“The only thing that will get you believing again is scoreboard pressure,” Cameron Ling 16 June 2017

The Age, 19 July 2021

From the Daily News in Perth in 1948. Now we’re all for kids as scoreboard attendants… but not as scoreboard pests.

“I’d like a scoreboard that actually had the right score on it.” Gerard Whately, ABC Radio, 4 December 2016

“People can say what they like. There is only one thing that matters in AFL football and that’s the scoreboard and it determines so many things. It determines coaches’ destinies, club futures and where you are on the ladder.” Denis Pagan, North Melbourne premiership coach, The Age, 5 May 2016

‘The ball soared
The crowd roared
The scoreboard sweetly hummed
And tomorrow you’ll surely know who’s won…’
– from the song Cooperstown by The Felice Brothers (from the album Yonder Stands the Clock)

Hawthorn player, coach, legend. John Kennedy Snr. 1928 to 2020

Call us old-fashioned, but banners, club songs and plenty of goals – with or without giant birds flying out of multiple scoreboards – create the basic ingredients for a perfect day or night out. – Caroline Wilson, The Age, 9 August 2014

Even an experienced defence is only as good as the midfield that protects it and the forward line that is supposed to counter with scoreboard pressure. – journalist Greg Baum, The Age, 14 July 2014. Match report Essendon defeated Collingwood by 64 points.

“I didn’t like the idea of them pulling down the scoreboard because I thought that should have been heritage listed.” Bob Hill, Collingwood scoreboard attendant at Victoria Park from the late 1960s to 1999. The Age 24 May, 2014.

“The scoreboard is the mortal enemy of our development team.” Williamstown FIDA coach Rob Klemm after his reserves team lost by 100 points to Kananook. May 2014.

“Scoreboard pressure is magic pressure.” Stan Alves, ABC Grandstand . Western Bulldogs v Adelaide, 27 April 2014.

“I did not think the scoreboard was a reflection of the evenness of the game: the numbers don’t always tell the whole story.” Geelong coach Chris Scott after the Cats lost by 40 points to Port Adelaide. 27 April 2014

A recent episode of Modern Family began with the family preparing to go to a school football game…

Luke: “I’m quitting today. I’m sick of this guy on the team always making fun of me.”

Phil (father): “He’s just jealous cos you’re the one who puts points on the board.”

Family together: “Because you run the scoreboard.”

“Fortunately we kept the scoreboard ticking over. Overall it was a frustrating game.” New West Coast coach Adam Simpson after a 93 point win over Melbourne. Round 2, 2014

Australian Cricket Board chairman Bob Parish continued to run the scoreboard and serve the drinks at Toorak Park even after he became board chairman. (p14, Uncertain Corridors by Gideon Haigh)

During the 2010 Bangalore Test Ricky Ponting wore a black armband in honour of the late Ian Young, who have nine-year-old Ponting a job as a scoreboard attendant at Launceston’s Northern Tasmanian Cricket Association Ground’ (p61, Uncertain Corridors by Gideon Haigh)

In 2006, a bushfire exploded out of the nearby Grampians and tore through the district, leaving a brown carpet dotted with scorched trees. The old vagrant who slept in the scoreboard at Moyston oval departed, seeking less hazardous accommodation elsewhere. Martin Flanagan, The Age, 14 September 2013

“We did what we had to do in the first half,” Williamstown coach Peter German said of his side’s 30 point victory over the Northern Blues. “But the third and fourth quarter, we probably looked at the scoreboard, and just went away a bit from what we were doing early.” 27 August 2013

“For us the scoreboard and the opposition are irrelevant.” Fremantle coach Ross Lyon after defeating GWS 24.13 (157) to 6.8 (44). 12 August 2013

“I used to be able to identify nearly any ground in England from looking at the scoreboard. And sadly, these scoreboards are all going now.” Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special, 1 August 2013

“It’s about creating scoreboard pressure.” Shane Warne, BBC TV, very early on day one of the third Ashes Test, 1 August 2013

“The scoreboard’s the scoreboard, the ladder’s the ladder and your wins and losses…reflect how you’re playing. It probably doesn’t reflect how we’re training and preparing for games – actually it doesn’t reflect it – but those bottom-line results also reflect your drawe, your injuries, the youth of your list, the inexperience of your list.” Brendan McCartney, Western Bulldogs coach. The Age, 23 May 2013.

