Unsafe Fields?

Discussion in 'Referee' started by HeadHunter, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. HeadHunter

    HeadHunter Member

    May 28, 2003
    What criteria do you folks use to determine if a field is unsafe? I am particularily interested in your approach to rain/directly after its rained. I ask because even though the local league usually makes this decision with regards to field use we also have to make a decision. I recently became the local rec leagues referee assignor and as such I am now part of their decision making process. For example last week we had one field for a travel game where an area of about 5-8 yds around one corner flag was seriously (1-3 inches) underwater. Had it been a rec game where I would advise on the deciosion to pull/use the field I would have advocated cancelling it. However the guy in charge of field use for travel games said we should go ahead, play, and simply take any corners that would have been taken from that side on the opposite end. I didn't ref the game but since I was on the field for another game and the assignor I got called into the discussion. i was extremely uncomfortabl with the idea but since both teams were already there-the one team having driven several hours- I let the center referee go ahead with that plan.
    I guess I'm asking for two things 1. comment on the particular case and 2. since we do have a hurricaine coming straight at us general guidelines for these kinds of events in the future.
  2. pkCrouse

    pkCrouse New Member

    Apr 15, 2002
    Ultimately it is a decision for the assigned referee to make, even if the league or anyone else makes an initial determination that the field is safe so far as they are concerned. All they are doing is agreeing to make the field available for the referee's inspection. Neither the league nor the assignor nor the coaches nor anyone else has the authority to make the final decision for the referee.

    If any portion of the field is unplayable, the entire field is unplayable. It certainly sounds to me like the one corner was unplayable. Directing that all cornerkicks will be taken from the opposite side is not an option. What was their suggestion as to how to deal with the situation if dynamic play moved into this flooded corner? Was the referee supposed to stop play, move everyone to the opposite corner and resume with a drop ball?

    As far as general guidelines, I ask myself three questions. First, is there anything inherently dangerous, like a deep hole or a large rock or dangling powerlines? Second, despite the adverse field conditions will the players be able to maintain control of their actions while exercising reasonable care, given their age and the level of competition? Third, would I let my own kids play on this same field in its current condition?
  3. kevbrunton

    kevbrunton New Member

    Feb 27, 2001
    Edwardsburg, MI
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There has only been one time that I've declared a field unplayable. We had had SERIOUS rain the night before -- in fact all the Friday night games were cancelled due to the fields being under 2-3 inches of water.

    Saturday started with the fields soggy and a little slick but playable. However, as the day progressed, one of the fields was getting torn up quite a bit and as it dried out, it went from slick to sticky. By sticky, I mean that you'd see kicks feet get stuck in the mud when it normally would have slid. Also, when they'd perform slide tackles, sometimes a foot or knee would stick instead of sliding and it would have the effect of launching them like a pole vaulter.

    After that game, I called the tournament director over and told him that the field was unplayable for the rest of the day and why. He agreed.

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