Melbourne had been dislodged as the best team in the city during 1861, and fell further the following year. The loss of Henry Harrison - transferred to Geelong for his employment - didn't help. Tom Wills also joined Geelong later in the year. Poor weather also contributed to a major drop in crowds.
The first scratch match of the season was played on 10 May, with new rules adopted two days later in a meeting at the Freemasons' Hotel.
On Saturday 17 May a match was scheduled between Melbourne and University to continue a game stated on 28 December the previous season which had ended with University a goal in front. It was organised as a 15-a-side game but University only had 13 players and didn't agree to play with an equal number on Melbourne's team. Melbourne took the Caledonian Cup with them, announcing they would use it as a 'challenge' cup for all teams who played against them. Another rematch was set for 31 May, but University again failed to field a team and Melbourne's players kicked two ceremonial goals then claimed the cup.
With a lack of organised matches another scratch match were played on 7, 9, 14 June, 19 and 26 July and 23 August. The Reds were meant to play Geelong in May, but the match fell through after disagreements about rules. A proposed defence of the cup against University was set for two occasions but the opposition failed to fulfil either fixture. They would not play in a win until their last game of the season when they won by forfeit when Geelong walked off. A proposed rematch on 13 September was cancelled because Melbourne couldn't get enough players to commit to a trip to Geelong.
A North vs South match was played on 9 August - the North side featured players from Melbourne and University against St Kilda and South Yarra. Dick Wardill scored the only goal over two games for the northern side.
It was the club's worst season, and newspapers blamed apathy amongst their members as one of the main reasons behind the disastrous year.
|28 June||South Yarra||LOSS||0-2|
|5 July||St Kilda||LOSS||0-2|
|2 August||St Kilda||LOSS||1-2|
A. Ainslie, E. Amsinck, John Baker, C. Blanchard, F and/or G. Brown, Jimmy Campbell, Jack Conway, Deane, Emerson, C. Grut, William Hammersley, A. Hope, C. Kenworthy, W. Lucas, E. MacKenzie, J. MacKenzie, J. MacPherson, A. May, T. Murray, G. Nichols, G. O'Mullane, J. Russell, J. Sheils, G. Shoosmith, Thomas Smith, Thompson, B. Wardill, Richard Wardill, Welch, H. Woolley, S. Woolley
G. Nichols 2, William Hammersley 1
Some sources suggest a match against Richmond on 9 June but it may not have taken place. There is no mention of it in the following day's newspaper.
Some sources suggest the August Geelong game was abandoned.