THE AFL is weighing up whether to stop skinfold testing on NAB AFL Draft prospects.
The League informed clubs last week that it was considering the move after further discussion about the value of the testing, including from the Australian Institute of Sport.
Skinfold testing, also known as a body composition test, is done at the annual Draft Combine and measures each player's body fat percentage. It involves a medico lightly pinching at different sites of the body to assess the composition of an athlete.
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It has been a part of the breadth of physical and psychological information each club receives on draft prospects for many years, although has often been dreaded by players.
AFL.com.au understands the mental health and body image concerns of the skinfold testing have been raised with clubs.
However, clubs have reiterated to the League about the importance of the skinfold testing to give players an accurate assessment on their fitness and diets ahead of entering the elite system.
Draftees are tested once they get into clubs and players regularly undergo skinfold testing through AFL pre-seasons, with recruiters adamant the testing is not in place to ridicule but to help educate draftees on their preparation ahead of joining the top level.
There has also been discussion surrounding, if skinfold testing is retained, whether to restrict the information to a smaller group of club officials to ensure it is kept as confidential as possible. A decision has not been reached.
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The AFL is planning on a two-day Draft Combine later this year that would see a group of approximately 50 players picked to interview and do medical screenings before undertaking athletic testing in state-based Combine days.
The under-19 national championships will be split with some games mid-year and the rest at the end of the season.