“The siren goes and everything stops. For a few moments anyway. There’s an energy in the stadium that rises and falls like a wave, but you have none. You look up at the scoreboard and it doesn’t seem real. Hell, the last two hours don’t seem real.” Bob Murphy of the Western Bulldogs, reflecting on a 20 goal loss to West Coast, Round 9, 2011 (From The Age,11 April 2013.)

“There’s some scoreboard pressure now.” Terry Alderman on ABC Radio when Australia were 6/98 in the one-day game against the Windies in Perth. 3 February 2013. (Australia won easily.)

“Managerialism irks the old guard no end, but the one language both groups speak is that of the scoreboard.” Fairfax Media’s Malcolm Knox writing about the new order in Australian cricket. 27 December 2012

“That’s scoreboard pressure. They wouldn’t hesitate to run if they were, say, 5/270.” Barry Richards commenting during the Perth Test when South Africa were 5/71 in its first innings. South Africa went on to win by 309 runs.

“We just wandered around and watched the scoreboard tick over.” Ian Chappell reflecting on the whirlwind century by West Indian Roy Fredricks at the WACA in 1975.  Channel Nine. November 2012.

“He gave them scoreboard pressure.” Barry Richards commenting on Dave Warner’s first innings century in the Adelaide Test against South Africa. November, 2012. ABC Radio

“What is it about scoreboards anyway? Certainly whenever ground officials meddle with the comforting regularities of what we like about scoreboards (electronic or otherwise) we express our displeasure. There’s one website out there that pays homage to the (usually) humble scoreboard.”  The Age, 29 September 2012

“And now Hawthorn have got the scoreboard pressure.” Rampaging Roy Slaven after Hawthorn scored the first goal of the 2012 Grand Final nine minutes into the first quarter.

“The state-of-the-art electronic scoreboard at Skoda Stadium malfunctioned, taking four minutes to register North’s first goal after half-time. Some old-timers might point out that scoreboards functioned more efficiently back in the day when they were operated manually.”
Andrew Wu,The Age, GWS vs North Melbourne, 2 September 2012

“Cloke and Dawe went goalless but that told only part of the story in a match in which the Collingwood midfield was completely monstered by West Coast ruckmen Nic Natanui and Dean Cox. The result was on the scoreboard for all to see.” The Age, Round 22, 2012. Collingwood lost by 49 points.

“The scoreboard was disappointing but the effort and the spirit wasn’t…Our supporters will look at the scoreboard and have a range of emotions, from frustration to anger but the intensity and effort we showed was pleasing.” Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney after the Doggies lost to the Swans by 82 points. Round 21, 2012

“Essendon had beaten Adelaide in most departments – clearances (plus six), contested possessions (18), inside 50s (13), marks in slippery conditions (32) and scoring shots (1) – but not on the scoreboard.”  – The Age, 6 August 2012

“Although Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney revealed he thought the Dogs had become “safe” with their ball movement, it can’t be helping the young forwards apply scoreboard pressure against seasoned back lines.” Matt Murnane, The Age, 1 August 2012.

“The best pressure is scoreboard pressure.” Chris Connolly commenting during the Fremantle/Greater Western Sydney game, Round 17, 2012. Freo won by 90 points.

“We’ve been making sure when we get opportunities to put some scoreboard pressure on the opposition, that we take advantage of that.” Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson after a 72 point win over the Western Bulldogs. Round 16, 2012

It’s important we stuck to the process of how we wanted to play and not worry about the scoreboard nor the opposition in a sense. Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson can be excused for not worrying about the scoreboard, given the Hawks defeated Greater Western Sydney by 162 points. Round 15, 2012. (Maybe the scoreboard could have just showed the percentage going up and up and up.)

