Playing in the rain

Last Saturday was a perfect example of how sport is at the mercy of the weather gods.

A little bit of rain late in the week caused only one ground to be declared closed when we went home Friday evening. Waking up to a drizzly Saturday morning however brought the inevitable phone calls from about 6.30am, with parents and coaches wanting to know if soccer was “still on?” because it was raining.

Having to firstly explain to some people that we are not in the office to take their call at that time of the morning makes me wonder whether people believe that we operate 24/7.

There is no disputing how miserable it can be going to wet, muddy fields, or worse... driving a distance only to find that grounds have been closed.

We only wish that mother nature would operate in a way that allowed us all to know whether sport will be played.

However, it is simply not like that and Saturday was typical of how fickle the weather can be. Light rain, torrential rain, sunshine, strong wind, all within a few hours, and many enquiries to me came with an expectation that I should know whether their one game out of the more than 500 that were scheduled for the weekend was going ahead!

It is unfortunately not so straightforward.

It is great to hear that many people look at the website. We are sensitive to being unable to have that constantly updated, for a range of reasons, and people reading this may be able to get a better understanding of what to do when rain does greet them on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

Firstly, grounds are under the control of individual clubs and FFNC requires club personnel to inspect grounds and make direct contact with opposing clubs where closures are made. FFNC are advised, as are referees, and it is only in exceptional circumstances where a game will be transferred.

The most important thing however is that games are ‘on’ unless specifically called ‘off’. Sometimes, as occurred on Saturday, grounds are open and the weather worsens during the day and decisions to close grounds are made at the eleventh hour.

The best line of communication for parents and players is via your own club contact, such as coaches and club representatives, who are most likely to be aware of closures.

Phone calls to me directly on 0438 215 593 are always welcome, however, like Saturday, my phone is running hot and I am reliant upon clubs letting me know what is going on. It is so much easier when the sun is shining.

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