The Sherrin Footy

Not sure if you have seen/heard Eddie today discussing the Sherrin footy and the fact that they are now very slippery due to the advertising on the ball and that the players and umpires are needing to wear the balls in before the game. He also mentioned that tip of the balls are harder.

Now I would normally ignore this, but I found a brand new signed ball that was gifted to me a couple of years ago and after pumping it up I found the ends of the ball to be rock hard, to the point that it hurts to handball.

Now, Eddie suggested in jest that perhaps they should look at a different texture similar to that used in rugby, or even reducing the number of balls used during the game so that the balls get more worn in.

Anyone else feel the ball needs to change?


Maybe a pregame shine is needed


Wouldn’t that just make it more slippery?

Damn you’re right.

Ok plan B


I said this exact same thing when i went to a game on the gold coast in about 2013, the ball was like soap because of the humidity. Makes complete sense to me to make it not as shiny and slippery for a better spectacle.

Don’t need to change anything with the balls but just use less of them each game. Ridiculous that they use a dozen balls each game


Yeah he’s been going on about it for years. He does have a point though and you would assume its an easy fix.

Wouldn’t bother me. As long as it’s the same shape and weight, if they want to tweak it so that it works better for the players, I don’t see why they shouldn’t.

One proviso: commentators are allowed to mention the new ball once at the start of each game of the first round it’s introduced. So, 9 times total. Ever. Not every time a mark gets dropped, or every shanked kick, or every bad bounce by the umpire.


Those rugby and gridiron balls are designed predominantly to be thrown, not kicked or handballed. I’m not talking about the shape, I’m talking about the dimples on them for grip. Makes sense for those games because they need to spin the ball when throwing. Needs to be seen how it affects kicking or handballing.

Could you imagine what would happen to a soccer ball if you put dimples on it? It would change the whole game. It wouldn’t travel as far, it would spin more through the air, effecting it’s trajectory and who knows what else.


Can’t believe I’m saying this but I think Eddie has a point.

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That’s a laugh, Fat Eddie bitshing about the Collingwood Sherrin !

Why do the AFL use only “Sherrin” brands footballs ? Surely the size of the brown envelope has nothing to do with it ? That’d be illegal, wouldn’t it ?

Sherrin were first made by a local cobbler in Collingwood at the end of the 19th century, but they are not even Australian-owned any more: they were bought out by the Australian subsidiary of the American multi-national, Spalding in 1972.

They claim their footballs are hand-made in Scoresby, Victoria — but in September 2012 The Age ran a story to say that Sherrins were made in India by banned child labour. The children took an hour to make one AFL ball and were paid $1 a day. The story has never been discounted.

Sherrin are not even necessarily the best ball available. It depends who you’re talking to. When I was a kid the Ross Faulkner footy was more popular in Victoria than the Sherrin. The footy I learned to kick was a Faulkner, not a fugging Collingwood Sherrin. The Faulkner, not the Sherrin, is the one I remember being used in all (pre-AFL) VFL matches including the Grand Final.

Faulkners are still produced today and are as good as ever, but for some undisclosed (but probably highly dodgy commercial) reason the Sherrin has been granted a monopoly by the High Heid Yins at AFL house.

Ask any Sandgroper what is the best brand of football. The reply won’t be “Sherrin” — but “Burley” which has been manufactured in Perth since around 1906, and is still in general use today for every level of football in WA except the AFL premiership competition which foists Sherrin on an unwitting public.

The AFL should be required to use different balls — not just Sherrins, but Burleys and Faulkners too. That’s the “competition on a level playing field” the tory business types are always trumpeting about.

And at least Burley and Faulkner are Australian owned !


Just take the damn advertising off. Could many people even say who the ball sponsor is anyway? I certainly couldn’t.


just let some of the air out of em. Worked for Tom Brady… :wink:


This is what Eddie wants us to be talking about instead of Harry O’Brien


Relatively certain that you’re still free to talk about what ever you want… and his name isn’t Harry O’Brien…

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If changing the ball means the players, the game and the spectators benefit from it, then go for it.

Case closed.

I’ve been saying this for a while, but more to do with goal kicking. A brand new ball just doesn’t go straight.

I reckon it’d only take 50-100 decent kicks to soften it up tho.

Some interesting responses. I have owned new Sherrin’s before when I was younger and the ball certainly had a different feel back then. The hardness of the tips is the major difference, unless of course I just got a bad ball. I wonder whether the leather is sourced from a different area, as I’m sure the conditions would have a lot to do with the firmness of the product.

Interesting that @percebushby mentioned the Ross Faulkner, as one of my mates used to own one when we were kids and it was being used in the VFA at the time. I must admit that I found the Sherrin to be a better ball back then, as I found the Ross Faulkner to be too hard. Again, perhaps it was just a bad ball.

I am starting to wonder what level of quality assurance is performed of each of the match balls? Do they all feel the same, are they all exactly the same size?

Also, the advertising is an interesting point, as there is no doubt that it has an impact on how slippery the ball is. Players are now putting stuff on their jumpers so that they can wipe their hands on them to get better grip, this would also sure affect the surface of the balls, although they do have 7 balls in circulation on the footy field, so maybe it’s not that big an issue.

The dimples would change the balls too much, so I don’t agree with going down that path, but perhaps the balls can be scuffed a little as part of the manufacturing process for the game days. Giving the balls to the home team and umpires the day before to run the balls in a bit is ridiculous.

Pre-game warm-up?

I always found Faulkner’s like kicking a balloon.

About yellow balls. I thought they were water resistant/proof and for use in wet weather or at night. So, why are they always used at Docklands? Night time or poorer light an issue?