AFL scraps expensive LED screens after brief trial

Clubs have been told to use their own boards, which must fit in the dimensions of 800 millimetres x 600 millimetres and cannot have sponsor advertising attached.

Everything else, including what the boards are made from and the size of the font used, is at the discretion of the clubs. Only one board can be used at a time.

Clubs are expected to concentrate the use of their own boards for rotations and basic tactical changes, such as attacking or defensive game styles that are likely to be dictated by different colours.

Before the failed trial, the introduction of the LED screens was seen by several clubs as a strange decision and a mini backflip by the AFL, given it had previously limited the use of runners to make the game less coached.

Clubs then found the systems difficult to operate and there remained confusion over what kind of symbols could be used during games.

“We didn’t use the message board on the weekend because we knew that they wouldn’t work,” Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan said on Wednesday.

“It was hard to see in the sun … we’ve been given the opportunity this week to find our own board.”

It was initially stated that the screens could portray symbols and numbers before emojis were also discussed.

Although the AFL has asked clubs to return the screens it’s unclear what the league will use them for.


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