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Football pitch faq

footballers' legs

The new self-service system for football

How do I make a booking?

Do I need to book a changing room and why do I need keys?

How do I find the park and how will I know which pitch I've booked?

How do I put up the goal nets, I've never been shown how?

Why do I need to collect a permit if I've already paid by debit/credit card?

What if there's a problem with the pitch or equipment or changing rooms?

How do I know if my match has been called off before the game?

Who is responsible for cancelling matches?

When and how do I claim a credit for unplayed games?

 

How do I make a booking?

If you are playing through a local football league, they may make bookings on your behalf. If that's not the case, you can contact the athletic stadium and enquire if a pitch is available on the date you wish. There are deadlines for booking and payment. Weekend bookings can only be confirmed 7 days before the day but you can ask for your enquiry to be pencilled in before then. Your booking is only confirmed when payment is received and the deadlines are:

For weekend games, you must pay by 20:00 on the Thursday before your match.

For midweek games, you must pay by 12:00 on the Monday preceding your match.

 

Do I need to book a changing room and why do I need keys?

Yes, you must book a changing room for all football bookings (other than mini pitches)as the nets and flags are kept in the changing room allocated to your pitch. You will receive a set of keys for your changing room and it is your responsibility as the booking team:

  • To open and close the rooms for the use of your team.
  • To erect your nets and flags and return to the changing room after use.
  • To leave the keys in the key deposit box before you leave the grounds.
  • To leave the changing room in a clean and tidy condition and remove any litter from your pitch and the area around it.
  • To open the emergency access gate for any ambulance called to attend an injury on your pitch and lock afterwards. Not all sites have a locked gate but, for those that do, there will be a key with a red plastic cap on your key set.
  • To report any problems with the pitch, changing room or equipment to the contacts shown on your permit.
  • To claim any credits due for your game if it is cancelled (see, when and how do I claim a credit for unplayed games?)

You will be required to pay a returnable deposit for the keys. This will be held for the duration of your bookings and returned at the end of your series of matches, provided you have not failed to return keys or there is no loss or damage to equipment or changing rooms that is attributable to your negligence or non-compliance with the terms and conditions of the booking.

 

How do I find the park and how will I know which pitch I've booked?

There is a location plan showing all the park pitch grounds (not just for football) which will tell you the road name and postcode for each site. There are also plans of each park available for booking showing the ID numbers of the pitches as well as the location of the changing rooms and emergency entrance. You can download these from the main football pitches page.

 

How do I put up the nets, I've never been shown how?

Written instructions on how to put up the nets are available to download from main football page . If you need further advice, please email phil.nicholson@bedford.gov.uk

 

Why do I need to collect a permit if I've already paid by debit/credit card?

You must collect your permit by the deadline for payment of bookings or you may not notice errors in time for them to be rectified. You need your permit as your identification on site, in case of spot checks, and in order to apply for credits for any unplayed matches. Any team that fails to collect their permit will be unable to claim for that game.

 

What if there's a problem with the pitch or equipment or changing rooms?

We will do our best to ensure everything is right on the day but sometimes mistakes happen or things may go wrong between our staff checking the pitches and the day of your game. We are unable to send out staff to correct problems on the day and in the worst cases your referee may cancel your game as a result. You can phone the Stadium for advice on what to do and they may be able to help in some cases, for example, they may be able to advise you if you may play on a different pitch if there's a problem with your own or if you can use equipment marked for another pitch. If in doubt, please call the stadium and they will do their best to help when they can.

Please report immediately all problems that you have on the day of your game to Bedford International Athletics Stadium on (01234) 351115. 

 

How do I know if my match has been called off before the game?

We will check the condition of all the pitches on Friday morning to ensure they are in a fit condition for play at that time. Any pitches that are unplayable or their condition and weather forecast for the weekend is strongly unfavourable at that time will be cancelled by the grounds staff on Friday. League fixture secretaries will be informed and details of pitch status will be posted on these pages by 5pm on Friday. All teams and opposition players alike can check the cancellation update page before leaving for a game.

If your game is called off you must return your keys to the key deposit box on the changing room allocated for that game. Check the cancellations update page for details of your time deadline to do so. Failure to return your keys to the correct site by the deadline may result in a charge for a new set of keys being deducted from your deposit and your claim for credit being refused.

 

Who is responsible for cancelling matches?

Before the day of the game the Council's grounds staff will cancel matches if the pitch condition is such that they consider play is likely to cause damage to the pitch (see above).

On the day of the match, the responsibility falls to the appointed referee or whoever has assumed that role for the match. They may cancel a game for pitch condition for health and safety reasons and are obliged to complete the team's permit to give details of the reasons for cancellation. If they fail to do so, the credit will not be given. If a game is played on the pitch, however, a claim for credit may not be made later unless the game has been abandoned as a result of the council's negligence.

 

When and how do I claim a credit for unplayed games?

You must present your permit at the stadium to claim a credit in all circumstances. There is a section on the bottom of your permit to complete when you claim a credit. If you are unsure of how to complete this, you can call the athletic stadium at the time of the cancellation. Depending on the reason for your claim, you may have to wait for the grounds staff to check the pitch before your credit is approved.

If a game has been cancelled by the grounds staff your game will be credited providing:

  • you return your keys to the key deposit safe on the changing room allocated to that match. Check the cancellations update page for details for confirmation of the time deadline to do this.
  • you present your permit at the stadium for credit either within 7 calendar days or before booking your next game, whichever is the sooner.

If a game has been cancelled by your referee on the day of play, you will be credited for the game providing

  • you have not played on the pitch, or
  • a health & safety issue has arisen as a result of a problem with the pitch or its preparation.

Shorter deadlines are imposed on matches cancelled by teams to ensure that the council has a reasonable opportunity to check out the reason given for cancellation while the pitch is still reasonably fresh.

If you have cancelled your own booking before the game, a credit will be given providing:

  • you present your permit at the athletic stadium at least 2 days before the game.

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Bedford Borough is a vibrant area to live in with an abundance of leisure opportunities for residents and visitors. We pride ourselves on offering a fantastic programme of cultural events throughout the year, and providing a wide range of affordable health opportunities, through our quality parks, award winning leisure centres and sports development work.

 


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