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El Scorcho

Australian Football League to trial player names on guernseys

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FYI a guernsey is an Australian football jumper :)

This week, in round 5 of the 2014 AFL season, the AFL for the first time are going to trial having player names on guernseys with a view to making it permanent if there is public support for it.

There was a press conference today releasing what the backs of the guernseys would look like:

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Some of these are home, some are away guernseys worn only when home guernseys clash.

This has been met with mixed reactions from fans, most people seem to think it looks good and is a positive step, but there is definitely a vocal element who think it's an "Americanisation" or breaks with the traditions of the game somehow (despite the fact that sponsor logos have been on the guernseys for 30 years)

I personally think this is a great change and should encourage more guernsey sales both in short and long term. I'll definitely be getting a new guernsey next year if this is adopted.

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Is there an AFL mandated rule that numeral fonts have to be the same? There at least seems to be a decent mix of colours in the league. Sorry for the newbie Yankee questions.

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I think there is. That font does make it easy to read. Of course 10 inch numbers on a skin tight shirt are pretty easy to read as long as tehy aren't designed like real Madrid's. And why are they calling it "Americanization"?

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I think there is. That font does make it easy to read. Of course 10 inch numbers on a skin tight shirt are pretty easy to read as long as tehy aren't designed like real Madrid's. And why are they calling it "Americanization"?

Is there an AFL mandated rule that numeral fonts have to be the same? There at least seems to be a decent mix of colours in the league. Sorry for the newbie Yankee questions.

Yes, the number font is the same leaguewide. It's a pretty decent font as well. It's been standardised for quite a while and comes in whatever colours the team requires with an outline if needed.

In regards to "Americanisation", some small minded people feel that anything the AFL does that is similar to the big US leagues cheapens our sport and takes away what makes it unique.

It's ridiculous in this case, because a) names on jerseys is something that happens all over the world, and B) America is absolutely the world leader when it comes to presenting sport. We should be copying as much as we can from the big US leagues (and we already do), because they are incredibly innovative and provide an incredibly well presented product.

Until the last decade or so, there were no home and away uniforms. Every team just wore their home uniform every match, even if both teams wore predominantly the same colours. As we entered the modern era and the game became professional and a lot faster, away or "clash" uniforms were adopted to make it easier on players, umpires and spectators. Traditionalists were up in arms because they considered it "Americanisation", despite the fact that it happens in leagues all over the world and significantly improved the presentation of the sport.

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I think it's a good thing that the names are finally being trialed on the back of the guernseys. For people who don't watch AFL much, knowing players names from just guernsey numbers don't really cut it. I know I was having a hard time following players during a match when i first started watching back in 2003. But luckily I have been an avid supporter since and know the players. But this is all about evolution of the game not "Americanization". The number size and font will remain the same but if they place the player name below the number it will work. I am welcoming this trial and hoping it will stay.

El Scorcho, who do you support in AFL?

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I remember the switch to squad names/numbers in football over here being referred to as an 'Americanisation' as well, historically it is more prevalent in US sports than elsewhere. Bit of a silly term, though.

My Aussie Rules knowledge is very limited to say the least, but how long have squad numbers been used rather than just numbering the starters 1-18 - assuming that itself was the practice? Here the switch to names and a set number for each player occurred at the same time, so it was a bit more of a jump than just adding names - if players have been assigned their own numbers for a while I think it's less of a sea change.

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Port have been using curved names (ala red wings) on the back of their warm up shirts since the redesign, personally it looks alot better for them than the straight name. It works for some teams eg. Port, freo,north. Doesn't work for Brisbane, Melbourne, essendon or Richmond. It would have looked even worse than those for on hawthorn's jersey's 2 years ago with the box

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name="MJWalker45" post="2217389" timestamp="1397489907"]

I think there is. That font does make it easy to read. Of course 10 inch numbers on a skin tight shirt are pretty easy to read as long as tehy aren't designed like real Madrid's. And why are they calling it "Americanization"?

There is, it was brought in in the early 2000, at that time port were the only team not wearing that style font though (they were using an American style block font) the style font the AFL uses has been used on football jerseys since they started putting numbers on them and most armature teams still use an almost identical one

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I like this idea. I think it will also provide a great marketing tool, if not done so already, for the players. I think they already sell guernseys with names on them.

It would be a challenge for those who have longer names.The Swans Lewis Roberts-Thomson is going with L.R.T

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Yeah, some teams sell "hero packages" that basically are heat-press letters and numbers on the jerseys. A few teams have already had player names on warm-up shirts for a few seasons, too.

I don't care about the "tradition/dreaded Americanization" angle one bit, but I do think adding names may leave the back of the jersry looking a bit too crammed. We'll see how it looks in live action.

