A 16-team, single division competition, the season is based around a 22-week "home-and-away" (regular) reason starting in March through to August. The top eight teams play off in a series of finals culminating in the Grand Final, always held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and usually held on the last Saturday in September.
Particularly in Melbourne, where a majority of teams are still based, and to a lesser extent in the traditional Australian Rules football states of South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania, much of the citizenry takes an obsessive interest in the competition. Massive crowds attend many of the games.
Virtually all players are now full-time professionals (although since only elite players can earn enough to support themselves for the rest of their lives, many study at university or other vocational training), and the clubs, whilst still owned by their large membership base, are large businesses.
Teams currently playing in the AFL include:
Famous players of the past and present, some of whom have gone on to notable subsequent careers include (note, I have been more than slightly eclectic here, somebody who knows footy better than I do should select the real champions):