The VFL introduced an interstate player draft where each VFL side would be allowed to sign two interstate players based on the reverse order of where they had finished on the ladder. This replaced the old system of each club being given two "form four" interstate player recruits a year.
The inaugural draft was held on Tuesday 8 October 1981 at VFL House.
1981 VFL National Draft
|13||Danny Hughes||Port Adelaide||124|
"Clubs to meet draft recruits" - The Age 01/10/1981