1938 VFL Premiership season
Teams12
PremiersCarlton
(6th premiership)
Minor premiersCarlton
(9th minor premiership)
Matches played112
Highest attendance96,486
Leading Goalkicker MedallistRon Todd (Collingwood)
Brownlow MedallistDick Reynolds (Essendon)
← 1937
1939 →

The 1938 VFL season was the 42nd season of the Victorian Football League (VFL), the highest level senior Australian rules football competition in Victoria. The season featured twelve clubs, ran from 23 April until 24 September, and comprised an 18-game home-and-away season followed by a finals series featuring the top four clubs.

The premiership was won by the Carlton Football Club for the sixth time, after it defeated Collingwood by 15 points in the 1938 VFL Grand Final.

Premiership season

In 1938, the VFL competition consisted of twelve teams of 18 on-the-field players each, plus one substitute player, known as the 19th man. A player could be substituted for any reason; however, once substituted, a player could not return to the field of play under any circumstances.

Teams played each other in a home-and-away season of 18 rounds; matches 12 to 18 were the "home-and-way reverse" of matches 1 to 7.

Once the 18 round home-and-away season had finished, the 1938 VFL Premiers were determined by the specific format and conventions of the Page–McIntyre system.

Round 1

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 17.13 (115) Melbourne 20.12 (132) Corio Oval 16,000 23 April 1938 Essendon 17.17 (119) St Kilda 12.13 (85) Windy Hill 15,000 23 April 1938 Richmond 19.26 (140) North Melbourne 9.9 (63) Punt Road Oval 16,000 23 April 1938 South Melbourne 14.13 (97) Footscray 9.14 (68) Lake Oval 18,000 23 April 1938 Fitzroy 12.15 (87) Collingwood 14.21 (105) Brunswick Street Oval 22,000 23 April 1938 Hawthorn 11.10 (76) Carlton 14.8 (92) Glenferrie Oval 18,000 23 April 1938

Round 2

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date North Melbourne 9.10 (64) South Melbourne 6.8 (44) Arden Street Oval 11,000 30 April 1938 Collingwood 18.19 (127) Essendon 9.20 (74) Victoria Park 15,000 30 April 1938 Carlton 12.23 (95) Richmond 14.10 (94) Princes Park 32,000 30 April 1938 Melbourne 14.8 (92) Hawthorn 16.15 (111) MCG 11,327 30 April 1938 St Kilda 13.16 (94) Geelong 8.17 (65) Junction Oval 17,000 30 April 1938 Footscray 13.17 (95) Fitzroy 10.5 (65) Western Oval 15,000 30 April 1938

Round 3

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 20.16 (136) North Melbourne 6.11 (47) Corio Oval 9,500 7 May 1938 Fitzroy 12.11 (83) Melbourne 17.14 (116) Brunswick Street Oval 14,000 7 May 1938 South Melbourne 8.12 (60) St Kilda 11.17 (83) Lake Oval 18,000 7 May 1938 Hawthorn 8.14 (62) Footscray 9.16 (70) Glenferrie Oval 14,500 7 May 1938 Richmond 15.12 (102) Collingwood 11.26 (92) Punt Road Oval 30,000 7 May 1938 Essendon 14.17 (101) Carlton 15.12 (102) Windy Hill 17,000 7 May 1938

Round 4

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Melbourne 23.15 (153) South Melbourne 15.11 (101) MCG 14,569 14 May 1938 Footscray 8.17 (65) Geelong 10.12 (72) Western Oval 16,000 14 May 1938 Collingwood 21.15 (141) Hawthorn 14.16 (100) Victoria Park 14,000 14 May 1938 Carlton 17.19 (121) Fitzroy 10.10 (70) Princes Park 16,000 14 May 1938 St Kilda 15.9 (99) Richmond 13.11 (89) Junction Oval 25,000 14 May 1938 North Melbourne 14.17 (101) Essendon 19.11 (125) Arden Street Oval 15,000 14 May 1938

Round 5

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 13.9 (87) Richmond 12.12 (84) Glenferrie Oval 18,000 21 May 1938 Essendon 15.15 (105) South Melbourne 11.19 (85) Windy Hill 14,000 21 May 1938 St Kilda 11.16 (82) North Melbourne 10.12 (72) Junction Oval 14,000 21 May 1938 Melbourne 10.12 (72) Footscray 10.16 (76) MCG 14,979 21 May 1938 Geelong 21.21 (147) Fitzroy 11.9 (75) Corio Oval 10,000 21 May 1938 Collingwood 17.12 (114) Carlton 19.16 (130) Victoria Park 38,000 21 May 1938

Round 6

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Footscray 17.19 (121) St Kilda 7.13 (55) Western Oval 21,000 28 May 1938 Carlton 14.18 (102) Melbourne 16.11 (107) Princes Park 20,000 28 May 1938 South Melbourne 13.16 (94) Hawthorn 18.12 (120) Lake Oval 11,000 28 May 1938 Richmond 18.9 (117) Geelong 12.16 (88) Punt Road Oval 22,000 28 May 1938 Fitzroy 14.9 (93) Essendon 11.13 (79) Brunswick Street Oval 13,000 28 May 1938 North Melbourne 10.7 (67) Collingwood 23.11 (149) Arden Street Oval 12,000 28 May 1938

