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Ground Sizes

The Big Richo

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Aug 19, 2010
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Just to throw a further spanner in the works David, I suspect those dimensions are the actual arena sizes, as opposed to the playing surfaces inside the marked boundary for the games. (I say that because I'm sure that are the MCGs fence dimensions).

The actual playing area width could be a little different again as there is a fair bit of variation in boundary line distances across all grounds.
 

DavidSSS

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Dec 11, 2017
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Just to throw a further spanner in the works David, I suspect those dimensions are the actual arena sizes, as opposed to the playing surfaces inside the marked boundary for the games. (I say that because I'm sure that are the MCGs fence dimensions).

The actual playing area width could be a little different again as there is a fair bit of variation in boundary line distances across all grounds.

You raise a very valid point.

When I get to the end of this I will post sources and the variety of measurements which I have found. I have definitely tried to get playing area sizes and I think most are playing area sizes. However, you will see when I get through all the grounds (many to go) there are a fair number of lists I have found, and likely a number I haven't found.

One interesting set of measures, and one I have used especially for the old grounds as it was one person who did the measures and was measuring playing area, ie: boundaries not fence line, is Colin Hutchinson's measures. This was posted on Big Footy in 2013 so dates from some time prior to 2013. Colin Hutchinson was a stats person who was with Geelong.

Also you will notice that there are measurements of grounds which appear to be fence lines given the change in dimensions. I need to pdf a couple of files before I can post them. But I have chosen the measures which are more likely to be boundaries not fence lines.

One interesting measure is Kardinia Park. Colin Hutchinson was measuring boundaries not fence line, and he does have a measure of Kardinia Park which is 2 metres wider than what I posted above, same length. The reason I used the above measure is that 3 sources agreed. The very old measures I have from 1928 are no help with Kardinia Park as Geelong played at Corio Oval until 1940.

What actually does amaze me about this is that the AFL hasn't provided this info. I figure it would vary a little as boundaries are re-drawn and possibly redrawn to deal with ground wear (like the way cricket pitches move each game as they need time to recover), but there should be some info provided.

DS
 
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The Big Richo

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The SCG is a great example of the variation.

The benches are built in front of the fences so the boundary is much further in, than the MCG where the benches are set into the fence line.
 

DavidSSS

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Last of the current grounds, off to Launceston:

MCG-York Park comparison.jpg

Long and wide.

Actually to illustrate TBR's point, one of the other measures I have for York Park is that it was 175m x 145m. Either that is a fence line measure or they have changed the size although the larger measure does come from a 2018 article.

DS
 

DavidSSS

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That's it for the current grounds, for all the old timers on here, let's look at the old grounds.

I am including all the sources for this one as there are less sources, when I get time I will add pics like the above and I will post a full comparison of sizes and sources and where to find the sources.

Here are the suburban grounds:

GroundHome Ground TeamsCobba's Ground Sizes 2013Comparison from Big Footy 2016Col Hutchinson quoted on Big Footy 2013australianfootball.com3LO Football Guide 1928
Arden St Oval - MelbourneNorth Melbourne: 1925 to 1985163m x 121m159m x 130m185m x 134m
202y x 147y
Brunswick St Oval - MelbourneFitzroy: 1897 to 1966147m x 130m155m x 142m
170y x 155y
Corio Oval - GeelongGeelong: 1897 to 1940174m x 138m
190y x 151y
East Melbourne Cricket Ground - MelbourneEssendon: 1897 to 1921
University: 1908 to 1910
No data
Football Park - AdelaideAdelaide: 1991 to 2013
Port Adelaide: 1997 to 2013
165m x 133m165m x 133m
Glenferrie Oval - MelbourneHawthorn: 1925 to 1973160m x 105m171m x 124m
187y x 136y
Junction Oval - MelbourneStKilda: 1897 to 1964
Fitzroy: 1970 to 1984
154m x 124m170m x 141m
186y x 154y
Lake Oval - MelbourneSouth Melbourne: 1897 to 1981160m x 130m173m x 141m
189y x 154y
Moorabbin Oval - MelbourneStKilda: 1965 to 1992160m x 130m164m x 130m
Princes Park - MelbourneCarlton: 1897 to 2005
Fitzroy: 1967 to 1969 and 1987 to 1993
Hawthorn: 1974 to 1991
South Melbourne: 1942 to 1943
Western Bulldogs: 1997 to 1999
151m x 137m157m x 127m174m x 155m
190y x 170y
Punt Rd Oval - MelbourneRichmond: 1908 to 1964
Melbourne: 1942 to 1946 and 1956
159m x 126m160m x 129m154m x 135m
168y x 148y
Stadium Australia - SydneySydney: 2002 to 2016160m x 119m160m x 118m170m x 128m
Subiaco Oval - PerthWest Coast: 1987 to 2017
Fremantle: 1995 to 2017
175m x 122m175m x 122m175m x 122m
Victoria Park - MelbourneCollingwood: 1897 to 1999
Fitzroy: 1985 to 1986
164m x 133m159m x 131m166m x 143m
182y x 156y
WACA Ground - PerthWest Coast: 1987 to 2017
Fremantle: 1995 to 2017
No data
Waverley/VFL Park - MelbourneAll VFL Teams: 1970 to 1991
Hawthorn: 1992 to 1999
Fitzroy: 1994 to 1996
180m x 142m182m x 142m
Western/Whitten Oval - MelbourneFootscray: 1925 to 1997 (except 1942)176m x 123m159m x 121m180m x 133m
197y x 145y
Windy Hill - MelbourneEssendon: 1922 to 1991154m x 129m164.5m x 139.8m168m x 151m
184y x 165y

