RefSix

Calling match off in advance

Gamespoiler

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
So had junior u15 game this morning, pitch was really soft but all parties including me happy for game to go ahead. Pitch wouldn’t take a second game and certainly wouldn’t take open age game that was due on at 2. Had an open age game locally at 2, went to pitch was too soft to play on so called it off. No problems. Then drove 12 miles to open age venue scheduled for tomorrow and consider that too soft too so make the call to call it off 24 hours in advance thinking, player safety and sufficient notice. Then social media comment made saying ref can’t be arsed, ref going on the ale and a comment referring to me as a spack! Over sensitive? Maybe. Fuming? Yes. They’ve now got another ref who will allow game to be played. Have I acted too prematurely? Should I let it go?
 

Jtpetherick1

Well-Known Member
Level 4 Referee
So had junior u15 game this morning, pitch was really soft but all parties including me happy for game to go ahead. Pitch wouldn’t take a second game and certainly wouldn’t take open age game that was due on at 2. Had an open age game locally at 2, went to pitch was too soft to play on so called it off. No problems. Then drove 12 miles to open age venue scheduled for tomorrow and consider that too soft too so make the call to call it off 24 hours in advance thinking, player safety and sufficient notice. Then social media comment made saying ref can’t be arsed, ref going on the ale and a comment referring to me as a spack! Over sensitive? Maybe. Fuming? Yes. They’ve now got another ref who will allow game to be played. Have I acted too prematurely? Should I let it go?

Should you let it go? No. I'd be hugely disappointed in you as a fellow referee if you'd allowed a game to go ahead feeling it was unsafe. Likewise I'd be disappointed if you'd called it off because you couldn't be arsed, which I assume you don't.
Your priority is safety and you made a call based on that - whack a report into the CFA with screenshots of the social media post and enjoy your weekend!
Incidentally, fair play for nailing three pitch inspections before 12.30 on a Saturday!
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
151 games into my fledgling career and the best game I've refereed was last Sunday. No coincidence that it was also on the muddiest pitch I've had the option of officiating on. If everyone is up for it, the ball can roll reasonably, the game ought to get completed and the mud is not 6 inches deep, I'm donning my boots & its game on. Defo not calling off 24 hours in advance at grass roots unless its already unplayable & the weather is set to deteriorate
 

Jtpetherick1

Well-Known Member
Level 4 Referee
151 games into my fledgling career and the best game I've refereed was last Sunday. No coincidence that it was also on the muddiest pitch I've had the option of officiating on. If everyone is up for it, the ball can roll reasonably, the game ought to get completed and the mud is not 6 inches deep, I'm donning my boots and its game on

I don't disagree with you but the fact is that once a referee has called a game the clubs have to lump it, not go mouthing off on Twitter.
 

Grayson

RefChat Addict
I’d be reporting the club’s comments, with screenshots, to the competition secretary.

Not sure I’d be calling a game off over 24 hours in advance though, as I’m not a groundsman or meteorologist. That ones for a local ref and home club in the morning.
 

zarathustra

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Did either the home club or the league ask you to perform the check early?

Personally, I wouldn't be doing early pitch inspections unless I am specifically asked.

And even then, a pitch that is too soft on a Saturday afternoon, could be playable on Sunday morning.

I've had a game where the league got a referee to do an early pitch inspection, he said all the pitches at this particular place were fine. I turned up in the afternoon and at least 1/3 of the pitch was frozen solid (it was in the shade of trees running down one side).

edit: i am not condoning what has happened/been said on social media, and it should be reported, just curious as to whether you asked to do the inspection officially, or if you did it off your own back
 
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Gamespoiler

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
Purely off own back. Was a genuine attempt to help judging by pitch had just been on and inspected was doubtful anywhere local would be on
 

Brian Hamilton

RefChat Addict
Observer/Tutor
I’d be reporting the club’s comments, with screenshots, to the competition secretary.

Not sure I’d be calling a game off over 24 hours in advance though, as I’m not a groundsman or meteorologist. That ones for a local ref and home club in the morning.
THIS. 24 hours is a long time in the world of meteorology and water absorption.
 

RefJef

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
I think that the main reason games get called off is to preserve the pitch, rather than player safety. I don’t have a problem with this, often sensible to bin one game in the short term for the longer term benefit, but this should not be the referees call.

