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Home: Non-League Football Discussion: Restructuring Discussion:
How did they get that grading ?

 



broodleyhoo
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Jan 4, 2009, 10:28 PM

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Post #1 of 24 (6514 views)
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How did they get that grading ? Can't Post or Reply Privately

I'm not a fan of ground grading guidelines to limit a club's progress. What happens on the pitch is much more important than the right no. of seats in a stand etc.
At least that's how I used to think. Maybe I'm getting older and "softer", but experience over the festive period made me think again.

I was at a level 6 game. Not mentioning names as I think that would detract from the point, and would put unfair criticism to the clubs involved and their band of workers who have clearly "moved mountains" to get the club to the position their on-field performances deserve.

It was clear from pre-publicity and the time of year that the game would attract a much larger attendance than the host club are used to.

The game was fine, but

1. All progs gone by 2:30 (understandable but irritating) - and no board/sign/pinned up team sheet.
2. No turnstile.
3. No tickets issued on entry - the only "count" of the crowd was the colleague of the person taking the money making a pencil and paper tally.
4. No PA.
5. No toilets in the vicinity of the pitch - nor any signage towards them.
6. No tea bar in the vicinity of the pitch - nor signs towards it.
7. Hard standing for no more than 50% of the perimeter.
8. "Cover" for about 40 - provided they were all very close friends and any rain fell vertically.
9. Access to ground easily available through non-paying public gates.
10. No seating at all.

Yes, there was a rail around the pitch, and yes, there were (barely adequate) lights but basically I'd paid my money to watch a game in a field. I hate to think what might have happened in case of player injury if those arrangements were of similar standard to the rest of the day's admin.

If a ground like this can pass level 6 requirements, then what's the point of the requirements?
If requirements for level 6 are so flimsy, what's the point of trying to put anything in place at level 7?


bspittles
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Jan 4, 2009, 10:56 PM

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Post #2 of 24 (6488 views)
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Re: [broodleyhoo] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Was it Stafford Rangers? WinkTongue


leohoenig
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Jan 4, 2009, 11:05 PM

Posts: 13546
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Post #3 of 24 (6476 views)
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Re: [broodleyhoo] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I have opened the FA file for Grading G and made comments in RED
http://www.thefa.com/...419/GradeGJuly08.pdf


In Reply To
I'm not a fan of ground grading guidelines to limit a club's progress. What happens on the pitch is much more important than the right no. of seats in a stand etc.
At least that's how I used to think. Maybe I'm getting older and "softer", but experience over the festive period made me think again.

I was at a level 6 game. Not mentioning names as I think that would detract from the point, and would put unfair criticism to the clubs involved and their band of workers who have clearly "moved mountains" to get the club to the position their on-field performances deserve.

It was clear from pre-publicity and the time of year that the game would attract a much larger attendance than the host club are used to.

The game was fine, but

1. All progs gone by 2:30 (understandable but irritating) - and no board/sign/pinned up team sheet. No FA rules on programmes at all.
2. No turnstile. There should be a turnstile or paybox where payment for admission can be taken. It does not have to be a turnstile, but protection for the operator from weather conditions should be considered
3. No tickets issued on entry - the only "count" of the crowd was the colleague of the person taking the money making a pencil and paper tally. Many football league clubs do not issue a ticket - there is no rule
4. No PA. PA not required at this grade.
5. No toilets in the vicinity of the pitch - nor any signage towards them. Toilets must be accessable to the public, but can be in a nearby ("no great distance") clubhouse.
6. No tea bar in the vicinity of the pitch - nor signs towards it. The rule for refreshments is the same as for toilets, with no minimum standard of refreshment (such as hot drinks)
7. Hard standing for no more than 50% of the perimeter. This is the first one where the club appears to fall short of the rules. Hard standing should be provided on all sides open to the public, and a minimum of three sides should open. On the other hand, this is one of the places where one cannot see the need for the rule, as one assumes average crowds are likely to be under 100
8. "Cover" for about 40 - provided they were all very close friends and any rain fell vertically. Was the covered accomodation full. The rule actually demands cover for 100, with 50 seats in a single stand. It also demands that the seats have a good view of the pitch. If that part of the rule was applied, many more grounds would fail
9. Access to ground easily available through non-paying public gates. Not within rules
10. No seating at all. See comments above.

Yes, there was a rail around the pitch, and yes, there were (barely adequate) lights but basically I'd paid my money to watch a game in a field. I hate to think what might have happened in case of player injury if those arrangements were of similar standard to the rest of the day's admin.

