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  • The Australian Football League is the highest-level professional competition in the sport of Australian rules football. Through the AFL Commission, the AFL also serves as the sport's governing body, and is responsible for controlling the Laws of the Game. The league was founded as the Victorian Football League as a breakaway from previous Victorian Football Association, with its inaugural season commencing in 1897. Originally comprising only teams based in the Australian state of Victoria, the competition's name was changed to the Australian Football League for the 1990 season, after expanding to other states throughout the 1980s. The league currently consists of 18 teams spread over five states of Australia, although the majority are still based in Victoria. The AFL season currently consists of a pre-season competition, followed by a 23-round regular season, which runs during the Australian winter. The top eight teams then play off in a finals series culminating in the AFL Grand Final, which is held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground each year. The winning team in the Grand Final is termed the "premiers", and is awarded the premiership cup. The current premiers are Hawthorn.

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