AFL Football Operations Manager Adrian Anderson announced the AFL would trial the use of a countdown clock at the ground for the remaining matches at Telstra Dome in the 2009 NAB Cup competition, and would be seeking the views of fans as to whether they supported or opposed its use during games.
Currently, television viewers have access to the official countdown clock via the television broadcast, as do coaching staff of the competing teams, but the AFL has prevented scoreboards at venues from displaying the official time remaining, and has always used a count-up clock.
Mr Anderson said the AFL would trial the countdown clock for supporters on the scoreboard at Telstra Dome only in the remaining three weeks of the NAB Cup, and wanted to know the views of supporters.
"The NAB Cup does enable us to trial different things that may or may not be introduced down the track, and the use of a countdown clock for fans is one area we would like to look at, starting with this Thursday's match between Collingwood and Richmond," Mr Anderson said.
"Currently, the television viewer has access to the official time while the coaches, and by extension the players, are aware of the time remaining with a direct link to the official timekeepers. The only people in the ground who don't know the exact time remaining in a match are the fans in the crowd.
"There are two distinct views - one that a supporter should be able to know the time remaining, and the other that the suspense of not knowing when the siren will sound adds to the tension of a close game.
"We will trial a countdown clock for each of the remaining matches to come at Telstra Dome and will be asking our fans to express their views and give us some feedback on the trial, either by writing to the AFL, or via the survey on the AFL website at afl.com.au.
"We particularly want the views of those fans who have been at the matches where the trial has operated."
The clock will be directly linked to the official timekeepers, meaning play will be counted down in each quarter, as well as the breaks in play at quarter time, half time and three quarter time, until the next quarter starts.