Seems to me AFL coaches are becoming very adept at finding alternative scoreboards. Soon the game might be scored on artistic merit. Who knows? Is it possible shadowy figures like the Russian judge will simply hold up a scorecard at the end of four quarters, and that’s it? Week after week coaches and their assistants continue to develop a language best understood by themselves, hoping, I guess, to convince us Stephen Hawking would find it hard to keep up.

“We broke even in the inside 50s, we won the clearances and the uncontested ball differential indicates we should have finished a lot closer.

“Ah but you lost by over 10 goals.

“Did we?”

“Put simply, scoreboards are stubborn things but they’ve been around a long time. Stats are always playing catch up.” Dennis Cometti, The West Australian, 5 July 2012

“Australians may be unusually successful in sport and prone to use medal-counts and scoreboards as barometers of national well-being. but Sporting Nation isn’t about triumphalism or great moments in sport. Paul Kalina, The Age, previewing the John Clarke ABC series Sporting Nation. 21 June 2012

‘The customary ‘fire in the home-made drum between two cars’ job took place in the pocket at the northern end. Next to it stood the scoreboard where volunteers yelled encouragement for the home side during the match in-between kick-to-kick in the breaks.’ Sports photojournalist Shane Goss writing about a Yarra Valley Mountain District game between Alexandra and Kinglake.

Williamstown coach Peter German said that Bendigo’s 10-minute burst of six goals at the end of the first quarter was the defining period of the game. “We controlled the game in the first 20 minutes, but we didn’t put the scoreboard pressure on.”  Round 10, VFL, 3 June 2012

“There is nothing worse than looking up at the scoreboard in a game and seeing your side is 100 points down, no matter how many kicks you have got yourself. It is a team game and that is all that matters.” South Melbourne triple Brownlow Medallist Bobby Skilton, in an article about Garry Ablett’s form with Gold Coast. The Age, 5 June 2012.

“I’m sure it’s going to turn around for Buddy pretty quickly in terms hitting the scoreboard.”  Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson, the day before Buddy Franklin kicked 13 goals against North Melbourne. 2 June 2012

“If we jump from scoreboard to scoreboard and make short-term reactions, the chances of having sustained change for the better diminish.” Melbourne coach Mark Neeld. 2012

“By the fourth quarter, much of the steam had gone out of the match and the Bombers’ consistent scoreboard pressure ensured a blowout.” The Sunday Age, 27 May, 2012. Round 9

“Scoreboards don’t lie. But the biggest video screen in the southern hemisphere at the brand new Skoda Stadium last night came close. It said Essendon won its first  clash with Greater Western Sydney by 11 goals. Flashing lights aside, in the nitty-gritty of the contest it was hardly that comfortable for the Bombers.” The Sunday Age, 27 May, 2012. Round 9

“We were trying to slow Gold Coast down on the scoreboard, but our blokes didn’t want to. The players took over and we had no control over them.”  Greater Western Sydney coach Kevin Sheedy after the Giants’ maiden victory. Round 7, 2012

“Gary Ablett is the only reason Gold Coast have respectability on the scoreboard.”  ABC Radio’s Craig Bolton, commenting on Gold Coast being 17 points behind Greater Western Sydney at quarter time, at Manuka Oval (which has a very respectable scoreboard indeed – it’s the old MCG scoreboard). Round 7, 2012

“The scoreboard at half-time told you pretty much all you needed to know about the half. 6.2 to 3.9. Carlton had kicked straight and Fremantle hadn’t.” 28 April, 2012, The West Australian. Carlton continued to kick straight, 10.5 (65), and Fremantle didn’t, 7.15 (57)

“I’m not interested in the scoreboard.”  ABC Radio’s Mark McClure,  just before the bounce at Manuka Oval, Greater Western Sydney versus Western Bulldogs. We wonder if McClure knows that the Manuka scoreboard is the old MCG scoreboard, the scoreboard that recorded a few Carlton premierships in McClure’s time with the Blues. 28 April 2012

“I’m not too worried about scoreboard pressure as such. I try and build an innings and try and catch up at the back end.” Australian wicket-keeper Matthew Wade, after his maiden Test century against the West Indies. The Age, 26 April 2012.

