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On Friday lunchtimes, AFF receive ground reports from councils, sometimes simply closing some grounds altogether, but often only restricting the number of hours of play per pitch over the weekend.
These restrictions are based on what the council thinks would be acceptable for Saturday and Sunday play without ruining the grounds for future weeks.
On Friday afternoon AFF take a number of steps to play as many games as possible within the restrictions - that is always the aim.
AFF have a number of options:
Individual teams and coaches need to know that their match being cancelled is NOT always an indication of ground closure - if a team rings to ask a club why the 14 Boys are playing and the 13 Girls were cancelled, the answer probably lies in the above!
Also it is vital to note that games are changed to agree with the council’s times per pitch, therefore it is imperative that the teams play on the pitch they have been allocated, and not move to another because it looks to be in better condition. You will be using somebody else's pitch allocated to them for later on in the day. Please don't!
All changes are distributed to clubs via email and are also input against individual fixtures on the competitions part of the AFF site.
AFF usually reach a final position for the afternoon before 5pm, but the signal that AFF have is the message on the web site home page - Click here
Anyone checking the competitions website during Friday afternoon before the confirmation note is posted should be warned - AFF may not have finished!
The weather can change overnight, for better or worse. Improvements in weather will not affect the changes made, as the decisions made on cancelling games have been done so to protect the use of the grounds in future weeks. Also, by then the information will have been passed down the chain to individual teams and players.
However, if the weather deteriorates overnight Friday or even Saturday there may be further changes that are made, on council recommendation, from very early on Saturday morning. In addition, some clubs make their own inspections during the day, even as the early junior and youth matches are going on.
All further changes are put onto the website as AFF make them, and all teams, coaches/managers and players should use that as their first port of call for the very latest information.
The early morning NewstalkZB cancellations service may be used, if so listen for the words Auckland Football. Any other references to football could be other areas, other non-Auckland Football leagues, or even individual clubs' in-house programs. However, if it is a bad weekend, they simply do not have the time to communicate all the changes that have been made.
In short, information on NewstalkZB should not be relied upon as the sole source. The Auckland Football web site is the best source, as any change made is immediately posted to the site as it happens.
We will also try to make contact with a club direct, but a 12pm kick off may be postponed as late as 10am, so on a bad weekend keep checking!
What if the weather changes overnight or even during the day?
AFF act on information from council inspections, but a club may look at its venues in a morning, or see that pitches have deteriorated due to play in early games. We may have some other grounds that we can move you to within a close proximity that can accommodate your games. On bad weekends don't bank on it, but it's worth a try.
We will do the rest on the web site, and contact clubs if we can.
What if you turn up for a game and don't think the pitch is playable?
If you have an official referee he or she will be the only person who will call off the game if they deem it unfit for play. If you don't have a referee then common sense should prevail, especially in the interests of player safety. (If the pitch is fine but it's cold and wet I don't expect teams to turn around and go home - this is a winter sport and if the pitch IS OK you should play!)
If the pitch is unplayable, again, your club should contact Auckland Football to see whether we can move you to a nearby alternate venue. If that's not possible any postponement should be by mutual agreement between both teams, and should be reported to Auckland Football either then and there or on Monday morning.
We all hope for good weather but when it turns nasty we do try to get as many games as possible inside the council restrictions, and we do make all the information available as quickly as we can.
Remember - the Auckland Football web site is king! Whatever we do gets posted there, by your individual fixture, as soon as we possibly can.
Waiheke Island, Auckland 1971 | firstname.lastname@example.org