A rugby administrators lot is a busy one when a match gets cancelled!

Our photographer's rain splattered lens gives an indication of conditions at Sidmouth Football Club

Our photographer's rain splattered lens gives an indication of conditions at Sidmouth Football Club on Saturday. Ref shsp 0047-01-16SH. Photo Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth had their Cornwall and Devon Tribute League match against Tiverton postponed when the Blackmore, like almost all the rugby and football pitches across the area, was left unfit for play through rain.

Nothing to see here-Sidmouth Chief's game against Tiverton was called off at the Blackmore on Saturd

Nothing to see here-Sidmouth Chief's game against Tiverton was called off at the Blackmore on Saturday. Ref shsp 0019-01-16SH. Photo Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

The postponement of a fixture is a nuisance for players and supporters alike, but spare a thought for club administrators who go through an extreme amount of work when a game is cancelled.

Terry O’Brien says: “When a first XV match is called off owing to weather the first call is to the league administrator for a fine can result if this is not done within a set time frame. Then the match official needs to be informed as do the opposition and, of course, the home players and team management. Next it’s a case of letting bar staff and caterers know as well as the gate man and, if its an away game then there’s also the possibility that a coach may need to be cancelled.

He continued: “The game will be rearranged for the next available date, in the case of the Tiverton match it’s Saturday, February 6. However, this may impact on a cup game as league takes precedent over Devon cup games. In this case our cup game against Torquay will now move to February 27! Moving a first team fixture also affects the sponsorship planning as it may be a sponsor who has booked a particular date cannot do the rearranged one!”

In terms of any financial loss O’Brien says: “Financially, the main loss will be bar takings as gate money and sponsorship will be made up by the rearranged game.”


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He added: “It is also a fact that most, if not all, of the afore mentioned applies to the second and third fifteen matches and also for the colts games.”

A prolonged period of bad weather, as occurred two season’s ago, can cause a severe backlog. As most clubs do not have floodlights, midweek is not an option before April and travelling distances may rule this out as an option.

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Rearrangements can also affect player availability. When players see a gap in the fixture list, they may arrange to do something else without considering the possibility of a rearranged game.

O’Brien says: “This happened to us a few years ago, when a player organised his stag weekend and wedding on two ‘blank’ dates. Both were required for rearranged games resulting in a weak team for one and no team being able to be raised for the other!”

Who’d be a rugby administrator in prolonged wet weather – it certainly leads to plenty of work!

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