playing on a frozen pitch?

Discussion in '(Archived) Hockey Chit-Chat' started by bartman, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. bartman

    bartman FHF Starter

    hi guys, recently i've had a view cancelled practises due to a frozen pitch, but to be honest i cant see the problem in playing on a frozen pitch. If you have proper astro-turf shoes (like everbody on the team does) then it is fine. Nobody seems to slip and if anything i quite like playing on a hard pitch. I would just like to know what other people think about playing on a frozen pitch? (or even just a cold hard pitch for that matter?) :)
  2. G

    G FHF Legend

    Here are my thoughts in no particular order...

    Playing on a frozen pitch can actually damage the pile of the turf - shortening it's life.

    If (when) you do fall, there's no give in the pitch at all and it can cause some seriously nasty injuries, broken bones etc.

    Unpredictability of the path of a ball across a frozen surface.

    No bounce in the pitch at all.

    For juniors especially, if conditions are that cold then a real chance of hypothermia.

    Just a few thoughts. IMHO it's not worth it.
  3. Old Central

    Old Central FHF Starter

    Played a junior game on Sunday as the pitch was thawed/thawing.

    The key issues were:

    1. Is it a safe contest? Could players stop and turn without risking injury. The answer was yes.
    2. Is it a fair contest? Before it defrosted the ball travelled at indoor speeds as friction was reduced and bobbled when it hit frozen parts. The answer was yes.
    3. Did we win? No so it was completely unfair and so as the team manager I blame the umpires. Oh hold on, that includes me.
    4. Bottom line, more seriously, is can you get people there safely, play safely and not damage people, kit and the ground? BTW we broke two expensive match balls showing just one effect of cold weather so supporting G's comment on the pitch.

  4. controller

    controller FHF Legend

    is it Dangerous to all players and umpires
    can it be dangerous to spectators...i.e players sliding into them
    Safety...a big thing now

    lastly, if you take the decision to play have you got enough insurance cover to cover the claims that you might get for , negliengce claims, Health and Safety, legal cover etc.....

    there is a lot to be considered not only by clubs and pitch owners but by players themselves
  5. ragyrascal

    ragyrascal FHF Staff Staff Member

    I categorically NEVER play on a frozen pitch. I will leave a training session the moment my footing becomes compromised.

    Playing hockey is way more fun than watching from the sidelines with a fractured wrist.
  6. Inselaffen

    Inselaffen FHF Legend

    certainly wouldnt play on a frozen water-based
    my knees are screwed enough after 22 years as a keeper
  7. philthy

    philthy FHF Legend

    Definitely won't ever do it.

    Did it in training a while and strained my groin and hip quite badly because my foot slid one way as I tried to rapidly change direction and it all went wrong.

    Six weeks on the sideline!

    So not worth it (though thankfully most of the games during that time were frozen off so only actually missed a couple!)

    But no. Not worth it.
  8. Old Central

    Old Central FHF Starter

    One for the officials amongst you.

    How often have you had to abandon a game when pitch conditions changed? Since we now play for many hours on artificial turf the diurnal temperature variations will be a significant factor. I can't remember a game I played in starting but not finishing but most were on grass so at 2.15 or 2.45.

    Having played in the tropics I would suspect intense rainfall and thunderstorms will be the main issue for abandonments.

  9. Goalie64

    Goalie64 FHF Legend

    Luckily enough I've never played in or umpired a game that has had to be abandoned.

    Here in the UK, as an umpire, I've taken players off the pitch for a break when we appeared to have lightning on all 4 sides of the pitch. It stopped after 5 minutes, so we went back on and played on.

    On tour in NZ we have had to stop playing for 10 minutes in order to let a pitch drain - 25% plus was covered in standing water during a downpour.

    As for frozen pitches - no way, either for training or games. Far too much risk of injury, before you even start thinking of potential litigation against coaches/club.
  10. hot shot viks

    hot shot viks FHF Legend

    I was playing in Ellon,

    Cant must of been 2 years ago as I was playing for uni at the time. It was already a re arranged fixture so we were playing at night in their training time. It was getting near winter and the temperature dropped dramatically during the 1st half.