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I think it's a good thing that the names are finally being trialed on the back of the guernseys. For people who don't watch AFL much, knowing players names from just guernsey numbers don't really cut it. I know I was having a hard time following players during a match when i first started watching back in 2003. But luckily I have been an avid supporter since and know the players. But this is all about evolution of the game not "Americanization". The number size and font will remain the same but if they place the player name below the number it will work. I am welcoming this trial and hoping it will stay.

El Scorcho, who do you support in AFL?

I'm a Port Adelaide supporter and member, I go to every game.

I remember the switch to squad names/numbers in football over here being referred to as an 'Americanisation' as well, historically it is more prevalent in US sports than elsewhere. Bit of a silly term, though.

My Aussie Rules knowledge is very limited to say the least, but how long have squad numbers been used rather than just numbering the starters 1-18 - assuming that itself was the practice? Here the switch to names and a set number for each player occurred at the same time, so it was a bit more of a jump than just adding names - if players have been assigned their own numbers for a while I think it's less of a sea change.

As far as i'm aware, since the introduction of numbers to guernseys, there has never been a 1-18 style numbering system in Australian Rules football. It's always been squad numbers. There are about 45 players in a club squad, so the numbers used are basically always below 50. I'm not sure if there is a rule on that or if it's simply a tradition that nobody has broken yet. The highest number I remember seeing is 52, used by Shaun Rehn at Adelaide and Hawthorn, although he adopted the number when Adelaide were an expansion side and had a larger squad initially.

Port have been using curved names (ala red wings) on the back of their warm up shirts since the redesign, personally it looks alot better for them than the straight name. It works for some teams eg. Port, freo,north. Doesn't work for Brisbane, Melbourne, essendon or Richmond. It would have looked even worse than those for on hawthorn's jersey's 2 years ago with the box

Yeah i'm interested to see whether we'll see curved names if this comes in full time. I'm not sure if it will look as good. It looks okay on the Port warm up tops, but it might not work on a guernsey.

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So I know it's been a month since the names on the guernseys, but what did everyone think of it? Work or not? I found it pretty difficult to see the names from the vantage angles of the TV coverage. But I think it will be a common place to see the player's names on the back of the guernseys starting in 2015.

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So I know it's been a month since the names on the guernseys, but what did everyone think of it?

Is that how you guys spell jerseys? I find it funny because here, guernsey is a type of cow....

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Is that how you guys spell jerseys? I find it funny because here, guernsey is a type of cow....

Guernsey usually only refers to Australian football. All other sports in the country use jersey. As far as the names on the jumpers it is obviously being introduced to try and sell more to kids but I don't like it. It makes the jumpers look even more crowded and reduces the size of the number which is the best identifier of players for commentators and spectators.

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So I know it's been a month since the names on the guernseys, but what did everyone think of it? Work or not? I found it pretty difficult to see the names from the vantage angles of the TV coverage. But I think it will be a common place to see the player's names on the back of the guernseys starting in 2015.

The lettering needs to be a bit larger, and the font needs to be significalntly thinner. It they make those adjustments, the names will be legible, and will look fine on the back full-time.

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Is that how you guys spell jerseys? I find it funny because here, guernsey is a type of cow....

Guernsey usually only refers to Australian football. All other sports in the country use jersey. As far as the names on the jumpers it is obviously being introduced to try and sell more to kids but I don't like it. It makes the jumpers look even more crowded and reduces the size of the number which is the best identifier of players for commentators and spectators.

Hmmm...interesting. I can't help but wonder if it started out as play on the word jersey which also happens to be a type of cow as a way differentiate it as being sleeveless.

It reminds me of the NHL during the '70s when it became mandated to have names on the back of the sweaters. The Toronto Maple Leafs were the last hold out and at one point had the lettering of the names the same colour as the background. The team owner, Harold Ballard, thought having the names on the back cut into sales of hockey programs...

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Very simply as I have been led to understand, Guernseys are named as opposed to Jerseys because of the two channel islands where everyone used to get their wool in the 19th century. Jersey wool was lighter and thinner, and guernsey wool was heavier and thicker. For Australian rules football, guernsey wool was used and the name stuck, just as it did with jersey in american sports.

Overall, I absolutely loved the names and I can't wait for them to come in full time, as i'm sure they will. There was mixed support from footy fans, but overall there was enough support that i'm sure the AFL will feel there is money to be made out of it. I'll definitely be buying a new Justin Westhoff #39 guernsey next year if the names come in :)

After looking at nothing but named guernseys for a week, it was almost strange to go back to Adelaide Oval the following week without names. I thought the design they had sat pretty well on a guernsey but i'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with if they go ahead with it.

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Though I could easily shell out some money for a Buddy Franklin or Adam Goodes Swans guernsey...

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