AFL Women's League (AFLW)

A new national women's Australian football competition, organized by the AFL, began in 2017. The first competition was played in February and March which included four teams from Victoria and one each from Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. Since then the league has expanded to include 14 teams. An AFLW player combine and draft is held each year.

Foundation Teams

For the first season, there were eight teams, four from Victoria, and four from other states. The Victorian contingent comprised Carlton, Collingwood, Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs. The non-Victorian teams included Fremantle, Adelaide, Brisbane Lions and Greater Western Sydney.

The other clubs that applied to be part of the inaugural season were granted provisional licences to be part of an expanded women's league in the future. These teams were Richmond, Geelong, North Melbourne, St Kilda, and the West Coast Eagles.

First Season

After some exhibition games in 2016, the inaugural season was held over eight-weeks in February and March 2017. The competition featured six home-and-away rounds, with the top four playing two semi-finals and a Grand Final.

AFLW game in Fremantle WAAFLW game in Fremantle WA


There was a 10-team competition (six teams from Victoria and one each from South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales). The two teams added to the competition for the 2019 season were Geelong Cats and North Melbourne.


Four more teams were added to the league for the 2020 season — Gold Coast, Richmond, St Kilda and West Coast — meaning the AFLW has grown from eight teams to 14 in its four years. The 2020 season was concluded prematurely with no premiership being awarded.


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