1956 VFL Premiership season
Teams12
PremiersMelbourne
(8th premiership)
Minor premiersMelbourne
(4th minor premiership)
Consolation seriesSouth Melbourne
(1st Consolation series win)
Matches played112
Highest attendance115,902
Coleman MedallistBill Young (St Kilda)
Brownlow MedallistPeter Box (Footscray)
← 1955
1957 →

The 1956 VFL season was the 60th season of the Victorian Football League (VFL), the highest level senior Australian rules football competition in Victoria. The season featured twelve clubs, ran from 14 April until 15 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 Melbourne Football Club for the eighth time and second time consecutively, after it defeated Collingwood by 73 points in the 1956 VFL Grand Final.

1956 Summer Olympics

From 22 November to 8 December, the 1956 Summer Olympics were to be held in Melbourne, with a re-configured Melbourne Cricket Ground as its Main Stadium.

The need to accommodate this fact brought certain changes to the 1956 VFL season:

It was not desirable for Melbourne to play four consecutive away matches to start the season. This was partly because Melbourne would then have four consecutive home matches between Rounds 12 and 15. Additionally, because of the proximity of the Melbourne Cricket Ground to Punt Road Oval, matches were never scheduled at the venues on the same day; so it would have forced Richmond to open the season with four home matches, then play four away matches from Rounds 12 to 15. To overcome this, Melbourne played only its first three matches away, then played its Round 4 home match against Fitzroy at Punt Road Oval.

Premiership season

In 1956, the VFL competition consisted of twelve teams of 18 on-the-field players each, plus two substitute players, known as the 19th man and the 20th 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 1956 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 North Melbourne 15.8 (98) St Kilda 5.11 (41) Arden Street Oval 11,000 14 April 1956 Richmond 8.7 (55) Melbourne 12.16 (88) Punt Road Oval 25,000 14 April 1956 South Melbourne 7.8 (50) Geelong 11.11 (77) Lake Oval 25,000 14 April 1956 Footscray 14.14 (98) Fitzroy 10.9 (69) Western Oval 26,617 14 April 1956 Hawthorn 8.17 (65) Collingwood 14.13 (97) Glenferrie Oval 24,000 14 April 1956 Essendon 9.13 (67) Carlton 5.9 (39) Windy Hill 30,000 14 April 1956

Round 2

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 16.14 (110) North Melbourne 2.10 (22) Kardinia Park 17,294 21 April 1956 Collingwood 12.18 (90) South Melbourne 7.11 (53) Victoria Park 24,800 21 April 1956 Carlton 6.11 (47) Melbourne 12.18 (90) Princes Park 18,656 21 April 1956 Richmond 12.13 (85) Hawthorn 16.10 (106) Punt Road Oval 16,000 21 April 1956 St Kilda 7.4 (46) Footscray 10.14 (74) Junction Oval 21,382 21 April 1956 Fitzroy 10.19 (79) Essendon 7.15 (57) Brunswick Street Oval 18,000 21 April 1956

Round 3

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Footscray 5.11 (41) Melbourne 9.13 (67) Western Oval 33,265 28 April 1956 Fitzroy 13.16 (94) South Melbourne 10.13 (73) Brunswick Street Oval 18,000 28 April 1956 Hawthorn 15.10 (100) Geelong 16.16 (112) Glenferrie Oval 20,000 28 April 1956 North Melbourne 9.11 (65) Essendon 15.17 (107) Arden Street Oval 15,000 28 April 1956 Richmond 17.12 (114) Collingwood 11.12 (78) Punt Road Oval 30,000 28 April 1956 St Kilda 9.11 (65) Carlton 13.9 (87) Junction Oval 26,400 28 April 1956

Round 4

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 15.13 (103) Richmond 10.11 (71) Kardinia Park 21,840 5 May 1956 Essendon 18.9 (117) St Kilda 9.23 (77) Windy Hill 16,000 5 May 1956 Collingwood 12.15 (87) Footscray 11.7 (73) Victoria Park 29,818 5 May 1956 Carlton 15.12 (102) North Melbourne 13.16 (94) Princes Park 17,447 5 May 1956 South Melbourne 6.17 (53) Hawthorn 8.11 (59) Lake Oval 18,500 5 May 1956 Melbourne 10.19 (79) Fitzroy 9.6 (60) Punt Road Oval 23,000 5 May 1956

