Safe? Or Not?

Discussion in 'Referee' started by refinDC, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. refinDC

    refinDC Member

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    Playing a pickup game this weekend on turf -- there was a thin layer of ice sitting maybe half an inch below the top of the "grass" from some light snow over the previous couple days melting/refreezing. It broke as soon as you stepped on it, and studs went right through and easily gripped the pellets below. Of course the ice pieces then remained in the turf.

    We were all out to play, and it was pickup so no problem, but it made me think about what I would have done if I were refereeing a match on it.

    Obviously it's ITOOTR, but would the fact that studs could still grip the turf be enough for you to go ahead with the match, or would the fact that there is ice on (in?) part of the pitch make you decide to call it off?


  2. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

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    Could somebody be cut by broken ice? Had that happen in a Lacrosse game once.
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  3. Yale

    Yale Member

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    As long as nobody is sliding around on the field, I'd have a hard time calling that game off. I've reffed games in far slipperier conditions.

    As an aside: I fully acknowledge the benefits of a turf field, and appreciate the fact that it allows games to be played in wet conditions that would utterly tear up grass, but am I the only one who thinks turf is sort of… gross?
    soccersubjectively repped this.
  4. Bubba Atlanta

    Bubba Atlanta Member+

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    No, you're not.


  5. GoDawgsGo

    GoDawgsGo Member

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    They are certainly health hazards. Most manufacturers suggest a thorough sanitizing every six months. Whether places actually do it, who knows. Blood, spit, skin, etc., all accumulate and they are basically bacteria heaven and if not regularly sanitized they are definitely hazardous to health.
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  6. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

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    The U of Portland was involved in a study on that issue. They play on grass, but do some practice on a turf field. ( FieldTurf)

    It turns out UV from the sun is a pretty good disinfectant, and whatever diseases people get is probably mostly from bird droppings and such, no matter what surface they fall on.

    They determined that most communicable diseases are from Locker room exposure, so now they are pretty aggressive on sanitation in that area, and have almost no problems ( none that I am aware of) in the last couple years.
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  7. GoDawgsGo

    GoDawgsGo Member

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    Indoor facilities get no UV exposure. :coffee:

    Unless lighting gives off UV rays that I'm not aware of.
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  8. Chas (Psyatika)

    Chas (Psyatika) Member

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    Indoor facilities don't get ice on the turf either. The tangents these threads go on!

    Personally, i wouldn't start the match with ice on the field. I'd want the ice cleared from the field, regardless of my ability to grip the surface below. I just don't want to be responsible when someone falls and cuts/scrapes themselves on the ice, and don't want to be questioned on why i was allowing play on ice.

    Even if it's just a small patch of ice, i'd certainly ask about having it removed before just ignoring the issue.
  9. usaref

    usaref Member

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    Agreed. I'd want the ice cleared off the field first. More reasons to arrive early...:)
  10. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

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    That would be supported by the UP study. The issue is more indoor v. Outdoor. Proper disinfectant of any indoor facility would seem to be in order.
  11. Yale

    Yale Member

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    Honestly, this sounds more like what I'd call “frost” than true “ice”. What's the difference? Well, that's ITOOTR. :)
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  12. RichM

    RichM Member

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    Can't be any worse than the conditions I encountered this weekend. So Cal - it rained Thursday and Friday. Friday night they move my 4 games to a private school field since the public school had common sense to close down the grass field on Saturday.

    All 4 games were completed, and we didn't get a drop of rain on us on Saturday, but the field and the lines where the AR's had to run were mudpits. You couldn't accelerate normally or you'd fall. You couldn't stop suddenly or you'd slip and fall. I think I had 2+ lbs. of mud on my socks and in my shoes all day. It felt amazing after the last game to change my socks and shoes before driving home. I think I'm still scraping mud out of my toenails.

    Here's a shot of my shoes/socks after 3 games, although it looked the same after the first game:

    [​IMG]

    Even my flags needed to be washed:

    [​IMG]
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  13. Yale

    Yale Member

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    Oh no, don't start! :ROFLMAO:

    At least you didn't dry clean them…
  14. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

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    It's a good thing you guys don't live in Oregon. Standards are.. Umm... A bit different.

