Tasmanian Football League

Tasmanian State League
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2015 TSL season
Formerly TFA (1879–1886)
STFA (1887–1896)
STFL (1897)
STFA (1898-1905)
TFL (1906–1927)
TANFL (1928–1985)
TFL Statewide League (1986–1998)
TSFL (1999)
SWL (2000)
TSL (2009-present)
Sport Australian Rules Football
No. of teams 9
Official website Home: TSL Website

The Tasmanian State League (TSL), also known as the Tasmanian Football League (TFL) (formerly known as the Tasmanian Australian National Football League (TANFL) and several other short-term names) is the highest ranked Australian rules football league in Tasmania, Australia.

The league has a long and convoluted history which dates back to its founding on 12 June 1879 (giving it some claim to the title of the third oldest club football league in the world), but the name TFL (also the state's football governing body) was removed after it was liquidated with crushing debts in February 1999 and replaced by an independent commission (Football Tasmania) and the competition was renamed the Tasmanian State Football League (1999) and the SWL (2000) until the number of clubs in financial difficulty made the league unsustainable and it collapsed in December 2000. After long negotiations and discussions it was reinstated as a ten club competition in 2009.

The League is commercially known as the RACT Insurance Tasmanian State League under a naming-rights sponsorship agreement with RACT Insurance in Hobart.[1]


League Presidents: 1879–present

TANFL and District Football

In 1944 TANFL directors met to discuss restructuring of the league which was scheduled to return in 1945 after three seasons in recession due to World War Two.

The clubs would represent their various districts rather than being individual clubs.

Two new clubs (Hobart & Sandy Bay) would join North Hobart and New Town at the expense of Cananore and Lefroy which went out of existence during the World War Two cessation.

In 1947 the TANFL voted to include a further two clubs (Clarence – formed in 1903 and New Norfolk – formed in 1878) from the Southern District Football Association for a three-year probationary period, on 7 August 1950, the clubs unanimously voted to retain the two clubs as permanent members of the competition.

At the end of the 1956 season, New Town Football Club relocated itself to the municipality of Glenorchy and absorbed the already existing local club Glenorchy Rovers, on 8 April 1957 the TANFL ratified the club's new name as Glenorchy District Football Club, its new home ground was the 1950-built KGV Park.[2]

This era would be the strongest era for the league with a succession of star players in its ranks, record crowds and huge public support.[3]

From 1979–1985 the TANFL would be known as the Winfield League under a naming-rights sponsorship arrangement with a tobacco company.

Statewide Football Era: 1986-2000

See - Statewide Football in Tasmania


The league disbanded due to a dwindling of clubs able to financially cope and fell under the umbrella of Football Tasmania (which was soon renamed AFL Tasmania).[4]

Three regional leagues absorbed the clubs from the Statewide League. This was represented by the 2 main North/South leagues and subsidiary regional leagues which underpinned the Tasmanian Devils VFL team, created in 2001 which was owned and funded by the Australian Football League and administered by AFL Tasmania.

Tasmanian State League

After a hiatus of eight years, AFL Tasmania announced plans for a return of the statewide league in 2009.[5]

The concept attracted widespread public and media debate on the return of a statewide competition, with many in the football world hesitant over such a move due to the perilous financial position most of the participating clubs were left in after the previous competition was disbanded in 2000.
Many believed the push for a return of the league was a direct result of the media and the Tasmanian State Government's strong campaign in getting a Tasmanian team admitted into the AFL.[6]

Under the AFL Tasmania plan, ten (10) clubs were invited to join the competition.[7]

Clarence, Glenorchy, Hobart and North Hobart along with former Southern Amateur club Lauderdale in the South. North Launceston, South Launceston and Launceston from the North and Devonport and Burnie Dockers from the North-West Coast.

The response from many clubs was initially luke-warm at best with many concerned at the lack of detail in the AFL Tasmania plan and the rushed decision-making process of the move.

Ulverstone Football Club from the North West Coast bowed to pressure from its playing list and some factional groups within the club to put in a submission to join the competition in 2009. Despite a membership vote narrowly ending in favour of joining, the Robins had missed the AFL Tasmania enforced deadline and were initially to be included in the 2010 Roster, however the remaining clubs (most notably its closest and most bitter rival Devonport) exerted considerable pressure upon the League not to alter the current makeup of teams for a period of ten years, therefore Ulverstone were excluded from joining.

SFL Premier League club Kingborough also lobbied AFL Tasmania to be included in the competition, but their case for inclusion was dismissed by the game's governing body due to their inadequate facilities and poor standard Kingston Beach Oval headquarters.[8] Former TFL club New Norfolk (1947–1999) was also not invited to join the league because of their poor financial position.