Round 5

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Footscray 9.13 (67) South Melbourne 8.9 (57) Western Oval 18,134 12 May 1956 Fitzroy 8.15 (63) North Melbourne 7.6 (48) Brunswick Street Oval 9,000 12 May 1956 Essendon 6.22 (58) Richmond 7.10 (52) Windy Hill 17,000 12 May 1956 Carlton 8.16 (64) Collingwood 3.4 (22) Princes Park 24,000 12 May 1956 St Kilda 3.9 (27) Hawthorn 6.12 (48) Junction Oval 12,250 12 May 1956 Melbourne 6.20 (56) Geelong 6.12 (48) MCG 47,130 12 May 1956

Round 6

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Fitzroy 11.11 (77) St Kilda 7.11 (53) Brunswick Street Oval 11,500 19 May 1956 Collingwood 10.7 (67) Geelong 2.14 (26) Victoria Park 28,000 19 May 1956 North Melbourne 6.6 (42) Melbourne 11.18 (84) Arden Street Oval 11,000 19 May 1956 Hawthorn 10.14 (74) Footscray 10.11 (71) Glenferrie Oval 22,000 19 May 1956 South Melbourne 15.8 (98) Essendon 11.20 (86) Lake Oval 26,000 19 May 1956 Richmond 9.14 (68) Carlton 15.17 (107) Punt Road Oval 28,000 19 May 1956

Round 7

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date North Melbourne 15.7 (97) South Melbourne 7.16 (58) Arden Street Oval 13,000 26 May 1956 St Kilda 9.10 (64) Richmond 6.8 (44) Junction Oval 15,800 26 May 1956 Hawthorn 8.10 (58) Fitzroy 9.13 (67) Glenferrie Oval 18,000 26 May 1956 Geelong 15.17 (107) Essendon 8.9 (57) Kardinia Park 21,758 26 May 1956 Melbourne 11.13 (79) Collingwood 9.7 (61) MCG 46,868 26 May 1956 Footscray 7.13 (55) Carlton 8.8 (56) Western Oval 33,089 26 May 1956

Round 8

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Collingwood 9.10 (64) North Melbourne 3.4 (22) Victoria Park 22,650 2 June 1956 Carlton 10.13 (73) Hawthorn 5.9 (39) Princes Park 33,557 2 June 1956 St Kilda 6.11 (47) Melbourne 9.7 (61) Junction Oval 26,300 2 June 1956 Richmond 10.15 (75) South Melbourne 12.6 (78) Punt Road Oval 23,000 4 June 1956 Essendon 12.11 (83) Footscray 14.23 (107) Windy Hill 31,500 4 June 1956 Geelong 11.12 (78) Fitzroy 8.8 (56) Kardinia Park 21,985 4 June 1956

Round 9

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 7.13 (55) North Melbourne 3.12 (30) Glenferrie Oval 11,000 9 June 1956 Footscray 12.14 (86) Richmond 6.8 (44) Western Oval 24,443 9 June 1956 Carlton 11.13 (79) Geelong 12.8 (80) Princes Park 33,254 9 June 1956 South Melbourne 14.5 (89) St Kilda 11.8 (74) Lake Oval 21,000 9 June 1956 Melbourne 15.17 (107) Essendon 4.15 (39) MCG 32,543 9 June 1956 Fitzroy 5.7 (37) Collingwood 12.10 (82) Brunswick Street Oval 24,000 9 June 1956

Round 10

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date North Melbourne 10.13 (73) Richmond 12.11 (83) Arden Street Oval 11,000 16 June 1956 Footscray 13.12 (90) Geelong 10.8 (68) Western Oval 35,909 16 June 1956 St Kilda 9.9 (63) Collingwood 8.21 (69) Junction Oval 26,800 16 June 1956 Melbourne 12.10 (82) South Melbourne 8.11 (59) MCG 36,361 23 June 1956 Essendon 12.20 (92) Hawthorn 10.11 (71) Windy Hill 17,000 23 June 1956 Fitzroy 7.11 (53) Carlton 13.11 (89) Brunswick Street Oval 27,000 23 June 1956

