Looking back into HFNL History

I hope you all enjoyed the first week of the new electronic Hampden League Record. Isn’t it great to be back at community sport again after a long layoff during 2020. This week’s article continues on from last week’s as part 2 of a look at the formation of our League from its founding in 1930 to its current form in 2021.

Since those early pioneering days of 1930, as described last week, the Hampden League has prospered and grown immensely. Below is a timeline that shows the inclusion of Clubs, commencement of alternative grades and the introduction of netball, allowing females to play a far great role in our Saturday afternoon recreational pursuits.

1930 Hampden Football League formed by Camperdown, Terang and Mortlake. Cobden was then granted entry.

1933 HFL became a 6 team competition with the addition of Warrnambool and South Warrnambool.

1934 Koroit and Port Fairy unsuccessfully apply to join HFL.

1940 After Round 2 the HFL went into recess due to the breakout of WWII.

1946 HFL recommenced after war with 6 teams. Applications from Koroit & West End for admission were rejected. Admission prices were set at 15 pence an Adult and 5 pence a child.

1946 A 2nd 18’s Grade of football (Reserves) was introduced to HFL with Cobden, Camperdown, Mortlake and Terang fielding teams in this competition.

1948 Under 18 Football Grade is introduced to HFL, although only 3 clubs, Camperdown, Cobden and Terang, fielded teams.

1949 8 teams now compete in the HFL with Colac and Port Fairy joining.

1949 The Maskell Cup for the HFL’s Best and Fairest player is introduced with the opposing coaches’ casting votes. Max Evans of South Warrnambool was the inaugural winner.

1950 The Maskell Cup adopts the Brownlow Medal system of voting.

1951 Koroit, Colac Imperials and Coragulac Rovers apply unsuccessfully to join HFL.

1951 The U18 Best and Fairest, the Judd Cup, is presented for the first time.

1952 Paid coaches are excluded from Maskell votes.

1952 3CS, Colac are granted permission to broadcast HFL matches.

1957 Koroit again applied to join the HFL. Along with applications from Heytesbury & District Association, Coragulac and Portland they were refused entry.

1959 Koroit, Coragulac and Hamilton all unsuccessfully apply to join HFL.

1960 Hamilton and Coragulac are admitted to HFL, subject to clearances from their present league. Hamilton were refused so the HFL remained an 8 team competition. Later Penshurst unsuccessfully applied to join.

1961 Koroit and Coragulac expand the HFL to a 10 team fixture.

1967 Colac and Coragulac play the first Sunday HFL match drawing a large attendance.

1968 Zoning is introduced by the V.F.L. Hampden District is allocated to Fitzroy. As a part of their public relations Fitzroy played a game against Hampden in which the HFL scored a meritorious victory.

1970 For the first time all Clubs were represented in all three grades of football.

1972 Final Five is introduced into the HFL 10 team competition replacing the final Four system only to revert back to final four in 1974.

1973 Maskell Cup vote count was conducted at a gala presentation for the first time at Warrnambool’s Lady Bay Hotel.

1980 The HFL is reduced to 9 Clubs with the amalgamation of Coragulac and Colac to form Colac-Coragulac. Both Hamilton and Hamilton Imperials unsuccessfully apply to the VCFL for clearances to the HFL.

Next week’s article will cover from 1980 to 2021 with another in depth timeline that covers all the introductions and changes our League has experienced throughout that time. Enjoy your weekend at the footy and netball, may your team be competitive.

These articles are researched, compiled and written by Peter Conheady.