If a ground like this can pass level 6 requirements, then what's the point of the requirements?
If requirements for level 6 are so flimsy, what's the point of trying to put anything in place at level 7?


In my mind, the big questions are the average and largest crowds expected by the said club (excluding special opponents such of FC United). I feel that the required ground standards for level 6 are silly in the extreme - but it is also clear that the observance of the rules are very varied.

I think the following Step 6 leagues are not all floodlit (supposedly a requirement).

Wessex, Western, Hellenic, United Counties - The United Counties and Hellenic Leagues probably have the weakest demands for Step 6 grounds, especially for those that have been in membership for a long time, a higher standard may be required for new entrants.



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AndyE
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Jan 4, 2009, 11:08 PM

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Post #4 of 24 (6473 views)
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Re: [bspittles] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Well quite - I can certainly name Step 4 grounds where some or all of those things are missing. I know I'm biased because my club is reluctantly in Ryman One North this season, but some of the clubs in that division are a bit of a shambles.

Just this season, up to yesterday we have now had four away games with no PA in use, one ground where the only toilets were in the bar (there are some in the ground area, but they were locked), one with no tea bar at all and one where it is outside the ground, one where the turnstiles were deserted and the gate left open before the start of the match, and at most no tickets are issued.

If, as the FA continues to insist, the grading regulations are to be enforced to the letter for the start of next season, there are going to be a lot of very small leagues around!


VP
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Jan 4, 2009, 11:08 PM

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Post #5 of 24 (6473 views)
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Re: [broodleyhoo] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Judging by what you've said, that club shouldn't have got a 'G' grade.
Have they actually been graded recently? If they've been in the same division for a few years they may not have had the graders in as, at the moment, current step 6 clubs have been given a few years grace to get everything up to the required standard. This grace period may be finishing very soon if various rumours are to be believed.
If they have gone up within the past two seasons then it's obvious the graders have decided to let a few things go. Even though the regulations are stated in black and white there are still cases where some clubs seem to get away with stuff that others don't according to what's said on here.


VP
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Jan 4, 2009, 11:16 PM

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Post #6 of 24 (6469 views)
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Re: [leohoenig] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
I think the following Step 6 leagues are not all floodlit (supposedly a requirement).Wessex, Western, Hellenic, United Counties - The United Counties and Hellenic Leagues probably have the weakest demands for Step 6 grounds, especially for those that have been in membership for a long time, a higher standard may be required for new entrants.


The Combined Counties is still light on G graded grounds at step 6 although they have said new entrants from below must now have that grade at a minimum. If the grace period finishes at the end of this season they're looking at bewteen an 8 and 10 team division next season which means the Surrey Elite will have about 26 teams! For this reason I can't see the FA forcing the issue at the end of the season.


cooksmad
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Jan 5, 2009, 10:19 AM

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Post #7 of 24 (6409 views)
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Re: [VP] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

"The United Counties and Hellenic Leagues probably have the weakest demands for Step 6"

Leohoenig,

I take it you have not been to the likes of Buckingham Town, Daventry United...etc, a rule for step 5 is to have floodlights and many teams in Division 1 have gone up and down in the Premier Division due to on pitch results so at least half of the Div1 grounds in the UCL have floodlights.


leohoenig
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Jan 5, 2009, 11:52 AM

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Location: Outer Cheltenhamshire
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Post #8 of 24 (6370 views)
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Re: [cooksmad] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

At Level 5/6, I still need to visit 16 grounds - 5 at level 5 and 11 at level 6.
This includes one Premier and One division One ground in the UCL - but then I am not arguing that around half the Division One clubs have got floodlights, but alternatively that half have not got floodlights, and that only the Hellenic is as poor as that.

Admittedly with a longer time period since my visit to many UCL and Hellenic grounds compared to some other leagues, I feel that these two probably have the poorest facilities at Step 6. The fact that Buckingham Town, who have played Southern League have been relegated to this level does not prove much - although I assume they have not demolished things and they are still up to scratch themselves.



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Russell
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Jan 5, 2009, 12:42 PM

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Post #9 of 24 (6342 views)
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Re: [leohoenig] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I would say that the Combined Counties and Hellenic grounds are the worst at step six.


acmold
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Jan 5, 2009, 1:17 PM

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Post #10 of 24 (6323 views)
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Re: [Russell] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or


In Reply To
I would say that the Combined Counties and Hellenic grounds are the worst at step six.