I would think some of the grounds changed their playing area between 1928 and later measures. The funny thing about the 1928 measures is most are bigger than later measures, which did make me think they might be fence line measures, that is, until I looked at Punt Rd.

Like all the grounds it is a mystery whether we are getting fence line or boundary measures although Col Hutchinson's measuring was apparently boundary dimensions.

Glenferrie is an interesting one too, I have no idea where they would have fitted a ground 124m wide, but did they somehow have more space back in 1928? It isn't actually beyond the realms of possibility given that the railway line likely had 2 not 3 lines back then.

I thought VFL Park was only big because I was a kid when I went to games there . . . wow, that was huge.

DS
 
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waiting

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Apr 15, 2007
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Great work there DSS.
You put a lot of time & work into ALL the ground details and the old info you gave us I found worthwhile & interesting.


Gabba & the MCG dimensions very similar which I hope will help us Saturday night.
 

DavidSSS

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Dec 11, 2017
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The SCG is a great example of the variation.

The benches are built in front of the fences so the boundary is much further in, than the MCG where the benches are set into the fence line.

That would likely change where the boundaries are on the SCG and the shape of the oval, which as you can see from the pics above, can vary a lot.

DS
 

DavidSSS

Tiger Champion
Dec 11, 2017
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Great work there DSS.
You put a lot of time & work into ALL the ground details and the old info you gave us I found worthwhile & interesting.


Gabba & the MCG dimensions very similar which I hope will help us Saturday night.

Playing on Adelaide Oval for the PF, and knowing the dimensions were narrow, is what got me started. Then I realised what a rabbit hole this is - the further I went in the more it resembled Alice in Wonderland with grounds changing sizes depending on the source.

One thing, and it will be in my list of sources, is that soccer grounds differ in size too. FIFA have max and min sizes for their version of football. Soccer pitches can be 90m to 120m long and 45m to 90m wide. Old Trafford soccer pitch is 105m x 68m.

DS
 
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caspar

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Jun 8, 2006
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Looking back at Spotless. The "top" pockets appear to me to be much more there than the bottom ones (virtually non existent.)

Interesting. I'd have thought a new ground would be very precisely measured.
A) I don't mind that it's not and
B) It could be my eyesight
 

DavidSSS

Tiger Champion
Dec 11, 2017
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Looking back at Spotless. The "top" pockets appear to me to be much more there than the bottom ones (virtually non existent.)

Interesting. I'd have thought a new ground would be very precisely measured.
A) I don't mind that it's not and
B) It could be my eyesight

Looking at that again I don't think it is your eyesight.

Hmm, maybe after I make all the symmetrical drawings I might try and find some overhead pics to see what the story is, I know Kardinia Park is not symmetrical. Brunswick St was close to a rectangle in that pic, symmetrical though, looks like a big ground. Not really going on the dimensions though.

Hopefully find some time tomorrow to draw the old grounds.

DS
 
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