In 1931 it was renamed the Western Australian National Football League (WANFL) before reverting to WAFL on 6 February 1980. The introduction of the West Coast Eagles in 1987 saw the Victorian Football League (which was renamed the Australian Football League (AFL) in 1990) take precedence in the football scene in WA, and the WAFL became a second level, or feeder competition, to the AFL. In attempts to revive its profile and improve the marketing of the league, two alternatives were tried; WA State League in 1990 and Westar Rules from 1997 to 2000, before reverting to WAFL in 2001.
Consisting of a nine team, single division competition, the season is based around a 22 week “home-and-away” (regular) season starting in March through to August. The top four teams play off in a series of finals culminating in the Grand Final, always held at Subiaco Oval and usually on the third Sunday in September, generally the week before the AFL Grand Final.
Although payments are made to players, it is generally considered semi-professional. However professional players from the two Western Australian-based AFL clubs (West Coast Eagles and Fremantle FC) who are not selected for their AFL clubs each week instead play for allocated WAFL clubs. The WA Football Commission owns the AFL licenses for these two clubs.