We look at how cancellations come about so readers, players and supporters get a better understanding of how they work:
Why are Grounds Closed?
Almost all of the grounds allocated and utilised by the Auckland Rugby League are council grounds with the League having contracts for exclusive Saturday day use. The Auckland Rugby League does not own the grounds.The Auckland City Council has designated Field Officers or equivalent. It is their job to maintain those fields and keep in a safe and playable condition. They have the call on if their grounds are closed or have any usage restrictions. This happens if extensive bad weather has occurred during the week. This occurs for all winter sports.
How Do They Get Closed?
Each Monday the weekly draw of the Auckland Rugby League is sent to the Auckland City Council so they know who is playing where and on what grounds. This is also copied to the respective grounds Field Officers.
Every Friday afternoon the Auckland City Council send a schedule confirming that their grounds are still open to play, closed or any usage restriction that may be imposed on them (e.g. 1 game only or no transfers inward etc).
Once the Council reports are received, (usually by 2.00pm) the Draw Steward then assesses what games per the draw can still be played, what alternative grounds may be available to transfer games together with if any time restriction for play that may have been imposed. Once all this is assessed, any games that need to be transferred or cancelled are completed.
How do I Find Out if There Are Any Cancellations or Draw Changes?
The cancellations or amendments are sent to all Club Secretaries to enable teams to be informed. If a club has a system in place they then send to their team managers who in turn contact the players. This is usually completed by 5.00pm unless the ground closures and restrictions are extremely heavy. The cancellations or ground transfers are also uploaded on to the:
- The Auckland Rugby League website;
- The ARL Facebook Page;
- The ARL Cancellation Line (09 571 0400).
- If you are a registered member of Sporting Pulse then any changes to the draw published will be emailed directly to your designated email address supplied on registration.
The Auckland Rugby League does not close the grounds. The Auckland Rugby Leagues policy is to play football where at all possible. Blanket cancellations of grades are only made if the League lose too many Council grounds or there may be ongoing disruptions to a competition.
How Come Some Teams Still Play and Others do not if there are Cancellations?
The simple answer is that it is dependant on what ground you are playing at per the publshed weeks draw. The ground you are playing on may have been closed or had time use restrictions imposed, the ground the other team has not.
How come some teams still play on the Ground my team was
scheduled to also play on and we were cancelled?
As advised council may have closed a ground entirely so no football can be played or advised that the ground can be played on for a certain time (i.e. 160 minutes only). While 4 or 5 games may have been allocated (300 minutes of football), play is restricted to this timeframe. A decision is then made which of the games allocated to that ground have to be cancelled and which game can play. This is made taking a number of factors into account such as if the clubs premier team is at home. The ARL may also consult the club secretary as to preferred games to be played.
It is unusual for council to close grounds after Friday advices unless there has been further severe weather over night. If this is the case amendments are made and:
- Updates sent to all Club Secretaries for forwarding to their team managements;
- The ARL website is updated;
- The ARL Facebook page is updated
Cancellations or transfers then come across 1ZB every half-hour after the 7.00am news. If not on after the 7.00am news, then in most instances they will be on from 7.30am. Any delay is often caused by all other sporting codes also sending in cancellations or ground transfers to the station. People ringing the office prior to 7.00am to get an update usually block the telephone lines and this can also cause delays.
Diagram of the cancellation process