Spot the difference: Adelaide Oval makes ‘gender-neutral’ change to scoreboard

Dec 02, 2023
Adelaide Oval's iconic scoreboard has received more than just a fresh coat of paint. Source: Getty Images

It’s a heritage-listed scoreboard that has stood essentially unchanged for over a century now, but in the modern age, it appears that nothing gets to stay the same forever. The Adelaide Oval Scoreboard has had a subtle change made to it in preparation for the final of the Women’s Big Bash League.

The scoreboard is a classic fixture of the sports ground and has been in use since 1911. It is the only manual scoreboard still operating in major Australian venues to this day and one of the few original fixtures to survive the Oval’s 2010 redevelopment.

After 111 years of continuous operation, the scoreboard has now received a change beyond a fresh coat of paint. Whether it’s due to the changing times or the increasing popularity of women’s sport, the word ‘Batsman’ above the column which signifies the batter has been replaced with ‘Batting’.

This adjustment ensures a better alignment with the column dedicated to bowlers, traditionally labeled ‘Bowling’. The Adelaide Strikers X Account (which posts for both the women’s and men’s teams) was very positive about the change:

Certain fans were not happy about the change, however.

“Terrible. Way to appeal to the nonsense woke agenda. This is not progress,” said one commenter on the post.

“Utter Marxist rubbish. I stopped watching cricket 2 years ago because of that climate clown Cummins. I guess it’ll be a permanent change for me now,” said another.

“And there goes a piece of history,” one person added.

“Absolute disgrace, will not be supporting bbl this year,” another claimed.

For all those who opposed the move, there were just as many who supported the change.

“Need to keep it this way. Well done Adelaide Oval!” one person said. 

“Seems a pretty simple change that makes sense,” claimed another. 

“Well done. It’ll be great to see on Saturday. It’s the first time I’ve been to Adelaide Oval so it’ll be great to see,” one eager cricket fan said. 

“Fair call I’m surprised it took this long tbh,” another said.

This isn’t the first time in the 21st century that gender neutral terminology has become a part of the game. In 2017, a majority of gendered terms were removed from the Laws of Cricket.

The term ‘batsmen’ however was retained until 2021, after which it was removed and replaced by the term ‘batter’.

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