Pitch Inspections - Frozen Ground

DocP


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So with the cold snap here, down in the London and South East area where I am based we have hit -3 ish.

Never really had to do a pitch inspection before. What are people looking for? I have heard people say can it take a stud etc, use a key and see if you can make an indent and we did cover it in society training at some point last year. I'm interested to see what others think and their tests etc. I suppose that goes for dry ground as well as I presume the criteria will be the same as temperature doesn't really come in to it.
 

Ciaran Trainor


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Bottom line would be in the cold does it take a stud or can you easily push a garden fork into it.
You have to err on the side of caution.
Other things to consider.
What was it like the day before at kick off time?
Is the sun going to be on it.
Is there an area (under the stands) that will always be in the shade an no chance of thawing out.
I'm going to my club tomorrow to inspect at 9 before the opposition set off. I'm also going up today at kick off time to see what it's like. just happen to be free today.
p.s. I don't think amateur refs should be expected to give up their time to do this. We give up enough of our time and was never needed before leagues. No club who has planned for a home game all week wants to call games off unnecessarily.
I've seen many instances over the years where games have been called off prematurely as costs would be incurred by travelling club articularly for busses, only for the pitch to be fit!
Don't forget if the opposition or home skipper think it isn't fit on the day, no matter what you think the game is off.
 

Phil E


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First thing to remember is that in England this is not primarily your decision.

The club should make an inspection first, well before the visiting team and the referee set off.
If it gets to the point where everyone is at the ground it then becomes the decision of the Captains.
If either Captain objects to the ground, then the game doesn't go ahead and they can inform the competitions people as to their reasons.

If the club think its ok and both captains think its ok, then the game will usually go ahead....UNLESS the ref then thinks the ground is dangerous.
At this point you just need to be able to say why you think its dangerous, you don't need to prove it. Safety first.

If the captains still insist on going ahead, then you blow to kick off, and immediately blow to abandon the game. But if you explain that this is what you intend to do, then its unlikely you will have to.

Why would the ground be dangerous?
Standing water
Rock hard ground
Churned up mud that has frozen leaving sharp ridges
Rabbit holed

Would you want to play and be tackled on it?
 

DocP


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Well as I posted this one of the advisers from London is a member of the club I am at tomorrow and is heading down there at 1.30pm today to have a look. Forecast is above freezing at 11am tomorrow but it is looking dodgy. Overcast here so no sun to really give it a chance to thaw out. Will be a shame as I need the run out. Could go to the gym but it's never the same.
 

Lee Lifeson-Peart


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So with the cold snap here, down in the London and South East area where I am based we have hit -3 ish.

Never really had to do a pitch inspection before. What are people looking for? I have heard people say can it take a stud etc, use a key and see if you can make an indent and we did cover it in society training at some point last year. I'm interested to see what others think and their tests etc. I suppose that goes for dry ground as well as I presume the criteria will be the same as temperature doesn't really come in to it.
Don't forget your cold snaps are 10x more dramatic than ours.;)
 

Lee Lifeson-Peart


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On a more serious note.

Phil E has written what I would have.

My game tomorrow may get cancelled. The club have just rung me saying they are looking at the ground at 14h00 today ie KO time tomorrow.

They will call it and I will concur. Oppos have a coach booked for tomorrow so the pragmatic approach is to do as they are doing.

Edit 14:48 Game called off.
 
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DocP


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Nice one @Phil E that is a good summary. Cheers for the advice. I've not heard from the club yet and I have checked the ground near me, I am only 30 mins away from the club, and ground seems ok. Sun is out. Hopefully game is going ahead but then I suppose the club will have to do another check tomorrow. The away side isn't travelling a massive distance so a call a couple hours out will be sufficient to not ruins anyone's' day too much
 

crossref


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In my area games are going down like flies.bsteady stream of emails this afternoon
 

Phil E


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My exchange in Derbyshire has just been called off.
The pitch now is what it will be like tomorrow, so they called it early to save anyone having to travel.
 

tim White


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Multiple nights of frost and barely above freezing during the day round here; maybe a coastal pitch might be playable but I expect very few games.

I have been promoted to Pitch Inspector for the local area, so not all bad.
 

Camquin

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I am not hopeful for next week. Which for a lot of clubs is the big derby match with pre-holiday drinks.
But its winter, what can we do.
 

DocP


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So my game got called off 5 mins to KO. Was deemed fit at 1.30 the day before but was colder overnight. Then got told 2 hours out that there was a pitch good enough to play on. Turned up, spoke to one of the players who had walked over it on his way to the changing room who said that it was mostly playable. Sun was out so I though, "right ho, I'll get changed then". Get changed, walked over, moulds didn't even make a dent in 90% of the pitch.
Captains ummed and ahhed, asked if they could leave it till 5 mins before KO. Even though they wanted to give it every chance I was still uncomfortable and made my thoughts on that clear so they decided to go with 2 games of touch instead.

I then jumped into the car with another member of the society (assessor) who came to watch me after his original game had been called off and drove to a match that was on 20 mins away. That pitch was in a built up residential area and the pitch was fine. Was amazed how the surrounding area really affected the state of the pitch.

Not looking all that hopeful for this weekend either. Temperatures don't look like the are going to rise and there is still plenty of snow around here.
 

crossref


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i heard of a number of games called off last minute.
(mine was called off mid morning)
 
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