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Match Cancellation Procedures 


1. Prior to day of game
Decision will always be made by the ground staff. Sports Centre will inform Match Secretary, or his designated alternate, as soon as possible. The reason for cancellation will be stated. The Match Secretary will inform other interested parties.


2. On match day
Decision will be made by the ground staff or the appointed referee.  If a decision is expected to be taken by the ground staff, the Match Secretary, or alternate, will telephone Sports Centre at 10-00am.  The Match Secretary will inform other interested parties.

If decision taken by the referee, then all interested parties will be present at the time.  The Match Secretary need not be informed.

3. Vets Matches

If decision taken by the ground staff on the Saturday, both the Vets Captain and the Match Secretary must be informed at the time. Decisions on match day will be taken by the ground staff or the appointed referee.

Vets team matches shall normally take priority over any other Sunday matches at the Club.

4. Pitch availability
A pitch can be declared unplayable by:

a) A member of the ground staff

A member of the ground staff may declare a pitch unavailable for play either because of the potential damage that might result to the pitch or because it is being ‘rested.’

In such circumstances it should be made clear to the players (eg through use of the pitch allocation blackboard, removal of corner flags, on-pitch notices etc ) that the relevant pitches are not to be used. Where at all possible the Match Secretary will endeavour to pass on the information to captains prior to their arrival at the Club; if in doubt contact reception for details.

b) Referee

Referees have the authority, granted by the F.A., to declare a pitch unplayable on the grounds of safety to players and suitability to play football. ( In senior football the referee is the sole arbiter, but it is recognised that, at our level, ground staff at private grounds can declare a pitch unfit) .

5. Players

Team captains, players and other officials of the Soccer Section have no authority whatsoever to declare a pitch fit or unfit for play. (NB the question of insurance is relevant here.  All appointed referees are covered under AFA insurance against being sued by a player injured on a pitch that the referee has declared fit.  Players are not similarly covered.)


6. Final Arbiter

A referee may declare a pitch considered fit by a member of the ground staff as unfit.  At the Sports Club he may not declare a pitch fit where ground staff have stated it should not be used.

Under no circumstances can a pitch declared unfit by ground staff be used unless permission has been given subsequently from the nominated Sports Centre Duty Manager.


7. Availability of pitches declared fit

If a pitch is declared fit for play it may be used by any Soccer Section side, regardless of seniority, and subject to agreement between the captains on the day; the senior team will normally have the first choice.


8. Selective unavailability
Where not all pitches have been declared unfit, the Match Secretary, following consultation with the Team Secretary, SAL Match Secretary and, where appropriate, the AFA, will decide which matches to postpone. The following criteria will apply:

a)  AFA cup games usually take precedence over league and other cup fixtures regardless of team seniority. LFFA and SAL cup games do not.  Where there is more than one AFA cup home fixture, the senior side takes precedence unless requested to do otherwise by an AFA ofifcial.

b)  League games should normally be postponed from the lowest team upwards.

c)  Exceptions to the above may be made where one team has a backlog of outstanding fixtures.

Where a pitch is declared unfit by the referee at short notice, the decision as to which match(es) to postpone must be taken by those present (ie captains, referees,  AFA/SAL officials) using the above criteria.


9. Availability checks
Where there is doubt on match day about the availability of pitches at the Club (or at away venues), players should telephone the Club to check the position, but not before 10-30 am in order to avoid jamming phones.

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