Would agree, the UCL have lost some of the worst grounds in recent years, ie Sharnbrook, Blisworth, etc



coops
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Jan 5, 2009, 1:35 PM

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Post #11 of 24 (6312 views)
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Re: [acmold] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

To be clear here, are we talking Level 6, i.e. Conf North & South in which case most of the points are definitely valid as you will be paying 10+ in most cases for such basic and poor facilities, or Step 6 in which case it seems quite normal to me and I don't expect (although it is nice to be pleasantly surprised) too many comforts especially at clubs which are often almost one-man bands when it comes to getting games on.


leohoenig
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Jan 5, 2009, 2:28 PM

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Post #12 of 24 (6286 views)
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Re: [coops] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

My reply was based on Step 6. I am fairly sure that the description given does not refer to any Conference North/South ground, whereas I can imagine it being true in many leagues such as Sussex, Wessex, Hellenic, UCL etc.



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Now blogging at http://www.leohoenig.com



buncranaboy
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Jan 5, 2009, 2:29 PM

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Post #13 of 24 (6284 views)
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Re: [leohoenig] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

..............just that your reply actually stated Level 5/6 which is meat and drink to certain pedants............


coops
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Jan 5, 2009, 4:28 PM

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Post #14 of 24 (6237 views)
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Re: [leohoenig] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


Quote
My reply was based on Step 6. I am fairly sure that the description given does not refer to any Conference North/South ground, whereas I can imagine it being true in many leagues such as Sussex, Wessex, Hellenic, UCL etc.



Which is what I thought.
I understand that there are ground grading regulations and I understand that there needs to be some basic spectator facilities if you are charging people to watch but I personally don't expect a huge amount when visiting teams six levels below the Football League. If I can have a pee and get out of any rain that'll usually do! Hot drinks, decent beer and a nice pie are bonuses of which I'll happily partake if they are provided!




SimonG
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Jan 5, 2009, 6:46 PM

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Post #15 of 24 (6197 views)
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Re: [leohoenig] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I may be wrong, usually am according to the wife, but I was under the impression that there was only one non floodlit ground in the UCL.


Over the top
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Jan 5, 2009, 7:33 PM

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Re: [SimonG] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

two at least. ON Chenecks, and Burton Park Wanderers


UKPunk
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Jan 5, 2009, 10:40 PM

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Re: [coops] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To

Quote

Which is what I thought.
I understand that there are ground grading regulations and I understand that there needs to be some basic spectator facilities if you are charging people to watch but I personally don't expect a huge amount when visiting teams six levels below the Football League. If I can have a pee and get out of any rain that'll usually do! Hot drinks, decent beer and a nice pie are bonuses of which I'll happily partake if they are provided!

What? At the same time? You do like your luxury don't you coops. Tongue



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leohoenig
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Jan 6, 2009, 11:18 AM

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Post #18 of 24 (6014 views)
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Re: [Over the top] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Has Peterborough Northern Star put up lights yet.
I have been waiting for some time to do this as a floodlit club



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Fanatic
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Jan 6, 2009, 3:53 PM

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Post #19 of 24 (5875 views)
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Re: [leohoenig] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
Has Peterborough Northern Star put up lights yet.
I have been waiting for some time to do this as a floodlit club


They hadn't at the start of the season.


Veteran
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Jan 7, 2009, 4:30 PM

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Post #20 of 24 (5606 views)
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Re: [broodleyhoo] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or

Ground gradings and the way they are applied are an absolute nonsense.

I can think of at least one Football league ground that would struggle to meet several of the ground grading requirements, but of course the club is already in !


Russell
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Jan 7, 2009, 4:34 PM

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Re: [Veteran] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Brighton? And how about the old Northampton ground?


KnowYourMarket
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Jan 7, 2009, 4:51 PM

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Post #22 of 24 (5591 views)
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Re: [Russell] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Histon's "enclosed" ground?



Last ground visited(update requested by Spud): Wellington . New grounds 18/19: 38


dave
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Jan 7, 2009, 5:11 PM

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Post #23 of 24 (5577 views)
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Re: [modelhobbies] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Rotherham of course as well.


kivo
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Jan 21, 2009, 2:55 PM

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Re: [broodleyhoo] How did they get that grading ? [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Astonishing for step 6 that. Kiveton Park are effectively at step 8 and not allowed to move to step 7 unless they get lights, yet they cover most of the points you make - tea bar, toilets, hard standing around the entire pitch, a good stand with cover for about 200. And this is very VERY basic for step 8 in the Central Midlands League.

 
 


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