Following on from the email from Stuart Balloch on Saturday 3 June, it has become apparent that clubs are allowing potentially hazardous objects onto the playing field, particularly in senior football.
Coaching equipment, in particular coaches boards/easels, scaffolds, massage tables, carts, milk crates, wheelie bins, water bottle holders and other items are growing in number in their appearance at the interchange benches and are subsequently creeping towards the boundary line.
These items present a risk to the health and safety of players, especially if a player is tackled/bumped/flung and collides with one of these items.
Any item that cannot fit onto the players bench should not be inside the fence. For grounds that do not have a fence these grounds should have a secondary line 5m from the boundary line in which no person or object may encroach.
Umpires have been advised that any game that features an item inside the fence that may pose a risk to the health and safety of any participant is not to start/recommence until the hazard has been removed. If any club official refuses to comply with this request to remove any item, the umpire has the power to abandon the match.
I take the opportunity to remind clubs that all interchange areas should have a coaches box line marked which players and officials are restricted to, to ensure there is no encroachment towards the boundary line.