Round 11

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 5.12 (42) Melbourne 11.14 (80) Glenferrie Oval 15,500 30 June 1956 Geelong 9.8 (62) St Kilda 8.9 (57) Kardinia Park 11,052 30 June 1956 Collingwood 15.18 (108) Essendon 7.12 (54) Victoria Park 23,814 30 June 1956 North Melbourne 5.9 (39) Footscray 6.13 (49) Arden Street Oval 14,000 30 June 1956 Richmond 15.12 (102) Fitzroy 12.14 (86) Punt Road Oval 12,000 30 June 1956 South Melbourne 9.19 (73) Carlton 7.12 (54) Lake Oval 27,000 30 June 1956

Round 12

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Melbourne 11.13 (79) Richmond 7.3 (45) MCG 26,772 7 July 1956 Geelong 10.7 (67) South Melbourne 3.8 (26) Kardinia Park 16,439 7 July 1956 Fitzroy 7.9 (51) Footscray 9.7 (61) Brunswick Street Oval 17,500 7 July 1956 Collingwood 11.18 (84) Hawthorn 8.10 (58) Victoria Park 17,150 7 July 1956 Carlton 12.13 (85) Essendon 5.15 (45) Princes Park 23,154 7 July 1956 St Kilda 20.9 (129) North Melbourne 7.9 (51) Junction Oval 14,600 7 July 1956

Round 13

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 3.13 (31) Richmond 8.6 (54) Glenferrie Oval 13,000 14 July 1956 Footscray 11.13 (79) St Kilda 13.2 (80) Western Oval 25,414 14 July 1956 Essendon 9.13 (67) Fitzroy 8.10 (58) Windy Hill 14,000 14 July 1956 North Melbourne 7.5 (47) Geelong 19.15 (129) Arden Street Oval 9,000 14 July 1956 South Melbourne 10.9 (69) Collingwood 11.9 (75) Lake Oval 25,000 14 July 1956 Melbourne 14.10 (94) Carlton 12.7 (79) MCG 46,022 14 July 1956

Round 14

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 12.13 (85) Hawthorn 10.14 (74) Kardinia Park 13,373 21 July 1956 Essendon 10.18 (78) North Melbourne 6.11 (47) Windy Hill 12,800 21 July 1956 Collingwood 14.16 (100) Richmond 8.5 (53) Victoria Park 21,422 21 July 1956 Carlton 8.18 (66) St Kilda 9.12 (66) Princes Park 30,100 21 July 1956 Melbourne 7.17 (59) Footscray 10.12 (72) MCG 47,956 21 July 1956 South Melbourne 11.15 (81) Fitzroy 15.15 (105) Lake Oval 15,000 21 July 1956

Round 15

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 10.18 (78) South Melbourne 12.6 (78) Glenferrie Oval 12,500 28 July 1956 Fitzroy 7.11 (53) Melbourne 11.15 (81) Brunswick Street Oval 13,000 28 July 1956 Richmond 9.11 (65) Geelong 11.13 (79) Punt Road Oval 15,000 28 July 1956 St Kilda 6.11 (47) Essendon 7.7 (49) Junction Oval 28,100 28 July 1956 Footscray 11.6 (72) Collingwood 14.20 (104) Western Oval 41,639 28 July 1956 North Melbourne 4.8 (32) Carlton 11.16 (82) Arden Street Oval 13,000 28 July 1956

Round 16

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 15.8 (98) St Kilda 12.9 (81) Glenferrie Oval 15,000 4 August 1956 Geelong 8.10 (58) Melbourne 8.8 (56) Kardinia Park 29,687 4 August 1956 South Melbourne 10.10 (70) Footscray 8.15 (63) Lake Oval 26,000 4 August 1956 North Melbourne 14.21 (105) Fitzroy 8.8 (56) Arden Street Oval 8,500 4 August 1956 Richmond 13.13 (91) Essendon 11.13 (79) Punt Road Oval 18,500 4 August 1956 Collingwood 9.17 (71) Carlton 12.12 (84) Victoria Park 38,679 4 August 1956

