The AFL has confirmed that the 2012 home and away season will be played over 23 rounds, with three 'multi-bye' rounds of only six games.

The reduced rounds - 11, 12 and 13 - will allow six teams to have a bye in each week of the three-week period.

The multi-bye format has been chosen over the traditional split round as a means of giving players a break during the season.

With the introduction of Greater Western Sydney as the competition's eighth non-Victorian team, all Victorian clubs will play a minimum of five matches outside the state.

And as previously announced, the Grand Final will return to its traditional spot on the last Saturday in September.

The League will release its full 2012 fixture on Friday 28 October.