So, your U9 is eager to get to their Saturday football game, but though it’s a sunny morning, it’s been raining cats and dogs for most of the week. Will the sportsground still be closed, you wonder?
Suddenly, you get that message which says the match has been cancelled by the Council as the ground is too wet to play on. Great. Just great. You now have a disappointed child with a stack of pent-up energy. So just how did the local Council reach their decision to close the ground?
Why grounds are closed…
The Council might decide to close sportsgrounds based on the following reasons.
- The potential that injuries may occur to players.
- The type of sport played and the potential for damage to the playing surface.
- The weather forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology.
- The condition of the ground when inspected by the Council.
- The Council has been unable to prepare (mow) the wet sportsground to ready it for play.
Grounds closures can occur at short notice, so it’s always wise to keep on top of your league’s updates or messages from your team manager.
It’s worth mentioning that sporting clubs do not have the authority to approve the use of sporting grounds when the Council has closed them. In fact, any clubs or schools using fields that have been closed will be liable for the full cost of any repairs and may also lose their licence agreement with the Council.
Where the Council has deemed that all grounds are open, clubs or umpires and referees may choose to close specific grounds to prevent injury to their players. When this occurs, club representatives should erect the grounds closed sign and contact the affected clubs and teams.
Note that synthetic pitches (read ASTROTURF PLAYING FIELDS – ARE THEY A CUT ABOVE GRASS?), tennis courts, recreation parks and children’s playgrounds are usually still open when grass sportsgrounds are closed, though may not be too pleasant to play on!
If the game is allowed to go ahead despite previous rain, you might need to know HOW TO GET GRASS, BLOOD & DIRT STAINS OUT OF SPORTS GEAR!
What happens with the match?
Games will usually be postponed if the ground is closed. However, a game may be moved to a ground that wasn’t previously scheduled for use, or from a Saturday to a Sunday. Or, if there are only a few grounds open, these may be used to catch up on previously washed-out games.
Games that have been washed out might also be rescheduled for public holidays or for mid-week evenings, where there is adequate lighting. Some games may even be held over to spare weekends later in the season. Unfortunately, some Saturday/Sunday double-ups may be unavoidable, particularly to catch up on any rounds that were partially washed out.
What do you do with the kids now?
With all that energy still waiting to be expended, you could encourage your kids to try an indoor activity. Think indoor trampolining, ten-pin bowling, swimming, boxing, shooting hoops, rock climbing, or simply get them to kick their ball against a wall in the garage or other protected area of your home with or without a mate or two.
No-one likes a washed-out game and, hopefully, postponed games aren’t a regular occurrence over the season.
Tell us, what do you do with the kids when their game has been postponed? Share your ideas in the comments section below.