When you hear AFL players, coaches and fans talking about ‘September action’, they’re not talking about a month long free for all on the work bench with their significant other. They’re talking about Finals. Of the 18 teams that make up the AFL, the top eight will go on to play in the AFL Finals. The other ten teams disappear into Mad Monday oblivion, with the players having just a few weeks off before they have to front up again for skin-fold tests #Lance Whitnall.
The AFL Finals Series was initially played under the amended Argus system until 1930, before changing to the more familiar (and sensible) Page-McIntyre system that hung around until 2000. Since then we’ve had the regular AFL finals system which works so well it has been adapted by other codes. The teams that finish in the first four places get the ‘double chance’ – so if they do happen to lose in week one, they will survive until at least week two. The teams that finish fifth to eighth will exit the finals immediately if they lose which makes it almost impossible to win a flag without finishing in the top four. Indeed, the last team to do so was Adelaide in 1998 under the old finals system.