SYDNEY list manager Kinnear Beatson has questioned the AFL's ban on skinfold testing for potential draftees, saying it's just one part of a larger 'jigsaw puzzle' when assessing young players.

As first reported by in March, the AFL was set to scrap the measurement after fears arose over mental health and body image concerns.

The skinfold test is performed at the annual Draft Combine and measures body fat percentage by lightly pinching at different sites of the body to assess the composition of a player.

West Coast premiership player Will Schofield on Saturday slammed the decision as a 'joke', claiming the test was a crucial requirement of being an elite athlete.

A close-up shot of a skinfold test at the Australian Institute of Sport. Picture: AFL Photos

Speaking on SEN on Monday, Beatson said educating players on why skinfold tests were done would have been a better option than straight-out banning it.

"I have never heard of a club belittling a player or shaming a player [at the Draft Combine] because of his physical stature or, in this case, what his skinfold readings were," he said.

"You wouldn't solely rule out a player based on poor skinfold test but it's all part of a jigsaw puzzle.

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"It probably hasn't happened well enough in the past is educate the players on the benefit of having them done and how it can enhance their physical performance by them understanding what they're eating is going to have an impact on their skinfold readings, and therefore will have an impact on their endurance abilities.

"When playing elite sport, the whole thing is challenging. You are going to turn up to pre-season and do a 2km time trial or a beep test or a Yo-Yo test. That's part and parcel of it. No one is forcing you to do it. If you don't want to put yourself in that environment, don't put your hand up for it. That's fine, someone else will take your place."

Beatson said the ban would have an impact on how recruiters assess players.

"We actually get less data now than we used to, which personally I find a little frustrating. We need more information, not less, so we can make accurate calls," he said.

Draft hopefuls during the 2km time trial at the WA Combine in October 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell was another to voice his disapproval at the decision.

"I could sort of understand it at a grassroots level, I think there's some merit there, but we are a performance-based industry," he said on SEN.

"A big part of that is the physical aspect of that. I'm not sure we've got any skinfold metrics that are included in contracts these days, but it still is a big part of the testing that the high performance does on the players.

"There are different ways to go about it, body mass index and everything else like that, so it's not my area, but I'd say there's still got to be some sort of form of assessment that needs to be included in that part of the game."