The Australian Football League (AFL) is the preeminent and only fully professional competition in Australian rules football. It was originally called the Victorian Football League (VFL) and was founded in 1896 as a splinter competition from the Victorian Football Association (VFA), with its first season in 1897.
It changed its name to the Australian Football League in 1990 after its competition expanded to other Australian states in the 1980s. The AFL publishes its Australian Football Laws, which are used, with some variation, by other Australian Football Organizations.
There are currently 18 teams in AFL competition spread across five of Australia's six states (with the exception of Tasmania). Matches were played in all states, the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory, as well as New Zealand and China to expand the AFL's audience.
The AFL season currently consists of a 23-round regular (or "home and away") season that takes place during the Australian winter (March to September). The team with the best record after the season of home and away matches receives a "minor premiership". The top eight teams will then play in a four-round final series, culminating in the AFL Grand Final normally held every year at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The winners of the grand final are called "premiers" and are awarded the premier league cup and flag. Carlton and Essendon are the most successful clubs in the tournament, having won sixteen premierships each. Current premiers are Geelong winning the 2022 AFL Grand Final.