Also, as a result of the new competition getting off the ground, the Tasmania Devils VFL team was disbanded.[9]

On 4 April 2009, the opening match of the reformed competition took place at King George V Park between the reigning premiers of the SFL Premier League, Glenorchy and reigning NTFL premier Launceston and resulted in a 21-point triumph to the Blues.

The inaugural Grand Final was held at Bellerive Oval on 19 September between old rivals Glenorchy and Clarence resulting in a thrilling 6-point victory to the Roos in front of 7,534 fans.

The 2010 season started brightly with over 12,000 attending the first round of matches but soon after there was a great deal of off-field controversy with former Tasmanian Premier Paul Lennon originally accepting an unpaid role acting as a mediator between the clubs and AFL Tasmania as the relationship between the clubs and the governing body had become further strained. However, after only two weeks of the season, three clubs (Clarence, North Launceston and North Hobart) had decided to do their own bidding and Lennon walked away from the position.

There were further controversies, namely AFL Tasmania's decision to withdraw support for the Reserve grade competition after the Burnie Dockers announced only days before the start of the season that they would not be fielding a reserve grade side. Two other clubs (Hobart and Launceston) also struggled to field a reserves team throughout the season, and as a result the competition was run by the clubs themselves for the remainder of the season. It would be axed at season's end.

A finals set-up that included an extra week was roundly criticised by football pundits across the State and it failed to garner great enthusiasm amongst the footballing public as small crowds attended, with AFL Tasmania later admitting that they would be looking at returning to the more tradition Final Five set-up in 2011.

During the 2013 season, the South Launceston Football Club decided that it would not pursue a new TSL licence at the end of the season, and arranged to move into the NTFA in 2014; despite this, the club went on to win the 2013 premiership, meaning that there was no defending premier in 2014. The club was replaced by the Prospect State Football Club, which competes under the formal club name of Western Storm Football Club.[10] At the same time, the North Hobart Football Club was forced to disband as a team by AFL Tasmania in favour of the newly established Hobart City Football Club,[11] whilst the Hobart Tigers left for the Southern Football League.[12] These movements were forced upon the league to make space for a new AFL Tasmania backed TSL club, the Kingborough Tigers Football Club.[13]

Prior to 2016, the Western Storm was rebranded as the Prospect Hawks; but it was unable to field a senior team in 2016, managing only to field an uncompetitive team in the reserves, before being expelled from the league at the end of the 2016 season.[14]

2014 Tasmanian State League season

Main article: 2014 TSL season


2014 TSL Ladder
1 Clarence 18 13 5 0 2192 1282 170.98% 52
2 Western Storm 18 13 5 0 1831 1277 143.38% 52
3 North Launceston 18 13 5 0 1689 1209 139.70% 52
4 Lauderdale 18 12 5 1 1751 1290 135.74% 50
5 Glenorchy 18 11 7 0 1798 1330 135.19% 44
6 Burnie 18 10 7 1 1723 1297 132.85% 42
7 Hobart City 18 7 11 0 1496 1650 90.67% 28
8 Devonport 18 6 12 0 1256 1911 65.72% 24
9 Launceston 18 4 14 0 1292 1712 75.47% 16
10 Tigers FC 18 0 18 0 735 2805 26.20% 0
Key: P = Played, W = Won, L = Lost, D = Drawn, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against Click here for source
Update: 25 August 2014

Grand Final

2014 TSL Grand Final
Sunday 21 September (2:15 pm) North Launceston def. Western Storm Aurora Stadium (Crowd: 5,842) Report
4.2 (26)
9.5 (59)
12.9 (81)
18.13 (121)
1.1 (7)
4.1 (25)
7.2 (44)
10.2 (62)
Darrel Baldock Medal: Daniel Roozendaal (North Launceston)
Television broadcast: ABC
A. O’Sign 3, C. Tarrant 3, M. VanDenBerg 3, B. Cox-Goodyer 3, Z. Burt 2, E. Petterwood 1, J. Ponting 1, L. Young 1, W. McBride 1 Goals Z. Brown 4, T. Bardenhagen 2, A. Russell 2, J. Blackberry 1, C. Drake 1
D. Roozendaal, A. Cox-Goodyer, R. Worn, E. Petterwood, M. VanDenBerg, T. Whitford Best Z. Brown, T. Bardenhagen, C. Drake, W. Hanson, A. Russell, M. Hanson


The Tasmanian Football League operates on a single table system, with no divisions, conferences nor promotion and relegation from other leagues.