    During half time, the umps had a wee conversation and decided to abandon the game for everyones safety! It was too cold and the pitch was getting rather icy.. the pitch was rather worn down, so there was no grip whatsoever. We were rather annoyed, but we could understand the umps decision!

    Just to show it does happen from time to time!
  11. sanabas

    sanabas FHF Legend

    Abandoned more than a few junior games in the morning because sections of the field haven't defrosted yet. Though none of those were mid-game. Abandoned one senior game at half-time, because the field was icing up to the point it was unsafe. That's pretty rare though, there'll be late night trainings that I'll see a bit of frost appearing on my kickers, and notice it starting to happen on the ground too, but not to the extent it's becoming dangerous. If we trained after midnight, or at 7am or some other silly time in the morning, it would be much more of an issue. Though early morning trainings can at least work around the iced-over patches, early morning games can't.
  12. MattKnowles

    MattKnowles FHF Regular Player

    I played last year on a pitch in Ashby-de-la-Zouch last year that was frozen and found it particularly unpleasant. When dropping for the ball the ground was far less forgiving but more worrying was the tendancy for the leading foot to shoot in one direction and the trailing foot going in the other when going for a save.

    I would say that I would never do it again except I know that if asked I probably will since saying 'No' is something I find difficult when asked to play!
  13. Grumpy

    Grumpy FHF Legend

    playing on a frozen pitch is completely out of the question. Firstly it is bad for yous joints, the wrisk of injury is increased. Most insurabe policies would be mul and void if the find out you injured yourself on a frozen pitch. But more importantly in my opinion you cause the fibres of the pitch reducing its playing life both by running on it but by stick and ball contact on the pitch.
  14. DarkLord

    DarkLord FHF Top Player

    I played in a 3rd team game last year against stafford where the pitch went from completely fine to frozen in about 20 mins, and was abandoned before the end of the 1st half, we were 3-0 and playing some lovely hockey... for the rearranged fixture (on a sunday) stafford selected some first teamers and a couple of 2nds we lost by 2 goals... i cannot tell you how annoyed i was! but even so it was 100% the correct decision to abandon the game, we all had proper hockey footwear on, but no one had enough grip for it to be safe on a hard surface... particularly when we had quite a young side out.
  15. floccinauci

    floccinauci FHF Regular Player

    Broken two ribs on a frozen pitch, and seen a keeper break their leg (admittedly no astros). So no, I wouldn't personally play on a frozen pitch.
    Having said that, the pitch in my experience was water based, and I don't quite know how sand would act under ice...
  16. Bertybob

    Bertybob FHF Regular Player

    As an umpire I won't start a game on a frozen pitch (sand or water based) for all the reasons above.

    To be fair though I have never had to make that decision as in every case the home club have called it off without the umpires having to decide.

    Never had to abandon a game due to changes in pitch conditions. As my games end by about 5pm latest frost has not been an issue during a started game. Never umpired with snow coming down.

    In my playing days on grass we had to stop once due to torrential rain / hail. 22 players and 2 umpires huddled under a tree for 10 mins!
  17. kristof


    A frozen astro is a horrible thing, especially as a keeper! Apart from the lack of grip and the incredibly hard surface but the surface also also means the ball will move unpredictably along the surface and on the bounce! Also the protection level of pads seems to drop when the pads subjected to freezing temperatures!

    We once had a match abandoned in Blackburn due to flooding, the pitch was in a valley and it was the most horrendous storm I'd ever played in!
  18. F1-mania

    F1-mania FHF Star Player

    Played on a frozen pitch this morning, was dreading it, because I've done it before, but if its a proper sand based, the grips still there provided theres actualy no visible surface ice. Horrible as a keeper though. You can't judge ballspeed anymore, because the ball doesn't roll along the ground anymore, it skids everywhere. Its really unpredicable too, part of astro freeze upwards, meaning the ball bobbles all over the place. Its playable, just not fun.
  19. DanielXO . . .

    DanielXO . . . FHF Regular Player

    I personally think its too much of a risk to play on a frozen pitch
    My freind recently played on a frozen astro and the ice and astro combined ripped the skin straight off his hands when he fell over : /
    I also believe people train at there best to improve there skills which is hard to do on ice
    Saying all this it depends how bad the frozen astro is because it comes down to common sense ; )

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