It is a CDSFA prerequisite for play proceeding that there be a Ground Official at each home game, so we must oblige. Each team will receive an Ground Official vest and typically a parent or spectator will wear it. It cannot be the Coach or Manager of the team playing at that time, so teams should nominate one or two other parents who can take on the job.
The CDSFA Rules of Association that reference Ground Officials are:
- 7.4.1 Each Club must provide at least one Ground Official for each of its home fields that is being played upon.
Where the match is being played at a neutral ground (or night venue), both teams (Clubs) are required
to provide a Ground Official.
7.4.2 Each Club Ground Official must be clearly visible and be identified as an official wearing the designated
Ground Official (orange hi-vis) vest.
The Ground Official is primarily at the ground to:
- make themselves known to the Referee before the start of the match, and remain visible to him/her; you may be required to assist if there are any issues between teams, or in any other matters,
- inspect the field before play starts and check, together with the Duty Officer, that the goalposts are properly erected (especially for the first game of the day), and that no one climbs or swings on the goalposts at any time,
- ensure that only eligible parents (i.e. coaches & managers with registration cards) are on the playing field side of the ropes, and that no one (including these people) enters the field of play to treat injured players etc. unless signaled by the referee,
- ensure that matches start at the scheduled kick-off time from the first game onwards and that in the event of a game going over time the next game is reduced to ensure that time is made up,
- ensure that the area behind the goal is kept clear at all times, and that warm-up sessions are kept away from the field of play,
- help keep the peace in the event of any particularly unruly parents or over-zealous and unsportsmanlike barracking, and get assistance if necessary,
- ensure that alcohol is not consumed within the immediate vicinity of the playing field, and not anywhere until after completion of the last match,
- assist with any disputes by consulting the rule book, checking with another official, particularly the Duty Officer, or asking him/her to phone a Club committee member for clarification. Folders containing phone numbers, the FIFA “Laws of the Game”, CDSFA Code of Conduct and current CDSFA Rules of Association, plus the CDSFA small sided and and non-competitive Rules, are in the Canteen at King George.
The nice thing about volunteering for the Ground Official spot is that you generally get to watch most of the game. Many of the above duties will obviously not apply to under 6 to under 9 games. A Ground Official is still required at these games though, in particular to make sure parents, siblings, dogs, etc. are kept back a metre or so from the sideline. Many of the smaller fields are not roped off.
In all other matters pertaining to ground control, the Club & Ground Official must ensure that no conduct is permitted that would prove prejudicial to the Club or Association.
Leichhardt Saints Football Club Committee