Current Clubs

Jumper Club Nickname Location Training Ground Home Ground Debut Premiership Years Total of Premierships
Burnie Dockers Football Club "Dockers" Burnie, Tasmania West Park Oval West Park Oval TANFL/TFL/SWL/TSL: 1987 – TSL: 2012 TANFL/TFL/SWL/TSL: None
TSL: 2012
Clarence Football Club "Kangaroos" Bellerive, Tasmania Bellerive Oval Bellerive Oval TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1947 – TFL: 2009 TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1970, 1979, 1981, 1984, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2000
TSL: 2009, 2010
Devonport Football Club "Magpies" Devonport Tasmania Devonport Oval Devonport Oval TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1987 – TFL: 2009 TFL/SWL: 1988
TSL: None
Glenorchy Football Club "Magpies" Glenorchy, Tasmania KGV Oval KGV Oval TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1921 (As New Town Football Club) – 1957 (As Glenorchy District Football Club) – TFL: 2009 TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1935, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1965, 1975, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1999
TSL: 2016
Hobart City Football Club "Demons" North Hobart, Tasmania North Hobart Oval North Hobart Oval TSL: 2014 None 0
Lauderdale Football Club "Bombers" Lauderdale, Tasmania Lauderdale Oval Lauderdale Oval & Bellerive Oval TSL: 2009 TSL: None 0
Launceston Football Club "Blues" Riverside, Tasmania Windsor Park Windsor Park TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1994 – TFL: 2009 TANFL/TFL/SWL: None
TSL: 2011
North Launceston Football Club "Bombers" Invermay, Tasmania Aurora Stadium & Invermay Park Aurora Stadium & Invermay Park TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1986 – TFL: 2009 TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1995, 1998
TSL: 2014, 2015
Tigers FC "Tigers" Kingston, Tasmania Twin Ovals Complex Twin Ovals Complex STFA (1893–1907), Channel FA (1908), Kingborough FA (1909–1966), Huon FA (1967–1995), SFL (1996–2013), TSL (2014–present) KFA: 1930, 1933, 1936, 1948, 1953, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1965, 1966
HFA: 1980, 1991, 1995
SFL: 1997, 2011

TANFL/TFL Statewide League Clubs: 1945–2000

TSL State League Clubs: 2009–2013

TFL 1945–present

TFA/STFA/TANFL Clubs: 1879–1941



Official Magazine

Currently there is no official magazine for games during the 2014 season. A new provider and TSL Record is currently being re-designed for the 2015 season and beyond through Tall Zebra Media.


The ABC and TVT6 (Now WIN Tasmania) have broadcast the league previously.

All Tasmanian based stations have news and results shown regularly in their news broadcasts. Southern Cross report full-time scores from the TFL as well as other leagues around the state during the half time break of their Saturday night AFL broadcast.


League matches were formerly broadcast on radio from 1931 to 2000, however there are currently no radio broadcasts of TFL football with the exception of the Grand Final and the occasional roster game on ABC Local Radio which is also streamed online.


The Hobart Mercury in the South, The Examiner in Launceston and the North as well as The Advocate on the North West Coast all provide extensive coverage of TSL football in their publications.


The Tasmanian Football league crowds compete heavily with AFL matches on television. Crowds at the beginning of the season are usually quite high and are up with the mainland state football competitions. Attendances usually slide considerably until it will increase during the finals. Night games, especially ones that do not clash with AFL matches are well attended.

Patrons at TFL games pay at the gates or hold club season passes.

Individual awards

Alistair Lynch Medal Winners

Formerly known as the Tassie Medal, presented to the Best and Fairest player in the Tasmanian State League from 2009.[15]

Peter Hudson Medal Winners

Presented to the Leading Goalkicker in the Tasmanian State League from 2009.[16]

Former Individual Awards

Wilson Bailey Trophy Winners

Was presented to the best and fairest player in the TFL/TANFL from 1927 until 1929. It was replaced by the William Leitch Medal in 1930.

George Watt Medallists

Was Presented to the best and fairest player in the TANFL from 1935 until 1939. It replaced the William Leitch Medal although it ended up being replaced by it in 1940

William Leitch Medal

Main article: William Leitch Medal

The William Leitch medal was presented to the best & fairest player in the TANFL/TFL Statewide League from 1930–1934 and 1940–2000.
As of 2009 when the Tasmanian State League was revived, AFL Tasmania decided to award the Tassie Medal to the best and fairest player in the revamped competition as it was seen (particularly in the North) that the William Leitch medal was too Hobart-centric. The medal continues to be presented to the best and fairest player in the Southern Football League since 2004.

Premierships, Leading Goalkickers and Records

See also


External links

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