Round 7

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 19.32 (146) South Melbourne 10.10 (70) Corio Oval 8,000 4 June 1938 Fitzroy 12.15 (87) Richmond 14.10 (94) Brunswick Street Oval 16,000 4 June 1938 Essendon 16.20 (116) Hawthorn 16.7 (103) Windy Hill 12,000 4 June 1938 North Melbourne 9.14 (68) Footscray 9.16 (70) Arden Street Oval 15,000 4 June 1938 Melbourne 17.13 (115) Collingwood 15.11 (101) MCG 30,877 4 June 1938 St Kilda 6.15 (51) Carlton 12.18 (90) Junction Oval 24,000 4 June 1938

Round 8

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Melbourne 18.14 (122) North Melbourne 14.8 (92) MCG 12,808 11 June 1938 Essendon 12.12 (84) Geelong 14.23 (107) Windy Hill 19,000 11 June 1938 Collingwood 16.23 (119) St Kilda 14.9 (93) Victoria Park 17,500 11 June 1938 Carlton 15.20 (110) Footscray 12.11 (83) Princes Park 43,000 13 June 1938 South Melbourne 8.14 (62) Richmond 20.15 (135) Lake Oval 19,000 13 June 1938 Hawthorn 7.11 (53) Fitzroy 12.22 (94) Glenferrie Oval 16,000 13 June 1938

Round 9

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 11.23 (89) Hawthorn 6.13 (49) Corio Oval 7,000 18 June 1938 Fitzroy 16.12 (108) South Melbourne 8.8 (56) Brunswick Street Oval 12,000 18 June 1938 St Kilda 14.12 (96) Melbourne 16.16 (112) Junction Oval 14,000 18 June 1938 Richmond 15.14 (104) Essendon 15.9 (99) Punt Road Oval 20,000 18 June 1938 Footscray 13.9 (87) Collingwood 10.5 (65) Western Oval 18,000 18 June 1938 North Melbourne 11.5 (71) Carlton 16.25 (121) Arden Street Oval 13,000 18 June 1938

Round 10

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 8.12 (60) St Kilda 9.10 (64) Glenferrie Oval 10,000 25 June 1938 Fitzroy 12.16 (88) North Melbourne 6.10 (46) Brunswick Street Oval 12,000 25 June 1938 Essendon 14.16 (100) Footscray 17.9 (111) Windy Hill 18,000 25 June 1938 Richmond 12.17 (89) Melbourne 10.8 (68) Punt Road Oval 23,000 25 June 1938 Geelong 13.12 (90) Collingwood 13.17 (95) Corio Oval 13,000 25 June 1938 South Melbourne 11.7 (73) Carlton 16.13 (109) Lake Oval 14,000 25 June 1938

Round 11

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Footscray 13.20 (98) Richmond 7.4 (46) Western Oval 20,000 2 July 1938 Collingwood 12.17 (89) South Melbourne 12.5 (77) Victoria Park 10,000 2 July 1938 Carlton 12.16 (88) Geelong 12.10 (82) Princes Park 19,500 2 July 1938 North Melbourne 13.14 (92) Hawthorn 12.6 (78) Arden Street Oval 4,000 2 July 1938 St Kilda 11.8 (74) Fitzroy 10.11 (71) Junction Oval 10,000 2 July 1938 Melbourne 11.13 (79) Essendon 13.7 (85) MCG 12,054 2 July 1938

Round 12

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date St Kilda 15.13 (103) Essendon 22.17 (149) Junction Oval 17,000 13 June 1938 North Melbourne 14.3 (87) Richmond 12.11 (83) Arden Street Oval 11,000 9 July 1938 Footscray 19.19 (133) South Melbourne 10.10 (70) Western Oval 16,000 9 July 1938 Collingwood 10.19 (79) Fitzroy 10.13 (73) Victoria Park 15,000 9 July 1938 Carlton 12.12 (84) Hawthorn 8.15 (63) Princes Park 14,000 9 July 1938 Melbourne 11.8 (74) Geelong 13.14 (92) MCG 20,185 9 July 1938

Round 13

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 10.9 (69) Melbourne 9.16 (70) Glenferrie Oval 7,000 23 July 1938 Geelong 14.20 (104) St Kilda 15.13 (103) Corio Oval 7,000 23 July 1938 Fitzroy 13.8 (86) Footscray 18.21 (129) Brunswick Street Oval 16,000 23 July 1938 South Melbourne 14.11 (95) North Melbourne 13.18 (96) Lake Oval 8,000 23 July 1938 Essendon 17.17 (119) Collingwood 17.16 (118) Windy Hill 13,000 23 July 1938 Richmond 20.12 (132) Carlton 12.19 (91) Punt Road Oval 28,000 23 July 1938

