Trisha Shetty (Editor)

1923 VFL season

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Highest attendance  56,240
Teams  9
Start date  1923
Matches played  76
1923 VFL season httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Premiers  Essendon (5th premiership)
Minor premiers  Essendon (3rd minor premiership)
Leading Goalkicker Medallist  Greg Stockdale (Essendon)
Similar  1912 VFL season, 1924 VFL season, 1911 VFL season, 1904 VFL season

The 1923 Victorian Football League season was the 27th season of the elite Australian rules football competition.


Premiership season

In 1923, the VFL competition had nine teams of 18 on-the-field players each, with no "reserves", although any of the 18 players who had left the playing field for any reason could later resume their place on the field at any time during the match.

Each team played each other twice in a home-and-away season of 18 rounds (i.e., 16 matches and 2 byes).

Once the 18 round home-and-away season had finished, the 1923 VFL Premiers were determined by the specific format and conventions of the amended "Argus system".


  • The 1923 VFL Premiership team was Essendon.
  • The VFL's leading goalkicker was Greg Stockdale of Essendon with 68 goals.
  • Melbourne took the "wooden spoon" in 1923.
  • The Victorian Junior League premiership, which is today recognised as the VFL reserves premiership, was won by Geelong. Geelong 9.12 (66) defeated Richmond 5.10 (40) in the challenge Grand Final, played as a curtain-raiser to the senior Grand Final on 20 October at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
  • Notable events

  • New scoreboards are erected at each home ground by the VFL's publication, The Football Record. With the help of a key published in that Saturday afternoon's Record, spectators can decipher the coded quarter-by-quarter scores of the other three matches as they appear on these scoreboards throughout the afternoon.
  • After the round 13 match against Essendon at Windy Hill, at an after-match function in the Essendon rooms, Carlton rover George Bolt and backman Jack Morrissey (who had not played in that game) came to blows. The Carlton Committee met the next day and suspended both players indefinitely. Bolt never played for Carlton again (he reappeared with Hawthorn in 1925, then he played for North Melbourne in 1926 and 1927); Jack Morrissey played his next game for Carlton on 27 June 1925 (round 9).
  • The 1922 Victorian Interstate team captain, and Carlton star ruckman, Bert Boromeo was overheard being intensely critical of the Carlton captain-coach Horrie Clover at the same function. The Carlton Committee was upset at such behaviour occurring on the premises of another club, and suspended Boromeo immediately; eventually, in 1926, Carlton cleared Boromeo to Richmond for whom he played 14 games.
  • The Essendon Premiership team was known as the "Mosquito Fleet", due to the number of small, very fast players in the side. Six were 5'6" (167 cm) or less: Charlie Hardy 5'1" (155 cm), who played his first VFL game at the age of 34, George Shorten 5'5" (165 cm), Jack Garden 5'5" (165 cm), Frank Maher 5'6" (167.5 cm), Vince Irwin 5'6" (167.5 cm), and Jimmy Sullivan 5'6" (167.5 cm).
  • In Round 10 against St. Kilda, Essendon kicked the season's lowest score, but they still won the premiership. They became the first premier team to have also kicked the season's lowest score, an occurrence replicated in 1968, 1970, 1992 and 1995.
  • The Challenge Final match had to be postponed for a week as the Melbourne Cricket Ground was under water due to intense rain. This meant that the Challenge Final was played on Saturday 20 October 1923, Caulfield Cup Day.
  • References

    1923 VFL season Wikipedia