“We all love to win but what we are saying is the last thing you see is consistent scoreboard pressure, it is all the things before that.” Melbourne coach Mark Neeld after the Demons’ Round 4, 2012, loss to the Bulldogs by 21 points.

“You can play four quarters that look good on the scoreboard, but the reason I was pleased is that it was four quarters of what we focused on, getting numbers around the ball, being physical and defending as a team.” Williamstown coach Peter German after the Seagulls defeated North Ballarat by 52 points. VFL, Round 4, 2012. Hobsons Bay Weekly.

“You have to try and take the scoreboard out of it and get learnings from it – that’s what we’re doing.” Melbourne coach Mark Neeld after Round 3, 2012. The Demons had lost their first three games by an average of just under 70 points.

“Aaron Edwards finished with the highest scoreboard impact of any player for round 3 – finishing with four goals and five score assists.” Champion Data

Round 1 of the 2012 AFL season threw up  a few mentions of scoreboards. Writing about whether the grief following Jim Stynes’ death contributed to Melbourne’s loss to Brisbane, Patrick Smith of The Australian wrote: “So in the wake of Melborne’s limp loss to Brisbane, coach Mark Neeld wisely did not use the scoreboard as an indicator of grief or at least grieving’s effect on his players.”

Essendon’s David Zaharakis could not watch North Melbourne’s Hamish McIntosh’s shot for goal after the siren. “I just saw it on the scoreboard because the camera was behind him, and as soon as I saw that it left his boot and went right, I started celebrating.”

New Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney said a few days before the round 1 game against West Coast that people “look at the scoreboard a little bit” when marking a team and coach’s papers. “A team can be three goals up and look like champions and then be three goals down 20 minutes later and all of a sudden they’re no good.”  Here at Scoreboard Pressure we wonder if the Bulldogs coach looked at the Etihad Stadium scoreboard when West Coast kicked nine unanswered goals across the third and fourth quarters.

“The new technology and sounds of the counterculture saw a new lifestyle flourish for the Valley crew. It was a heady, mind-expanding brew that blew away everything in sport from goalposts to scoreboard.” HG Nelson, in his ‘childhood memoir’, My Life In Shorts (Pan MacMillan, 2011)

After Ricky Ponting took 11 balls to get off the mark against India at the Gabba on 19 February 2012 Channel 9 commentator Tony Greig said:  “Ricky doesn’t want any more dot balls. This is what they call scoreboard pressure.” A few days later Ponting was dropped from the one-day team. And a day or so later he quit the one-day team.

“He was one of the great cricketers of his time, but he was more than that. He gave to thousands and thousands of his countrymen a conception of the beautiful which artists struggle to capture in paint and on canvas…They recognised in him something beyond the average scorer of runs, some elegance of line and harmony of movement which went beyond the figures on the scoreboard.’  This quote is not about Tendulkar, or Ponting, or Lara but about an English cricketer from nearly 80 years ago, Frank Woolley. The words were written by CLR James, regarded as one of cricket’s finest writers. The quote is from Cricket is losing a supreme artist, the Glasgow Herald, 17 August, 1938 (re-printed in A Majestic Innings, Writings on Cricket, CLR James, Aurm Press, 1986)

“Scoreboard incredibly difficult to read – white writing on pink. Even peering through prescription sunnies I can’t decipher it.”  A tweet by Elizabeth Hurley, reported in The Age, 31 December 2011. Scoreboard Pressure’s guessing Ms Hurley was attending a Big Bash game involving her then husband-to-be, Shane Warne.

