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DAMNED IF YOU DO - DAMNED IF YOU DON'T


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DAMNED IF YOU DO - DAMNED IF YOU DON'T

These last few weeks has seen numerous matches postponed and following yesterdays deluge a large number of matches being abandoned, even Argyle.

Any referee will tell you it is the most difficult decision to make to call off a match. But put yourselves in their shoes. If when the match starts he thinks it is perfectly playable for 90 minutes then we must accept his judgement.

If later in the game the ellements are to bad then he must abandon the game. If the ball gets caught up in surface water then really he has no alternative but to call the game off. Anyone who saw the brief report on Argyle last night would have seen the pitch fast becoming a mini lake. What was the ref supposed to do – carry on for another 32 minute’s. In all cases a referee has to look at a simple ‘can these players play on a pitch where the ball just stops in the water. The answer to that is simple. He doesn’t have to approach the managers, it is his decision to abandon the match. The other is obviously the safety of the players.

I personally don’t think anyone even us down here would have thought that the amount of rain that fell yesterday was going to be as heavy and prolonged as it was. I watched two half’s from two different games yesterday and one (Dobwalls) caught the start of the heavy stuff late in the game while the other (Liskeard) caught the full brunt of it simply because they kicked off at 3pm and Dobwalls 2pm. That hour made all the difference.

We often here the old nonsense of referees only starting games so they can get paid. I honestly don’t think they see it like that. They invariably have come a long way to officiate as perhaps has the away team and they have to make an honest appraisal of the situation as they see it. .

A referee always checks the weather forecast and yes rain was forecast. But in all honesty did anyone expect it to be so heavy and prolonged. The old saying ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’ is something match officials have to put up with every game, whether it is a decision made on a tackle or because of bad conditions. The players also have to come into this as they too have a responsibility by not making silly challenges. There was one yesterday when a Millbrook player I think ended up in the dug out after flying in for a challenge (and these are the new dug outs which are now set well back from the touchline).

It seemed pretty obvious from many of yesterday’s matches that the officials in good faith let the games go ahead. But let’s be fair the rain was horrendous and many matches had to be abandoned. I think many will wonder how on earth Torpoint managed to finish their game when their pitch is almost at sea level and drainage is poor. Again possibly timing because they kicked off at 2.30pm.

I am one of the fiercest critics of match officials at times but on very rare occasions like this they can get it wrong because the weather has played its hand in an unexpected way. And yes I do feel clubs want matches called off simply because it seems the norm nowadays – the pitch is wet so call it off.

Any suggestions on how the problem can be alleviated. One obviously can be early inspections, but saying that how does anyone know how bad the rain will be a few hours later. The other thing is some grounds drain well and others don’t. There are so many reasons and possible solutions but in all honesty I think yesterday was a bit of a one off.

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Completely agree with your post ECPL, it is the hardest decision to have to make for a referee. An example for me was yesterday, when I arrived at the gound the pitch was perfectly playable so there is no way I can call the game off. About 1/2 hr before KO it started to rain, not heavy but raining, of course once we had started the rain increased and the pitch started to hold the water but I carried on because it did not become dangerous mainly because both teams played sensibly for the conditions. This was the situation for the rest of the match my main concern was in the last 10min the light conditions (it did get quite dark) but as both teams were not launching themselves into uncontrolled tackles we managed to finish the game. Contrast a few weeks ago simular conditions but into the 2nd half 2 flashes of lightning almost over the pitch I imediately abandon the game, perhaps I was over cautious but it was a decision I and I alone had to make, not easy I can assure you.

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I agree with what you,re saying ecpl BUT last week mousehole v hayle was called off mid morning due to high winds despite a good weather forecast and a short travelling distance for the away side.In fact penzance played in good conditions just down the road that afternoon,there was no need to postpone so early.

Yesterday hayle combo was abandoned due to a very heavy rain shower and bad light, despite the possibility conditions may improve ,the ref was not prepared to wait and see if conditions might improve and rather than call a temp halt abondoned match immediately.In fact weather did improve and the match across the road continued for the full 90 mins?

I then read that games elsewhere in cornwall yesterday are called off after playing for 81 mins?Also for problems from players and management?....

I agree it is tough at times for refs but sometimes they don,t help themselves :SM_carton:

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Larry Marsh travelled from St Austell Saturday to referee Falmouth ath v Holmans, the ground was wet but he did give us every oppurtunity to get the game played as did Tony Reynolds on the top pitch Fal Town V Lizard. Neither referee could have imagined how much rain was going to fall over such a short period of time, both games were abandoned.Look in the Indy and quite a few referees chose the same option they gave everyone a chance of a game. Just bad luck for all concerned!

Last week our reserve side were meant to play Troon game called off by referee too windy? But Troon's combo game went ahead on the adjacent pitch!

Localised showers, now localised wind i suppose?

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