Football League Response
Groundsman of the Year Award
It may be useful if I explain the processes that referees and clubs follw which determine the shortlist of clubs in each division. Referees mark each pitch on a game by game process using a five point scale throughout the season. Towards the end of the season clubs are asked to nominate the three clubs in their division whose pitch has most impressed their managers and players. These two elements are very much the verdicts of the users of the pitches, ie the referees and players. They may not be turf grass experts but can compare on a game by game basis the quality of the pitches. Referees are given some advice to mark the pitch and not the stadium and are asked to consider:
- Grass cover - height of cut etc
- The run of the ball
- Whether the pitch 'kicks out' and creates divots
- Worn areas and any other problems ie waterlogging
Following these comments Dr Steve Baker of the STRI compiles his shortlist for each Division which is ratified by the Playing Surfaces Committeee prior to the judging period. It is after this stage that the groundsmanship skills are fully considered; a copy is enclosed for information (below).
In summary the Playing Surfaces Committee, at the moment, consider that our procedures are effective. Initial selections are based on a user viewpoint, a more considered judgement is based on groundsmanship skills. You will be aware that both the STRI and Institute of Groundsmanship are represented on the Playing Surfaces Committee by Dr Steve Baker and Carl Pass respectively, they provide the expert support and advice to the Committee.
Nevertheless, I'm sure your letter will be of interest and I will include details of our correspondence within the Agenda of the April Playing Surfaces Committee meeting .
Jim Ashworth, National Group Manager for the playing Surfaces Committee.
Groundsman of the Year 2002/03
Groundsmanship skills to be considered by the Judges
1 EFFECTIVE USE OF MANPOWER AND MATERIAL RESOURCES
An assessment of the relative financial and equipment resources that are available to the groundsman at his club, and his effective use of them.
2 MAINTENANCE AND USE OF MACHINERY
An assessment of the groundsman's technical knowledge related to available equipment and it's safe, effective use.
An assessment of the manner in which such high capital equipment is stored, maintained and serviced.
3 USE OF MATERIALS
An assessment of the groundsman's awareness of available chemicals, fertilizers and other consumable materials.
An assessment of the manner in which such materials are procured, stored and used taking into account H&S considerations.
4 PRESENTATION AND HOUSEKEEPING STANDARDS
An assessment of the groundsman's approach to visual standards of pitch presentation and the general presentation of the storage and workshop areas under his control.
5 TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE
An assessment of the groundsman's technical knowledge related to the science of turfculture and his awareness of technical issues and developments within the profession.
6 MANAGEMENT OF COMPROMISE
An assessment of the groundsman's ability to establish an effective compromise between the highest standard of pitch presentation and the demands of the user from a practical and commercial point of view.
7 SCOPE OF OPERATIONS
An assessment of the extent of the groundsman's role in maintaining not only the principal sporting surface(s) but also any other additional pitches and permanent facilities under his control.
8 MANAGEMENT SKILLS
An assessment of the groundsman's awareness of budgets, financial implications, personnel control, planning, Health and Safety and other management isues.