AFLQ staff put to the test

We put five AFLQ staff through some of the draft combine tests. Check out how they went.

With all the national and state combine testing going on at the moment, the staff at AFLQ decided to put together a little testing day of our own.

We got an umpire, a female footy player, a male community footy player and an Auskick co-ordinator.  And just to give the others someone to beat, our community footy writer threw herself in as well.

In the Brisbane heat, which is pretty stifling even as early as 8,:30am, the five underwent a vertical leap test, sprint test, two skills tests and the all-time favourite, the beep test.

The draft combine gets its name because it tests a combination of skills, each one important to Australian Rules.


With contested marking a major part of the game, a player’s ability to jump regardless of their height, is a handy skill.

The vertical jump test involves a long pole and a serious of plastic tabs, with numbers. The test starts with the player standing still and reaching up to touch the highest tab they can.

For a standing jump test, the player jumps from a standstill, straight in the year and hits the highest tab they can. The difference between their reach and their jump is their score.

The same occurs with the running vertical jump, except the player starts five metres out and runs towards the pole to jump.



Kicking is probably the most important skill in Aussie Rules, and one of the hardest to pick up.

The kicking test measures a player’s ability to hit targets as well as reaction time.

The test generally involves one kicker and six cones, with a person on each cone.

For this test, we used two cones on each side – one at 20m and one at 30m.

Each kick is rated out of five, with a highest possible score being 20, in this case.


The handball test is similar to the kicking test, except handballs.

A feeder rolls the ball out to the player, who runs on and picks it up, passing it to a nominated cone.

Each pass is rated out of five, with the highest score being 20, in this case.


The 20m sprint is pretty self-explanatory.

Basically, the player runs as fast as they can over 20 metres.



The beep test is a test of endurance, requiring participants to run consecutive 20m shuttle runs.

As the test goes on, the time required in which to run the 20 metres becomes progressively faster, and runners must make each interval by the beep.

If someone misses one beep, they have a chance to catch up, but once they miss two consecutive beeps, they are out, and record their last successfully completed level.

So, who finished up on top? And how did our results shape up to the AFL draft hopefuls?

THE UMPIRE – Aaron Hall.

                          VJ (S)     Running VJ- L           Running VJ – R   Sprint    Kicking  Hands   Beep Test

Aaron Hall           60                 59                           60                     2.88          16          19              13.3

Umpires need to be fit and Hally is no exception. It might be pre-season still, but you couldn’t tell from his performances. The smiling assassin surprised with his pinpoint accurate kicking as well, finishing on top of the kicking test.  With numbers like his, maybe the NEAFL umpire should consider switching to the other side of the whistle.


                          VJ (S)     Running VJ- L           Running VJ – R   Sprint    Kicking  Hands   Beep Test

Bree Brock          37              30                            39                       3.85           13           18      

Bree was the most experienced footballer of the group, and it showed, with her perfect kicking technique. The Zillmere Eagle’s skills were silky smooth and her talents shone in the handball test as well. Interestingly, she had to vacate before the beep test began.


                            VJ (S)     Running VJ- L         Running VJ – R   Sprint    Kicking  Hands   Beep Test

Keith Shangare 48                   52                            54  3.07        10            18                6.1

Keith is definitely an athlete, starting well with some super vertical leap scores, as well as a super-speedy sprint test. The first-year footballer’s skills were strong as well, particularly in the handball test.

THE AUSKICKER – David Noonan

                            VJ (S)     Running VJ- L         Running VJ – R   Sprint    Kicking  Hands   Beep Test

David Noonan   49                 48                            56                    3.08         12            20             7.9

Noony was the surprise packet of the group, leaping well to start. It was the handball test, where his talents came to the fore, with a perfect score from the test.  The pocket rocket showed his speed in the sprint as well, with some very fast times.

THE JOURNO – Beth Newman

Many people know athletics is not Beth’s strong point, and that proved again. Expecting to round out the leader board, she met expectations. Beth showed her strength in the sprint test, by far her best result, but her greatest foe – endurance running – proved her greatest downfall. Well, except for the kicking test, with plenty of room to improve there.

                            VJ (S)     Running VJ- L         Running VJ – R   Sprint    Kicking  Hands   Beep Test

Beth Newman   40              42                               41                      3.37          4             18               6.1

To put this into context, here are the best times from the 2013 AFL draft combine for these tests.

Vertical Jump (standing)

Kade Kolodjashnij (79cm)

Vertical Jump (running) – Right

 Kade Kolodjashnij (97cm)

Vertical Jump (running) – Left

Archie Smith (97cm)

20m Sprint

Jonathon Marsh (2.78 seconds)

Kicking efficiency Test

James Tsitas (29/30 points)

Clean Hands Test

Chris Cain, Ben Lennon, Luke Reynolds (24/30 points)

Beep Test

Billy Hartung – 16.6

So, what have we learned?

Umpires are fit, footballers are skilful, Auskickers can handball, and journos should stick to writing.

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