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Re: definitely Home

By David B (legacy user)23/1/2015 16:24Fri Jan 23 16:24:42 2015In response to definitely Home

Views: 3108

To me friendlies and practice matches are very different events. Friendlies are, generally, much more competitive and regulated; practice matches don’t count as games to me, even if it is a new ground. This may come out as bit anal, but as a statistician, there is a good reason for differentiating between the two.

These are my criteria for deciding if a game is a practice match or a friendly.

A friendly is played at an accepted enclosed stadium – i.e. not The Hive 3G training pitch – and spectators must have access. Admission should be charged, though more and more clubs don't charge, so this is less important. In practice matches, there is no home team or away team.

Friendlies are played over 90 minutes, not 120, not 105 (as the Edgware game), but I am less strict in my judgement of halves/periods because Ryman League games have been played, effectively over four quarters when there have been mid-half breaks for water. However, the periods should be the same length, except if the last one is curtailed by a few minutes (last Saturday, they were 37, 35 and 33 minutes, respectively, which is close enough to be considered the same length – I mean one period being 10+ minutes different [of course excluding stoppages for serious injuries or incidents]).

All the match officials should do the whole game and be qualified – I think there were six or seven linesmen during the Edgware game – unless there is a very good reason not to (e.g. injury/personal emergency, etc).

I am not crazy about having nine or more substitutions for one team and 11 changes at once immediately makes it a practice match. Players should not return after being taken off – except to replace a seriously injured player – and never to play for both sides.

Matches cannot be stopped for teams to take a “mulligan” set piece (repeating the move as you would in a training session).

For those reasons, the “mulligans’ apart, I called las Saturday’s match at SJP a practice game and not a Friendly. By the way, for those of you who went to Beaconsfield Road for the Middlesex Senior Cup game against Staines last season, as it was an official competitive match, for which there was an admission charge and FA appointed officials, it was a proper game. The venue, however nice, would only lend itself to practice matches, and was it used only because of the exceptional circumstances regarding the flooded Wheatsheaf Stadium.

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