The Wednesday Word: Summer football?

Every Wednesday, we ask your thoughts on the big grassroots football topic of the week. Today, it’s about how the British winter weather affects the grassroots season.

As the current cold snap causes more frustration for the UK’s amateur football community, many involved in the game question why we continue to battle the winter weather.

The majority of the grassroots football programme was cancelled last weekend as a blanket of snow hit many parts of the country last Friday, while this weekend’s fixtures remain in doubt for many.

This is not the first weather-enforced break for many clubs this season, with heavy rain and waterlogged pitches in the latter months of 2012 putting paid to numerous weekends of football for some.

Postponements cause inevitable fixture backlogs and lead to double-headers at the end of the season, whilst many games that beat the weather will be played on pitches resembling a quagmire at this time of year.

So the big question in the grassroots football community this week – and at least once every season – is whether we should switch the season to the summer months.

It’s a question we raised as the snow began to fall on Friday and it caused such a stir that we’re asking it again for our big weekly debate.

Should the grassroots football season be changed to March – October to avoid the winter weather?

We’ve been asking the question via our Club Website poll and the results so far are split, with around half of you wanting to see at least some football moved to a summer game (17% say move kids football only; 34% say move all football to summer).

Currently one in four would like to see a winter break, while a similar number don’t want to see any change to the current setup, happy to stick with the traditional August – May season.

It’s a question that will run and run, so it’s over to you to join in the debate!

Have your say on summer football!

What do you think about a potential summer season for grassroots football?

Should we at least allow kids to play the game in the summer months, as they do in Scotland, to give them the best opportunity to develop their skills on decent pitches?

Or would a summer season cause clashes with other sports and pitch availability? And what about player availability over the summer holidays? Other summer sports cope with that, so why wouldn’t football?

And how about a winter break? A great idea for many, but when should the break be applied and how long should it be? We can’t predict the weather, so how do we know when to take a break?

We want to hear YOUR thoughts, so please leave your comments below or join in the debate on our Facebook or Twitter pages. Of course, don’t forget to cast your vote in our Club Website poll on your own club or league website, or here on our demo site.

Get involved – it’s your view that counts!

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Dan Pope
Writer at Teamer
Freelance writer, editor and copywriter, with a passion for grassroots sport. A right back turned football writer, Dan is the former editor of Club Website and has been lucky enough to work in the field of grassroots and community sport for the last 10 years.

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  1. John O'Reilly on January 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    I agree with this, for the last 3 years we at Tyersal FC have struggled between December and February because of the weather and then we have a long run of night matches at the end of the season which is very difficult to get a full squad together for, we would rather play through the summer

  2. David Webb on January 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Personally although it is extremely frsutrating this season and last with the waterlogging and the snow/frost would like it kept the same. Putting Junior football through the summer will not work because of the 2 months when player availability would be impossible to manage. You mention in the article other summer sports seem to manage??? Which sports are we comparing to? Cricket which is dying a long drawn out death at Junior level or the other summer sport fo tennis which has a 2 week participation in our summers! Happy to hear how people would manage pitches/players/exams for the older junior teams/change of age brackets….

  3. Daz Wilkie on January 23, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    no matter what you decide it wont suit everyone. why do most leagues have a fixation that must be finished by april the 1st or may the 1st.
    having fixed breaks is ok but then your trying to second guess the weather. why not simply use the light nights of april and may to play catch up, league game instead of training for most teams. simples really. if leagues do decide to close down for 2/3 months which months will you choose. and after this summers weather fields were water logged in june and july.
    as far as i can remember september and october are probably the best 2 months on average to play in so what ever you decide these must be part of your season

    to be honest you can go on and on and still never come up with a perfect solution

  4. Mark Hilton on January 23, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Summer football jut wont work, cricket, school holidays and no guarantee that the weather will be any better. The only answer is more 3g pitches available for use and priced to allow junior clubs to use them. This wont help with snow but cures most other issues.

  5. Martin on January 25, 2013 at 11:54 am

    This topic comes up evey year without fail and each time it does we get the same ‘experts’ giving us their opinions. Summer football may sound great in theory but can all those in favour please answer the following:
    When will pitch reseeding/renovations take place. Where will all the teams that play on cricket pitches and school pitches that become athletics tracks etc play their games. If we get a hot summer the pitches will become ‘concrete’ and will be unplayable so where will you play. How will you get teams out with so many coaches and players away during the summer holidays. What about players that participate in summer sports such as cricket.

  6. Jeff Thomas on January 28, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    No football is a winter sport. To introduce it to the Summer is just ridiculous!

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