Encounter Bay, South Australia

Minicolt Otis after a stint on the scoreboard – and very satisfied with the result!

Encounter Bay Football Club play in the Great Southern Football League, in the Fleurieu Peninsula region of South Australia.

The text below is courtesy of club historian John Althorp. It is an extract from the book A Good Way of Life, Celebrating 100 Years of the Encounter Bay Football Club, published last year…

From the very early days, a team’s supporters liked to keep track of how the score was going – players were pretty interested too – so basic scoreboards were soon seen at local grounds.

From the time he started playing in the 1930’s, Mail Medallist and life member Don Bartel could remember that before the mounds were constructed ‘there was an old ground level timber scoreboard, close to the boundary fence on the side opposite the clubrooms on about the half forward flank towards the eastern end.’   Alan Armstrong remembers that it was ‘three timber posts in the ground, with a wooden strut, and a sheet of flat iron with cup hooks to hang the numbers on.  These were kept in a box in the club shed, and taken over to the board before the match.’

In 1988 the old scoreboard was replaced with the current steel structure that allowed the scores to be adjusted from behind, erected west of its previous position and further back from the fence.  Such boards have become an archetypical piece of Australian football architecture, often nestled, as the EBFC one is, in some remnant scrub.  It was always the responsibility of a few of the younger lads to look after the scores, and over recent years it has become something of a rite of passage for junior footballers after their match to climb into the board, and stick their heads through an opening to keep the scores up to date and the crowd and goal-umpire Lew happy.

The board has also been home to the odd temporary lodger, including one year, so club legend Dick Littlely remembers, when a sometime player from Coonalpyn used to make himself at home in it on the weekend when he travelled down to the Bay to see if he could get a game, often fronting up to the Bingo ladies on a Friday night to see if they could find something for him to eat…

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