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The final 8 system explained

In 2000, Essendon were the first team to win a Premiership under the simplified final eight system

THE current, simplified final eight system was introduced in 2000.

In the first week all eight teams play. The games are:

  • 1st v 4th
  • 2nd v 3rd
  • 5th v 8th
  • 6th v 7th

The top four sides on the ladder after the home and away season are guaranteed a double chance after the first week of the finals, while sides finishing 5th to 8th need to win every game to win the Premiership.

The winners of the games 1st v 4th, and 2nd v 3rd proceed straight to the preliminary final in week 3.

The losers of those games receive the double chance and play in the semi-finals in week 2.

The games 5th v 8th and 6th v 7th will be cut-throat qualifying finals with the losers being eliminated and the winners proceeding to the semi-finals.

The remaining three weeks of the finals are cut-throat.

The winners of the semi-final in week 2 proceed to the preliminary final, while the losers are eliminated.

There are two preliminary finals played with the winners both proceeding to the AFL Grand Final.

The losers are eliminated.