The 2011 Boxing Day scoreboard quiz

Photos by Les Everett

The classic old manual scoreboard at the city end of the  MCG  stood for many a year. It told the story of a cricket match from beginning to end, and was probably photographed by many a footy fan just after the Grand Final siren. It has also been immortalised in a Jim Pavlidis etching (featuring the 1977 drawn Grand Final scores).

In the spirit of summer quizzes, here’s a test of your knowledge of the famous (dare we call it ‘ iconic’?) Melbourne sporting landmark, and its replacements .

1. The classic MCG scoreboard was built in
(a) 1895
(b) 1901
(c) 1907

2. It cost
(a) 812 pounds
(b) 852 pounds
(c)1052 pounds

3. The ‘bicycle chain rolling number’ system was invented by
(a) wicketkeeper Bert Oldfield
(b) bowler Bert Iremonger
(c) MCG painter Bert Haines

4. The scoreboard’s (imperial) measurements were:
(a) 30 foot high by 60 foot long by 12 foot deep
(b) 20 foot high by 40 foot long by  10 foot deep
(c) 40 foot high by 80 foot long by 20 foot deep

5. The scoreboard was dismantled in
(a) January 1982
(b) October 1981
(c) January 1987

6. It was transplanted to (and is still in use at)
(a) Marylebone Cricket Club, England
(b) Madras Cricket Club, India
(c) Manuka Oval, Canberra

7. Its replacement, a Mitsubishi ‘Diamond Vision’ screen with 38,000 pixels, lasted
(a) 10 years
(b) 20 years
(c) 30 years

8. The 1999 scoreboard fire delayed, by about half an hour, Richmond’s victory over
(a) Carlton
(b) Collingwood
(c) Geelong

9. Refurbished after the fire, this scoreboard was transplanted in 2000 to
(a) Madras Cricket Club, India
(b) Marylebone Cricket Club, England
(c) Waverley Park

10. A journalist called Tommy Horan once wrote:  ‘The evolution of the scoring board may fairly be termed a special feature of modern cricket.’
Which year was this penned?
(a) 1981
(b) 1961
(c) 1901

The answers:

1. 1901
2. 852 pounds
3. Bert Haines
4. 30 foot high by 60 foot long by 12 foot deep
5. January 1982
6. Manuka Oval
7. 10 years
8. Carlton
9. Madras Cricket Club
10. 1901 (The Australasian newspaper)

The answers are  also threaded through a short history of the MCG scoreboards, now on Scoreboard Pressure.  The history features photographs from an 1895 Test match to Victor Trumper bringing up a century in 1911, through to the Big Bash game on 17 December this year.






About Vin Maskell

Founder and editor of Stereo Stories, a partner site of The Footy Almanac. Likes a gentle kick of the footy on a Sunday morning, when his back's not playing up. Been known to take a more than keen interest in scoreboards - the older the better.


  1. Peter Flynn says

    Tom Horan went under the name ‘Felix’ and was Australia’s first great cricket writer.

    He was a former Test captain who wrote for the Australasian newspaper.

    My understanding is that Horan’s columns were formed whilst circling the ground, taking in the sights and sounds as well as the play.

  2. Pamela Sherpa says

    The old scoreboard at Manuka Oval is named after Jack Fingleton- a cricketer and a journalist .

  3. John Butler says

    Vin, every time I look to the electronic scoreboard, only to find it flogging some sponsor’s drivel, I really miss the old scoreboards.

    They could communicate so much so clearly. We haven’t improved upon them.

  4. There’s a longer Felix/Tommy Horan quote on Scoreboard Pressure, as well as photos of the Jack Fingleton Scoreboard at Manuka.

    And – oops – in question 3 I referred to Bert Iremonger. It should be Bert Ironmonger.


  5. Martin Spicer says

    Wow 1982, I remember it well! 4 of us from Greensborough Steel pulled the old one down and put the new one up .

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