“The scoreboard can show tweets, behavioural warnings, people kissing, ads for beer, phones and fried chook, occcasionally even the score. But do you reckon it can tell you who the substitute fielders are?”  Peter Hanlon writing in his Chucker column abut the second day of the Boxing Day Test between Australia and India at the MCG. The Age, 28 December 2011. (The substitute fielders were Dan Christian and Alex Keath, according to ABC radio)

“Even the scoreboard sought to remind everyone the new boys weren’t about to dilute their home-ground rights for the night, referring to ‘Heart’ and ‘visitors’.  Jesse Hogan writing about the Melbourne Heart/Melbourne Victory derby (won by the Heart 3-2). The Age, 24 December 2011

The evolution of the scoring board may fairly be termed a special feature of modern cricket. The Australasian, October 5, 1901. To see the full quote, visit a history of the MCG’s scoreboards

“Scoreboards are such an essential part of cricket, and folklore often surrounds the operations of them.” Don McQueen, owner/builder of the Hume and Hovell Cricket Ground, including the scoreboard. December 2011

“Too often the contest is on the scoreboard and not out in the middle,” new Cricket Australia head of selectors, John Inverarity, commenting on one-day wickets tending to favour batsmen. ABC Radio 30 October 2011

“I’ll tell you what looked pretty. The scoreboard at the end of the game.” Australian rugby champion John Eales after the Wallabies defeated South Africa 11-9 in a not-so-pretty quarter-final of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. 9 October 2011

Collingwood need to put on some scoreboard pressure.” Channel Ten commentary half-way through the first quarter of the 2011 AFL Grand Final. At the time Geelong was 2.2 (14) and Collingwood hadn’t scored at all.

“Collingwood putting on some scoreboard pressure now.” Channel Ten commentary half-way through the second quarter of the 2011 Grand Final, with Geelong 4.3 (27) to Collingwood 7.3 (45). It proved to be the Pies last hurrah, with the Cats going on to win by 38 points.

“It would have been better if we’d converted earlier and had a bit more scoreboard pressure, but it didn’t work out that way and we dug ourselves a hole.” Albion ruckman James Philpot commenting on his team’s 35 point Grand Final loss to Spotswood. Albion kicked 2.8 in the first quarter and kept Spotswood goalless for the term. Final scores were 12.18 (90) to 7.13 (55).  Source: The Hobsons Bay Weekly, 21 September 2011.

1970s Sturt champion Michael ‘Flash’ Graham remembers racism being present in the SANFL but is at pains to say that it did not impact him greatly. “There was name-calling…but names don’t hurt you unless you listen to them. It was always the opposition mob, and I’d always just point to the score.” – from Legends, The AFL Indigenous Team of the Century, by Sean Gorman. Published 2011 by Aboriginal Studies Press.

At quarter-time Spotswood led by 42 points, while shell-shocked Altona was yet to trouble the scoreboard attendant. Hobsons Bay Leader newspaper reporting Spotswood’s 96 point qualifying win in the Western Region League in Melbourne. Jason Cloke kicked seven goals for the Woodsmen. 29 August 2011

“There’s no better pressure than scoreboard pressure.” Wayne Weidemann, ABC Grandstand SA, during the broadcast of the Adelaide vs Richmond game, Saturday 27 August 2011

ABC Grandstand WA special comments man Ryan Turnbull said that Collingwood complacency was “… the one thing that might save the scoreboard attendants…” in the Friday night game between the Magpies and the Dockers at Subiaco Oval on 26 August 2011

“In what can be seen as stance against the growing gambling culture in AFL football, the MCG has banned the promotion of live odds on its scoreboard. MCG Trust chairman John Wylie said the trust had become increasingly concerned at what he called a sharp increase in advertising of gambling agents and products, especially up-to-date odds during matches.” The Age, 24 August 2011

The Police Association in Victoria used scoreboard pressure to argue its case for a pay rise. A recent media release was headlined: ‘Scoreboard pressure on Mr Baillieu over police pay’. The media release began:

‘The Police Association this weekend takes its campaign for wage justice to AFL fans with video advertisements on scoreboards at the MCG and Etihad Stadium.

The advertisements show a uniform member saying Premier Baillieu has ‘dropped the ball’ after he was elected following his campaign promise to give police a fair pay deal including inflation and productivity rises.’ 18 August 2011  More details

“I looked at the scoreboard. You always look at the scoreboard ‘cos ultimately that tells us a bit about the game.” Peter Schwab on ABC Radio, 12 August 2011 Collingwood vs St Kilda

“It’s clear, with Jimi Hendrix blaring from the scoreboard that this is not conventional footy. The Renegade Pub League plays a shortened form of the game peopled by musicians, music fans and drinkers.” The Age, 1 August, 2011.