Round 17

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Melbourne 16.18 (114) North Melbourne 11.5 (71) MCG 16,186 11 August 1956 Footscray 15.13 (103) Hawthorn 9.6 (60) Western Oval 16,492 11 August 1956 Essendon 11.10 (76) South Melbourne 7.16 (58) Windy Hill 13,000 11 August 1956 Carlton 7.24 (66) Richmond 10.11 (71) Princes Park 22,500 11 August 1956 St Kilda 6.7 (43) Fitzroy 8.8 (56) Junction Oval 14,200 11 August 1956 Geelong 10.9 (69) Collingwood 15.11 (101) Kardinia Park 32,155 11 August 1956

Round 18

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Richmond 16.9 (105) St Kilda 16.14 (110) Punt Road Oval 15,000 18 August 1956 Fitzroy 9.16 (70) Hawthorn 10.17 (77) Brunswick Street Oval 7,500 18 August 1956 Essendon 14.13 (97) Geelong 9.15 (69) Windy Hill 16,500 18 August 1956 Collingwood 9.6 (60) Melbourne 10.13 (73) Victoria Park 31,089 18 August 1956 Carlton 6.9 (45) Footscray 8.14 (62) Princes Park 44,878 18 August 1956 South Melbourne 13.9 (87) North Melbourne 7.13 (55) Lake Oval 10,000 18 August 1956

Ladder

1956 VFL ladder
Pos Team Pld W L D PF PA PP Pts
1 Melbourne (P) 18 16 2 0 1429 979 146.0 64 Finals
2 Collingwood 18 13 5 0 1420 1128 125.9 52
3 Geelong 18 13 5 0 1427 1171 121.9 52
4 Footscray 18 11 7 0 1323 1159 114.2 44
5 Carlton 18 10 7 1 1304 1147 113.7 42
6 Essendon 18 10 8 0 1308 1365 95.8 40
7 Hawthorn 18 7 10 1 1193 1342 88.9 30
8 Fitzroy 18 7 11 0 1190 1332 89.3 28
9 South Melbourne 18 6 11 1 1210 1374 88.1 26
10 Richmond 18 6 12 0 1277 1471 86.8 24
11 St Kilda 18 4 13 1 1170 1330 88.0 18
12 North Melbourne 18 3 15 0 1038 1491 69.6 12
Source: VFL ladder
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) percentage; 3) number of points for.
(P) Premiers

Consolation Night Series Competition

The first VFL night series was held under floodlights at Lake Oval, South Melbourne amongst those teams who had missed the regular final series.

The eight teams that had finished in places 5 to 12 on the end-of-season ladder played in a set of seven elimination matches at the end of the home-and-away season.

The Final was played on the evening of Monday 17 September 1956 (two days after the VFL Grand Final) in front of 33,120 spectators.

Final: South Melbourne 13.16 (94) defeated Carlton 13.10 (78)

Finals

First Semi-Final

Team 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr Final
Geelong 4.2 6.2 6.4 6.5 (41)
Footscray 1.3 4.6 5.8 5.13 (43)
Attendance: 79,402

Second Semi-Final

Team 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr Final
Melbourne 1.4 3.6 8.9 11.14 (80)
Collingwood 1.4 3.7 8.10 8.16 (64)
Attendance: 91,480

Preliminary Final

Team 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr Final
Collingwood 6.1 6.1 11.5 15.6 (96)
Footscray 3.0 5.8 6.9 7.15 (57)
Attendance: 94,104

Grand final

Main article: 1956 VFL Grand Final

Team 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr Final
Melbourne 2.4 6.11 10.16 17.19 (121)
Collingwood 3.3 4.3 5.6 6.12 (48)
Attendance: 115,902

Awards

Notable events

See also

References