AFL looks to implement ball chip technology during 2024
The AFL is intensifying its efforts in its much talked about ball chip experiment, aiming to introduce cutting-edge technology as early as the upcoming VFL season.
Sherrin footballs embedded with chips are poised to transform data collection for the league, broadcasters and clubs, providing real-time access to a wealth of statistics and insights.
The anticipated benefits of this technology extend to game officiating, including improved tracking of ball movements, goal decisions,and determining when the ball crosses the boundaries.
AFL CEO Andrew Dillon recently tested the technology himself at Marvel Stadium, following trials with specially designed Sherrins at club level during the summer.
League GM of football, Laura Kane, humorously remarked on Dillon’s experience, stating, “He (Dillon) thinks the distance metric isn’t up to it because he was let down by the length of his kick.
“But I feel confident in the technology.
“We have a trial process to go through with ball tracking technology. We are feeling really good about it. It’s clearly a big decision to introduce it into competition so the important question is, ‘for what purpose?’
“There is data football performance information we can gather but there is also an officiating overlay. It’s just about determining which one we want to go with first and that will determine the timelines.”
The introduction of ball chip technology could also impact the upcoming AFLW season as the league continues to invest in the project.
Meanwhile, AFL coach engagement manager Dan Richardson is embarking on a nationwide tour to address the crucial issue of coach welfare with clubs.
Kane emphasised that coach welfare is a top priority for the AFL, with discussions involving the AFL Coaches’ Association aimed at understanding and addressing the challenges coaches face.
“We want all our employees to thrive,” Kane said.
“We want them to be happy, healthy and love our game like so many do. And we will continue to make that a priority.”
The AFL’s focus extends beyond immediate concerns to long-term strategies for improving the coaching pathway and retaining top talent within the AFL community.
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