The 2022 season has started with wet weather that has seen disruptions to all walks of life but more specifically to the preparations and availability of fields for our matches.
As with previous seasons when we have wet weather we will endeavour to catch up as many matches as possible using wet weather weekends and the possibility of double headers and midweek matches.
While it is not possible for any of us to stop the rain and waterlogged fields, we share your frustrations and thought it appropriate to explain some of our procedures and factors that shape the decisions.
Northern Beaches Council and Mosman Council inform the MWFA at 3pm on a Friday afternoon what fields are closed in the event of wet weather. This follows dialogue between Council Rangers and staff throughout the day to allow the MWFA staff to start preparing.
The MWFA looks through the available grounds to maximise the number of matches that can be played across Friday night, Saturday and Sunday.
Changes are then made to the draws and notifications sent to players (through Dribl) and Clubs and the Referees.
Clubs have the option to close grounds if they believe they are unfit for play and this does happen regularly.
If there is rain Friday night or across the weekend
As is often the case, rain can continue across a weekend. If we are expecting rain across the weekend (and rain does fall overnight) Council staff and Rangers will assess grounds in the early hours of the morning (Saturday and Sunday) to give the MWFA an updated list of fields that may be unavailable for play.
Once again in this instance the Clubs have the option to close fields if they feel they are unplayable.
Ultimately the referee has the right and responsibility to postpone a match or abandon midway through if the field becomes dangerous or unfit for play.
MWFA process for deciding which games go ahead (Step 2)
The over-riding desire in deciding what games are played is to be fair across the season for as many teams and divisions as possible. It is also desirable to ensure the competitions with promotion and relegation can go ahead. That said, we postponed a round of the Men’s Premier League two weeks ago to allow other competitions to play games.
To be as fair as possible across the season, when we have fields made unavailable, we schedule entire competitions (E.g, the U12/3’s, the WU14/1’s or the AL4’s) so we retain balanced competitions and allows us to better keep track of what teams and competitions have missed games.
It also ensures the following:
- Track fairness when deciding which competitions play the next time it rains.
- The ability to plan for those competitions that have scheduled wet weather weekends.
- Referee availability is also a consideration
Simply leaving all games to play on fields they are allocated would create significant imbalance as some teams may miss multiple games while others may be lucky enough to play every week.
It would also severely disadvantage players at clubs whose field is more likely to be washed out and hand unfair advantages to clubs that play home games on synthetic fields.
Also bear in mind, that replaying games midweek has an impact on teams and clubs who must cancel training for those matches to be played.
This process has been refined over the last decade based on the experiences and feedback of players and clubs and gives us the best opportunity to be fair to as many teams and players as possible.
Please understand we share your frustration and are doing everything we can to get as many games played as possible.