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Interesting idea, but here's why it is not possible

By David B (legacy user)13/1/2015 13:05Tue Jan 13 13:05:11 2015In response to Pitch inspections

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Regulations say that, except in very unusual circumstances (such as the flooding at Staines last year - the only time a Hendon match has been called off by the Environment Agency! – or heavy snowfall/severe frost as in 2013) a match can only be postponed by a qualified referee. Also, with the mitigation above, inspections will not be carried out before the day of the game. If the visitors have a very long journey, however, most competitions allow inspections to be held a day before the game (Kingstonian's trip to Lowestoft a couple of years ago being a case in point).

The match referee, if he is local, would normally do the inspection, but if he is unavailable then a referee, who must also officiate at a certain standard, can be called in to make the decision. Whilst the inspecting referee’s decision to postpone is binding, his decision to play is not and the match referee, with the conditions normally having had a good few hours to change (for better or for worse), may decide the pitch isn't playable. His decision is always binding and final.

Your idea for the groundsman to take a picture is not workable. For a start, the groundsman is not an independent judge – some groundsmen I know resent players taking the pitch in mid-September when it is in perfect condition. Also, he may be put under pressure by his employer (the home team), who may not want to play because of player availability problems.

There are also various logistical issues. First, at 5.00pm, say, it would be dark (certainly it would be from mid-November to mid-February) and the floodlights would not be switched on at that time - local neighbour issues - so a photograph would not show much. Also the referee has to see how the ball travels across the pitch, and a still photo would not help him. The final logistical issue would be the angle of the photograph. Let’s face it, if you were spray whitewash (not the Premier League defensive wall marking) on a patch of ground, would you be able to say, for certain, that it was say Earlsmead and not a back garden on Carlyon Avenue. If you try to get grandstands into the picture, you won’t necessarily get much of the pitch in the photo.