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Victorian Women's Football League

Ever since the origins of the game, Australian Rules football has been unique in its appeal to women. Females have made up a greater proportion (between a third and a half) of spectators than of crowds for any other football code in the world. However, the inclusive nature of the crowd and the extensive support offered to clubs by women at an auxiliary level did not result in a viable women's competition until the Victorian Women's Football League (VWFL) was formed in 1981. Earlier attempts by girls or women to play the game in the 1920s were met with scepticism or ridicule, and occasional matches between female participants in the 1960s, played for social reasons or charity purposes, were necessarily short-lived. Even though the VWFL has never boasted more than eight senior teams, the advent of a Reserves competition in 1997, a national championship in 1998, a junior grade in 2000, and a more independent and pro-active administration, bodes well for the future of women's football in Melbourne.

Rob Hess