 1881, Ballarat, playing at home but still only mustered 12 players and required 8 spectators to make up their numbers (lost 10-18 to 0-1)

== 1883-1886 Matches between the three Ballarat senior clubs and Metro/Geelong clubs are included. Matches between the three Ballarat clubs were played for the local Ballarat premiership. These games are not counted as VFA games or included in the VFA ladder as the Ballarat teams were not eligible for the premiership due to playing too few games against the Metro teams/Geelong

== 1887-1888 With Ballarat clubs playing an increased number of fixtures, all senior matches involving the three Ballarat teams against VFA opposition count, including the intra-Ballarat matches are counted.

== 1889 onwards The VFA decided to exclude all matches involving Ballarat clubs from calculations towards the premiership listing.

3. Castlemaine -- VFA affiliate 1870s

== 1877-1879 One games only per season was played, so these games are not used in calculations for the premiership

4. Beechworth, Inglewood, Rochester -- VFA affiliates 1870s

== No games were played with Metro/Geelong/Ballarat clubs without odds.

5. Horsham clubs and other country clubs -- VFA affiliates 1880s

== No games were played with Metro/Geelong/Ballarat clubs without odds.


Pre-1887 - Matches to be excluded

1. Matches involving the following teams or clubs have been excluded:

== Inter-colonial clubs and teams

== Junior clubs

== Minor clubs (such as Toorak, Hawthorn)

== Provincial/Country clubs (including Sale, and rep teams such as Sandhurst Association)

== School teams.

2. Any game played at odds is not counted, where the odds were factored into the arrangements of the game, as opposed to a team failing to muster enough players.


Prominent Junior Clubs 1877-1879

In 1877 there were three Junior clubs on the cusp of Senior status. These teams played all senior opponents without odds except the two leading clubs (Carlton & Melbourne). These clubs are often mistaken to be senior clubs at the formation of the VFA (year senior status acquired in brackets):

== Essendon (1878)

== West Melbourne (1878)

== South Melbourne (1879)

In addition, East Melbourne is often listed as a senior club in 1877:

== East Melbourne (1880) -- this club reformed in 1879, after playing with senior status in 1875 and 1876, then disbanding


Provincial clubs during the 1870s (including Geelong)

== Many of the Geelong and Ballarat clubs played mainly for the Geelong, Ballarat and Western Districts Challenge Cup from 1874 to 1877

== Geelong was unusually inactive in 1877 and did not play enough games to achieve a ranking in the premiership.

== Provincial clubs could progressively be included as they played enough matches against Metro clubs. Therefore, Geelong's success in 1878 and the following seasons forced their permanent inclusion.



About this document

Prepared and maintained by Andrew Robinson

Author: Andrew Robinson (contact: andrew at elitetograssroots dot net)
First created: 18 August 2012

Last updated: 19 May 2022

(C) Copyright Andrew Robinson
You are free to copy this document in whole or part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the author. All rights reserved.


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