“Spotswood coach Chris O’Keefe also hit the scoreboard, finishing with seven majors.” The Hobsons Bay Leader newspaper, 2 August 2011, reporting Spotswood’s 277 point victory over Glen Orden. Not many, if any, scoreboards are directly behind the goals, so if O’Keefe really did hit the scoreboard seven times he probably kicked the ball out on the full, and the scoreboard attendant probably finished the day with a cracking headache. Spotswood ended up kicking 46 goals, with Jason Cloke bagging 16.

“Lance Franklin was clearly fired up and his team-mates did early scoreboard damage.” A Fox Sports voice-over summarising the start of the Hawthorn vs Fremantle Round 19 2011 game. The Hawks kicked six goals to none in the first quarter. Then torrential rain in the second quarter threatened to do further scoreboard damage.

“Carlton applying pressure on the scoreboard now.” Commentator Tim Lane, as the Blues pull away from Essendon in the third quarter of their Round 18 2011 game.

“We held our own and the scoreboard probably didn’t give us credit for how we played.”  East Perth official after the Royals lost to Williamstown by 71 points in a semi-final of the Foxtel Cup on Saturday 9 July at Etihad Stadium.

    “Damien Hardwick’s had them playing competitive footy. They’ve never let the scoreboard get in the way of the result.” – Richmond champion Matthew Richardson after Richmond didn’t get in the way of Carlton, who defeated the Tigers by 103 points in Round 15, 2011.

    “It was just whether or not we could create enough scoring pressure. We didn’t put any scoreboard pressure on Collingwood.” – Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson after Hawthorn lost by 41 points in Round 15, 2011.

     “If we’d put some scoreboard pressure on and kept it close, it gives us a chance. Whether it was enough to actually win the game or not, we’ll never know.” – Hawthorn midfielder Sam Mitchell after the Hawks lost to Collingwood by 41 points in Round 15, 2011.

Adelaide needs dynamic, but sporadic medium-sized players such as Patrick Dangerfield and Chris Knights to impact the scoreboard if it is to win. – The Age’s Will Brodie, in a preview of the round 11 2011 game between Adelaide and North Melbourne. North impacted the scoreboard to the tune of a 47 point win.

We are truly fortunate to be living in a football age of so many “performance indicators”, and a general avalanche of statistics. Thanks to all these figures for loose-ball grits, apple turnovers and uncongested marks, we already know who the best players were, even if half their disposals landed safely in the arms of the opposition or sconed a passing pie-boy. Actually watching the play can only lead to hideous and avoidable confusion, such as when a team leads in just about every single performance indicator, except for the stubborn and recalcitrant scoreboard, where it trails. If we all just stick to the stats, we’ll all be on the same page.  –  Devil’s Advocate columnist Leaping Larry, of The Age, Saturday 21 May 2011

‘The Crows took their chances and hurt us on the scoreboard.’ Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna after his team lost to Adelaide by by 57 points. 15 May, 2011

It was not unknown for a footballer to tuck a Record down his socks so he could check off the race results as they were posted on the scoreboard…Meantime, the AFL wishes it had tighter control of scoreboards, and even of its own website; both have been hijacked by oddsmakers. – Greg Baum, The Age, 16 April 2011, writing about gambling and football

“The scoreboard is an end point. We’ve just got to worry about the process of how we play offensively and defensively.” Richmond coach Damien Hardwick, before the Tigers lost to Collingwood by 71 points. The Age, 15 April 2011

“A few players weren’t playing good football but we had enough players playing well enough to put a bit more pressure on the scoreboard.” Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse after the Magpies defeated Carlton by 28 points. The Sunday Age, 9 April 2011

Carlton full back Michael Jamison said tonight’s game against the reigning premier was “probably the most important game for a while” and the focus for every Carlton player was to meet key performance indicators. “We won’t be looking at the scoreboard too much.” – The Age, 8 April, 2011.

