The Sherrin with the ball-tracking chip being tested at Victoria University. Picture: Supplied

THE AFL will trial ball-tracking technology in the VFL and VFLW on Friday with a view to possibly introducing it to its elite competitions.

The League has developed and tested the 'Smart Ball' over the past 18 months in conjunction with ball manufacturer Sherrin, technology company Sportable, graphics partner Intaneous, and Victoria University and will test the technology in a game for the first time this week.

The technology, which involves installing a chip in the ball and uses sensors around the ground to determine the ball's exact position on the field, could unlock improvements in the goal review system and also provide instant data around the velocity and power of a player's kick.


AFL clubs tested the ball in pre-season training, with the League saying initial feedback was positive.

"We did blind testing, so I think players took a bit of time trying to work out if they could tell the difference but they couldn't, which was what we wanted," said Laura Kane, the AFL's GM of Football.

"It's important to us that this technology works and we'll make sure of its accuracy before its introduced into a game of footy."

STATEMENT AFL smart-ball technology moves to next phase of testing

The next step is using the ball in the VFL/VFLW double header at RSEA Park this Friday. Collingwood and Sandringham will play in the VFL, while the Magpies and Southern Saints will clash in the VFLW. 

"Our work on the smart-ball and its tracking technology is progressing well and we are excited about the possibilities of what this can do, both from a performance data perspective but also for providing insights for fans in-match and at home, as well as the options it could potentially unlock for our broadcasters," Kane said.


"Feedback from clubs in the pre-season training period has been positive with the view being there is no difference to the look, feel and performance of the ball.

"Following this feedback, we are now ready to move to the next stage in the trials where we will see how the ball performs in a match environment.

"I would like to thank our VFL and VFLW Clubs for their participation in this next testing phase, it is an exciting next milestone in our smart-ball technology project."