Club championship of Australia not contested. Dave McNamara (Essendon Association) kicks 107 goals for season in VFA. The VFL introduces mandatory numbering of all players following a trial of the system during the 1911 finals. VFA again reduces number of players per team from 17 to 16. VFA orders Preston and Northcote to merge. Melbourne City admitted to VFA. Grand final results - VFL: Essendon 5.17 (47) d. South Melbourne 4.9 (33); SAFL: West Adelaide 6.10 (46) d. Port Adelaide 5.2 (32); WAFL: Subiaco 5.8 (38) d. East Fremantle 4.3 (27); VFA: Essendon Association 9.8 (62) d. Footscray 5.11 (41); TFL: Lefroy 6.12 (48) d. North Hobart 3.12 (30); NTFA: North Launceston 7.12 (54) d. Launceston 5.4 (44); NSWAFL: Sydney 5.13 (43) d. Paddington 2.3 (15); QFL: Valley 9.6 (60) d. South Brisbane 5.15 (45); NWFU: Mersey 2.8 (20) d. Ulverstone 1.7 (13); TSP: Lefroy 8.9 (57) d. North Launceston 4.10 (34); WA State Premiership: Kalgoorlie Railways 8.12 (60) d. Subiaco 7.9 (51). Other premiers - NTFA: North Launceston (on points).
PORT ADELAIDE topped the SAFL ladder in 1912 with 12 wins from 12 matches, and then trounced West Torrens 9.16 (70) to 4.5 (29) in their semi final. However, after that the wheels fell off in quite spectacular fashion for the Magpies who lost both the final and challenge final, to which they were entitled as minor premier, against West Adelaide. The red and blacks had lost 5 matches during the minor round but came good when it mattered to clinch their second premiership in succession.
The first challenge match between teams representing NORTHERN TASMANIA and SOUTHERN TASMANIA had taken place in 1883. Since then, the two sides had played one another on a more or less annual basis, and indeed in most seasons there were two matches, one in Hobart and the other in Launceston. Northern Tasmania had won its share of matches in Launceston, but never in Hobart - until this season when, on Saturday 22nd June, they triumphed by 13 points, 9.13 (67) to 7.12 (54). The two teams confronted one another for the second time in 1912 on Saturday 3rd August when north again defeated south, this time rather more comfortably, by a margin of 46 points. It goes without saying that this was the first ever instance of northern Tasmania triumphing over Southern Tasmania twice in the same season.
The 1912 season saw the introduction by the VFL of a match day publication, “THE FOOTBALL RECORD”. The first editorial read thus:
In producing the "Record" the proprietor approaches the task with a feeling of confidence that the public will appreciate his efforts to keep it posted with every point of interest in the football world.
The "Record" will fill the bill in this respect. Its news will be up-to-date, and presented in a smart, crisp fashion, that cannot fail to meet with the approbation of readers. No effort will be spared in obtaining for the general information matter of value. The chief aim will be to give our readers the very latest items of intelligence, and in all that will be published the motto of the "Record" will be observed, and that is "Fair Play is Bonnie Play".
While the "Record" will be widely read on the football grounds it will possess features that will lead to the preservation of each number, and consequently the little publication will go into the home - a recommendation which of itself will appeal to advertisers.
A special feature of the "Record" will be the diagrams of the football field, with the picked teams for each Saturday's match, in the positions they will occupy at the commencement of their respective games: and, in addition, photographs of leading exponents of the game will be published weekly.
The publication continues to be published, although nowadays it is called "The AFL Record". One feels constrained to imagine that its motto, if it has one, has also changed.