    Watched a game where a girl went into a puddle. Play stopped while players laughed and she came out without you being able to tell what team she was on.

    Play continued.
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  15. Chas (Psyatika)

    Chas (Psyatika) Member

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    I took his wording to mean something like this (emphasis on the ground, not the tall grass):
    [​IMG]

    As opposed to this:
    [​IMG]

    I got that image in my head based on the "broken ice pieces" he mentioned.
    refinDC repped this.
  16. nsa

    nsa Member+

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    re: sanitary surfaces

    Then there's Knoll Pond fields in Melrose. Lots of geese. That ain't just a mud puddle. :eek:
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  17. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

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    Geese don't like Turf ;)

    I would call a game if there was poop like on some fairways I have seen.
  18. GKbenji

    GKbenji Member

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    Then you'd be calling a lot of them around here. One match last fall we had to pretty much chase a flock of geese off the pitch before playing. The entire park was absolutely disgusting. My shoes were filthy... and I was only coaching!
  19. R.U. Kiddingme

    R.U. Kiddingme Member

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    I'm not a grounds keeper, but I do know a few, and know that this type of a photo would be very difficult for them to see, let alone let anyone play on it.
  20. refinDC

    refinDC Member

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    Not quite to that degree, but yes -- that's sort of what it was.

    Clearing the ice layer wouldn't really have been possible, because it wasn't on top exactly.

    I do think had I been refereeing a match on it, I would have played -- but I was questioning whether that was just path of least resistance/convincing myself to do something I probably shouldn't.

    I hadn't thought about the risks of the ice pieces cutting someone, although if it's cold enough for ice, would players not be wearing long sleeves, etc?

    RichM -- that mud looks far worse to spend hours on end in -- been there, been lucky to ever get the mud off those shoes.
    dadman repped this.
  21. Yale

    Yale Member

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    Would it have been safe to run around the field with regular shoes rather than cleats? If so, I'd say it's probably fine in terms of slipperiness. Does the ice shatter into large pieces when you step on it, or crumble into tiny bits? If the latter, I'd say it's thin enough that it doesn't pose any danger of cutting anyone. If the former, then yeah, you might want to call off the game, but my guess is that ice that thick would be too slippery to play on anyway. If you fell and smacked your face on it, would you likely get hurt, or just cold?

    When you originally described it, I pictured a thin layer of ice that crumbles away immediately on being touched rather than forming large shards. In that case, I'd say play on. If there's any risk of jagged bits of ice forming, even if they're not sticking out above the turf, then I'd definitely call the game. Obviously, without actually being there, it's hard to say what the actual conditions were like, so any answer you might get here will be wholly speculative, but I'd say just go with your gut. If you'd feel uncomfortable having your kids playing on the surface, then call the game.
  22. refinDC

    refinDC Member

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    Speculative is exactly what I was looking for lol -- oddly speculation helps more, since it gives a way of thinking about what to do in similar, but slightly different situations in the future.

    You have it right -- and sounds like we're on the same page
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  23. Gary V

    Gary V Member

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    Some of our fields have had geese from time to time.

    Then one day I got out to the field and couldn't believe it. It looked like there must have been 1000 geese going at it all night long. Until I got a little closer and saw that they had aerated the field, and I was just seeing the turf plugs.
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  24. Alberto

    Alberto Moderator Staff Member

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    Many types of lighting give off UV including Mercury Vapor, Fluorescent and HID lamps. Some have coatings to limit the amount of UV the lamps give off. All are fairly minor in their output except for certain halogen lamps.
  25. BlackBart

    BlackBart Member

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    You can ask the players and coaches what they think of the field conditions. If they've been warming up they'll know how slippery it is. The Gk has probably been diving on the ground and can tell you if the ice is hurting him.

    It's still your decision, but the more information you have the better decision you can make.

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