Round 14

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date St Kilda 10.12 (72) South Melbourne 7.12 (54) Junction Oval 10,000 30 July 1938 Footscray 17.14 (116) Hawthorn 4.7 (31) Western Oval 11,000 30 July 1938 Collingwood 9.9 (63) Richmond 11.10 (76) Victoria Park 22,000 30 July 1938 Carlton 11.16 (82) Essendon 10.16 (76) Princes Park 18,000 30 July 1938 North Melbourne 7.9 (51) Geelong 15.16 (106) Arden Street Oval 8,000 30 July 1938 Melbourne 14.12 (96) Fitzroy 14.9 (93) MCG 9,060 30 July 1938

Round 15

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Richmond 7.11 (53) St Kilda 7.14 (56) Punt Road Oval 15,000 6 August 1938 Essendon 13.9 (87) North Melbourne 16.8 (104) Windy Hill 10,000 6 August 1938 South Melbourne 9.16 (70) Melbourne 14.15 (99) Lake Oval 8,000 6 August 1938 Geelong 13.15 (93) Footscray 10.10 (70) Corio Oval 18,500 6 August 1938 Hawthorn 12.11 (83) Collingwood 18.15 (123) Glenferrie Oval 8,000 6 August 1938 Fitzroy 11.10 (76) Carlton 19.12 (126) Brunswick Street Oval 17,000 6 August 1938

Round 16

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date North Melbourne 12.11 (83) St Kilda 7.15 (57) Arden Street Oval 9,000 13 August 1938 Footscray 19.17 (131) Melbourne 13.13 (91) Western Oval 19,000 13 August 1938 Fitzroy 13.12 (90) Geelong 19.12 (126) Brunswick Street Oval 8,000 13 August 1938 Carlton 14.17 (101) Collingwood 19.7 (121) Princes Park 37,000 13 August 1938 Richmond 19.18 (132) Hawthorn 12.11 (83) Punt Road Oval 9,000 13 August 1938 South Melbourne 13.13 (91) Essendon 12.14 (86) Lake Oval 8,000 13 August 1938

Round 17

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 17.15 (117) South Melbourne 9.20 (74) Glenferrie Oval 7,000 20 August 1938 Geelong 20.17 (137) Richmond 12.12 (84) Corio Oval 19,500 20 August 1938 Essendon 15.17 (107) Fitzroy 15.6 (96) Windy Hill 9,000 20 August 1938 Collingwood 22.18 (150) North Melbourne 14.12 (96) Victoria Park 14,000 20 August 1938 St Kilda 17.17 (119) Footscray 12.9 (81) Junction Oval 17,000 20 August 1938 Melbourne 14.12 (96) Carlton 11.13 (79) MCG 25,241 20 August 1938

Round 18

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Footscray 18.11 (119) North Melbourne 11.18 (84) Western Oval 13,000 27 August 1938 Collingwood 12.19 (91) Melbourne 11.16 (82) Victoria Park 30,000 27 August 1938 Carlton 15.14 (104) St Kilda 13.10 (88) Princes Park 16,000 27 August 1938 South Melbourne 12.8 (80) Geelong 15.12 (102) Lake Oval 6,000 27 August 1938 Richmond 13.15 (93) Fitzroy 15.18 (108) Punt Road Oval 7,000 27 August 1938 Hawthorn 9.15 (69) Essendon 12.18 (90) Glenferrie Oval 6,500 27 August 1938

Ladder

1938 VFL ladder
Pos Team Pld W L D PF PA PP Pts
1 Carlton (P) 18 14 4 0 1827 1574 116.1 56 Finals
2 Geelong 18 13 5 0 1897 1468 129.2 52
3 Footscray 18 13 5 0 1723 1386 124.3 52
4 Collingwood 18 12 6 0 1942 1652 117.6 48
5 Melbourne 18 11 7 0 1776 1676 106.0 44
6 Richmond 18 10 8 0 1747 1563 111.8 40
7 Essendon 18 9 9 0 1801 1760 102.3 36
8 St Kilda 18 9 9 0 1474 1606 91.8 36
9 North Melbourne 18 6 12 0 1384 1852 74.7 24
10 Fitzroy 18 5 13 0 1543 1742 88.6 20
11 Hawthorn 18 4 14 0 1414 1717 82.4 16
12 South Melbourne 18 2 16 0 1353 1885 71.8 8
Source: VFL Ladder
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) percentage; 3) number of points for.
(P) Premiers

Finals

Semi finals

Home team Score Away team Score Venue Crowd Date Footscray 10.16 (76) Collingwood 18.9 (117) MCG 68,556 3 September Carlton 16.17 (113) Geelong 10.21 (81) MCG 65,332 10 September

Preliminary Final

Home team Score Away team Score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 14.14 (98) Collingwood 21.9 (135) MCG 60,956 17 September

Grand final

Main article: 1938 VFL Grand Final

Carlton defeated Collingwood 15.10 (100) to 13.7 (85), in front of a crowd of 96,834 people. (For an explanation of scoring see Australian rules football).

Awards

Notable events

References

  1. ^ "Geelong's match". The Argus. Melbourne. 30 September 1938. p. 22.
  2. ^ Fiddian, Marc (1994). Boilovers, Thrillers and Grand Eras in League and Association Football. Pakenham, Victoria: Pakenham Gazette. p. 42. ISBN 1875475087.