09/03/2020: Reminder and clarification of requirement to switch if home team’s pitch unavailable
Additional guidelines agreed at December management meeting concerning significant change of kick-off time

For many years, the UCFL has introduced a (minute) rule at the beginning of each season to the effect that, in the event of the home team’s pitch being unplayable, the game must be switched to the away team’s pitch and go ahead as otherwise scheduled.

Over the years, various scenarios have arisen which have required clarification of this rule. For example, it has been established that a match can go ahead on an alternative venue nominated by the home team, or indeed, on a pitch similarly sourced by the away team which is not necessarily its own usual venue. This is subject to the usual conditions, such as that the alternative venue be reasonable in terms of location and that a switch may be impossible in the event of a very late change etc.

With the proliferation of variable kick-off times in recent years, a new problem has arisen with increasing frequency whereby the away team’s pitch may only be available at a different time to that scheduled in the initial fixture listing. After addressing this issue at the management meeting on 05/12/2019, it was agreed that the following guidelines would apply from 01/01/2020 for the rest of the current season:

(1) If the kick-off time at the new venue is within one hour of the original kick-off time, then the game must go ahead.

(2) If the away team has a pitch available, but outside the window of one hour before or after the original kick-off time, 5 days notice must be provided to the opposing (home) team.

The second scenario above will typically require notification from the away team some days in advance of any declaration that the home team’s pitch is unplayable. This will enable teams to forewarn their players about such a switch and early liaison between teams will clearly help to facilitate this process.

In all cases of change and particularly if teams agree to go outside the scheduled time, the Fixtures Secretary must be informed.

09/03/2020 20:35