With wet weather and poor pitches causing the usual seasonal cancellations to matches across the country, Genesis Sports join the debate on a change to the grassroots football season [Advertorial]
Unless you’re a pro club with undersoil heating, or have access to a good quality pitch of your own, then little football tends to be played between November and January.
When games are played, the quality of football tends to suffer as the ball gets stuck in long, wet grass or mud. Nor does it help the condition of the pitch later in the season. Inevitably, muddy or poor quality pitches often end up with long balls being pumped forward to the ‘big striker up top’, but isn’t this what the FA and our coaches are all trying to move away from?
With another long winter approaching and further cuts expected to local council funding, who provide the majority of grassroots football pitches, then perhaps it’s time for a re-think.
Back in September, Genesis Sports carried out a survey of grassroots clubs, asking whether a mid-winter break would be beneficial. Opinions were polarised, with around half falling on either side of the debate.
But after another weekend where the wet weather took a heavy toll on fixtures and football pitches, plus with local council funding cuts certain to have an knock-on effect on grassroots football, we ask again whether there are benefits to a change in playing season.
Most amateur clubs finish their season in April, if the winter weather has been kind to pitches, or by early May at the latest. But surely the best time of year to play football is May and June, when the weather is warmer and drier and the evenings are longer?
This would also reduce the cost to clubs, with less need for floodlit training or pitch/venue hire.
Pitches – and those maintaining them – would benefit from matches being played in better weather conditions, meaning there’s less chance of them getting cut up, and fields turning into the inevitable muddy bogs we see up and down the country.
It would be better for players too, especially youth footballers who wouldn’t have to suffer playing in freezing, wet conditions and on heavy pitches.
Wouldn’t that also help improve the quality of football? As well as helping coaches coach, encourage more participation and involvement from players and parents? We think it would.
But then there’s the age-old issue of the cricket season, where goalposts on public spaces are removed and replaced in many cases with cricket pitches.
Yet, participation levels in football outnumber cricket by ten to one. With over three million people playing football at least once a month, football is, by some distance, our national sport. And in reality, the majority of football pitches, even council-owned ones, aren’t affected by cricket anyway.
So all things considered, what do YOU think? Would a change in playing season benefit grassroots football?
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