Unlike previous seasons, Werribee were unable to capitalise on its significant home ground advantage and was unable to apply consistent scoreboard pressure. – Adrian Dunn, reflecting on Werribee’s 2010 season. VFL Record, Round 1, April 2 2011

“We’re hoping Granty and Liam Jones can get on the scoreboard.”- Western Bulldogs‘ Daniel Cross, talking about the Doggies’ forward structure, The Age, 20 March, 2011. But the Doggies’ home base, the Whitten Oval, no longer has the scoreboard at the Geelong Rd end, so Granty and Liam Jones may have trouble practising getting on the scoreboard.

“The scoreboard doesn’t predict. It just says what has happened.” Cricket commentator Peter Roebuck, ABC Radio, 21 January 2011

The only way to guarantee the integrity of the sport is to…wind back the gambling culture that has hijacked the AFL. As part of this, scoreboards should stick to the scores – not publicise the odds. Jason Dowling, The Age, 20 September 2010

Box Hill began the game well…but they could not go on with it and failed to put any pressure on the scoreboard for the rest of the game.  Brent Diamond, The Age, 13 September 2010, after Box Hill lost its preliminary final by 61 points to eventual premiers North Ballarat.

“We spoke about the start of the game when the opposition scored four goals in nine minutes and it was really disappointing…just to think the scoreboard was going to look after itself.” Collingwood VFL/reserves coach Gavin Brown after losing to North Ballarat, 3 July 2010

(The 1966 Collingwood scoreboard, below, was demolished in late January 2011. Obviously it wasn’t looking after itself.)

“We’ve always said the scoreboard’s irrelevant. From our point of view, we just want to get our game style up and running.” Richmond coach Damien Hardwick, after Richmond defeated West Coast by eight goals. The Sunday Age, 14 June 2010

The ultimate indicator is hatched between the scoreboard attendant and the timekeeper. One week at a time the team that kicks the most goals usually wins. Tagger column, The Age, 3 May 2010

“Scoreboard pressure is your best friend when it’s working for you. When it’s against you, it’s like a lead weight around your neck.” David Schwarz, Sydney versus West Coast, 24 April 2010

Coach Blair smoothed the transition from Elizabethan England to  regional Victoria by playing fast and loose with Shakespeare. The scoreboard on the far side of the Nangiloc Oval said it all: Kate v Pete, not Katherina v Petruchio. – Chris McAuliffe, in an Age article, 20 April 2010, about an Aussie Rules production of Shakepeare’s The Taming Of The Shrew.

“If there’s no scoreboard, just play it contest by contest.” Nathan Buckley, coaching a Victorian Under 16 team, upon learning that the scoreboard at Carlton was not working. The Sunday Age, September 29, 2009

“The scoreboard is an enormous pressure in finals – let alone the game itself.” Malcolm Blight, Collingwood v Adelaide semi-final, 12 September 2009

For every game there should be a scoreboard, ranging from the multi pixelled technicolour version at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to the rickety wooden affair at the Upotipotpon Oval. Scoreboard attendants are an acquired breed, often anonymous if they live inside the scoreboard structure such as the old ones at many league ovals, where an occasional disembodied hand might emerge through a tiny square in the scoreboard to make an adjustment. The rough boards of the country require great endurance in all sorts of weather. They are occasionally manned by small boys who might abandon their posts to kick a football of their own, thereby stretching the mystic bonds of communication between the goal umpire and the goal operator.

– The Whole Australian Football Catalogue, the A-Z of all things AFL by Stephen Downes, Garrie Hutchinson, John Ross. (HarperSports, 2001)

“Scoreboard!”  is the derisive riposte of a football fan on a winning side to some smart crack from a fan of the losing team. “Just take a geek at who’s in front on the scoreboard, you prawn!”

Scoreboard flank or wing or pocket is that part of the arena adjacent to it – as in Members’ or Railway or Outer end or wing or pocket.

The Barracker’s Bible, A Dictionary of Sporting Slang by Jack Hibberd and Garrie Hutchinson (McPheeGribble, 1983)


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