Very recently I did a game, the pitch was muddy, but playable- I had no concerns about player safety so we played, but I knew/know the pitch is now in a bad way and possibly won’t now be used for a couple of weeks or more.

Had the groundsman called the game off I would have had no concerns, but my role as referee is to decide if the pitch will be good for the next 90mins, not the next 9 games.
 

Gamespoiler

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
One thing that swayed me was in the 15 game earlier, a player had jumped a little, landed, tried to turn and couldn't and went down in agony, as his body turned but his foot wouldn't let his leg turn. A bigger heavier adult on a similar pitch could end up with a serious injury. We've had rainfall recently that Noah would be proud of, there simply isn't anywhere for the water to go anymore, pitches are saturated
 

zarathustra

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
That's fair enough, but I think that unless you are officially asked by either the home club, or the league, then it's better to just do the pitch inspection before the game as normal.

The club obviously weren't expecting you to do the inspection, and rightly or wrongly they have taken issue with the game getting called off 24 hours early when they weren't expecting it.
 

Gamespoiler

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
I did phone the home manager before I inspected but yep in hindsight shouldn't have inspected it.
 

afronaut81

Well-Known Member
Level 7 Referee
Screenshot the Twitter abuse and send it to County FA. They are the ones that can take disciplinary action.
 

Nij

Well-Known Member
That's just a generational thing. Disappointed kids venting their frustrations and guessing the reason
The "kids" you're talking about are as likely to be parents working full-time in their 40s and 50s.
Don't go playing ageist crap, there are whingers and whiners of every decade. The only difference is technology means they can spread it further than whoever is in the same room when they say it.
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
No excuse for the abuse, but you have overstepped your responsibilities somewhat here. Under SCoR, the ground authority or the match referee attending the ground on the day have the say over the playability of the pitch. Clubs may get a local referee in to do an inspection, but there are no grounds for the referee to do an inspection off his own back 24 hours before the game kicks off.

A potential consequence here is that the ground authority says it is playable, in which case the club will probably have to pay for the pitch hire even though they won't be using it. There's little or no rain forecast across the UK tonight or tomorrow, so I really do think you have jumped the gun here.
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Don't go playing ageist crap
And your speculation that they're in their 40s and 50s is equally ageist. So pot & kettle
Besides, mine was just a throw away comment not intentionally aimed at anyone. Your retort... typical of your approach

Whoever cried foul on Tweeter, I'd consider it trivial. @Gamespoiler asked for feedback. It's been unanimous regarding the 24 hour call-off. Move on...
 

RobOda

RefChat Addict
Level 3 Referee
So had junior u15 game this morning, pitch was really soft but all parties including me happy for game to go ahead. Pitch wouldn’t take a second game and certainly wouldn’t take open age game that was due on at 2

Just a heads up, but that's worth checking the competitions rules for.

In my local league for example, if a pitch is of dubious value, senior matches get priority. So, it's the junior games that should be called off to allow the OA adults game to go ahead. At least, I think that's what the rule intends.
 

WiisardNic

Member
Level 4 Referee
Should you let it go? No. I'd be hugely disappointed in you as a fellow referee if you'd allowed a game to go ahead feeling it was unsafe. Likewise I'd be disappointed if you'd called it off because you couldn't be arsed, which I assume you don't.
Your priority is safety and you made a call based on that - whack a report into the CFA with screenshots of the social media post and enjoy your weekend!
Incidentally, fair play for nailing three pitch inspections before 12.30 on a Saturday!

Had a situation like this when playing as a junior. U18s game before the open age first division game, on a sunny day, but 3 days of rain before, so pitch was very muddy (shared ground with a rugby club).

Outcome from the referee was our U18s game got shortened from 45 min. halves to 30 min. halves, so the first grade game could go ahead as planned
 

Nij

Well-Known Member
And your speculation that they're in their 40s and 50s is equally ageist. So pot & kettle
Besides, mine was just a throw away comment not intentionally aimed at anyone. Your retort... typical of your approach

Whoever cried foul on Tweeter, I'd consider it trivial. @Gamespoiler asked for feedback. It's been unanimous regarding the 24 hour call-off. Move on...
I didn't speculate at all - I clearly referred to the equal possibility of any age group, with particular examples, being the persons that posted the content in the OP.
Your comment was intentionally aimed at kids, why else would you mention them in particular?
 
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