The AFL, or Australian Football League, is the governing body of professional teams playing Australian rules football. Run since 1897, the AFL is wildly popular in Australia, as it is the country's most attended sport. The AFL consists of 18 different squads, but no divisions. The teams play one another in a sort of round robin fashion, in contrast to most other professional sports leagues around the globe.
Much like fantasy football has grown in the United States, "fantasy" Australian rules football is beginning to grow in Australia. The AFL has a "Dream Team" competition which allows fans to create a team of AFL players and compete with others. Sponsored by Toyota, the official AFL Dream Team Competition is run on the league's official site at afl.com.au.
Those fans who sign up for the 2012 Toyota Dream Team Competition select up to 30 players in the actual AFL to be on their squad. Fans cannot simply pick the top 30 players, however, as they have to abide by a salary cap. Each player has a salary associated with him, and owners cannot build a team whose total salary runs over the cap. This imaginary salary cap of $8,780,000 forces owners to mix and match dominant footballers with underrated players.
The salary cap style of the Dream Team Competition allows owners to select whichever players they want. This limits the luck that comes with injuries and draft position in normal fantasy games. Once teams are selected, owners go head-to-head for the majority of the competition, with the team who scores the most points recording the win. Points are tallied by how well your players play in actual AFL games.
When an owner's players outperform those on another team in a head-to-head matchup, he or she will receive a win for that week. A win counts as four points in the 2012 AFL Dream Team Competition, and the top eight teams out of each 18-team league play each other in the season's final four rounds. These teams go head-to-head during the time until just one is left standing.
When selecting your Dream Team in 2012, it is important to note a few rules. First, all owners may select no more than nine defenders, eight midfielders, four rucks and nine forwards. The total roster may consist of no more than 30 players. Some players are listed as playing two positions, and they can be stashed at either of those spots. Thus, players with two positions are more versatile and can be valuable in the competition.
During the season, owners may trade players to one another as they wish, but no owner can make more than two trades per round. Trades are generally approved by a league manager to make sure they are fair. Owners must also submit a starting line-up prior to each round consisting of their top 22 players. One player is also named a "Captain" for that round, and his points get doubled.
Throughout the season, stats and rankings are listed on the AFL official site. Owners can log in to see how their team is performing compared to other teams from around the nation. There is a comprehensive stats centre to make things even more interesting.
Keeping track of your squad, making prudent trades, and diligently setting your line-up can pay off, as the winner of the 2012 Toyota Dream Team Competition wins a Toyota FJ Cruiser. There are other prizes too, such as the $2,000 cash prize which goes to the season's leading scorer, and the $500 weekly prizes.