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Question Number: 30312

Law 1- The Field 4/17/2016

RE: High School

Stephane of Belleville , Ontario Canada asks...

Our school as a very small field. Not even required dimensions. With a ditch on both sides. Since the ditch is too close the school lined the field with the following measurement. Long 89yds wide 42 yds. Goal area 5yds and penalty area 12yds for a u 16 11 vs 11 high school girls game. I would not allow the game to take place on such a field. What is the responsibility of the referee in this case should he let them play?

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Stephane,
The length and width are very close to acceptable dimensions - did you measure it? I wouldn't generally recommend the referee worries about measuring the full field...

The PA is the main cause for concern here. Even with a small field, the PA needs to be the correct size. The GA isn't much of an issue. I'd have required the PA to be remarked to the correct size, played the match but advised both teams I'd be reporting it to the competition authority.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Stephane,
I probably let them play, but report the situation to the authorities, ensure the PK spot is correct at 12 yds. If you chose not to play you write the why in the match report. I hate to see kids disappointed but it is your match, your decision, your reputation!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Stephane
The dimension that certainly needs changing is the penalty area provided of course the field meets the minimum set requirements of length and width. If the field does not then it does not get played. Safety is the number one issue and that is the main concern. The penalty area also has to be 18 yards so it is not possible to have that as the minimum needed is 50 / 55 in the US
If it were myself officiating I would speak with both director to make a call. What has happened in the past? Was other games played on it? Has it been inspected previously and passed for games? I would outline my concerns and find answers to the questions above and as long as no rule was broken such as minimum field size with both sides happy to play I would try to play the game. I would certainly report the facts.
If a referee chooses not to officiate that would be supported and that is probably the best decision as the field here is just too limited for a decent game. Sometimes when a game is not played because of field conditions it gets fixed for the next time.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

If this was in the U.S., a high school game could not be played on this field since the minimum dimensions for a high school field is 100 yds X 55 yards. If a highs school referee in the U.S. would go to a field with the size you have described, he would not allow the game to be played because of safety concerns. However, Canadian High Schools do not follow the same rules as U.S. High Schools, but you should make your concerns known to the group that is over your high school sports programs. I hope that you succeed in getting a bigger field.

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