3G pitch

Dorset FA Statement: Footwear on the County Ground 3G pitch

A statement from Roger Vaughan, CEO Dorset County Football Association

In June 2023, the Dorset County FA at considerable cost to the organisation undertook works at the County Ground to resurface the 3G pitch, to ensure that all users had a high quality surface on which to train and play on.

As part of the resurface the pitch is under a new warranty and to ensure that the pitch remains in the best condition and to protect its longevity certain protocols need to be followed to ensure the pitch meets its obligations under the warranty. One of those conditions is that the correct footwear is worn on the pitch to prevent damage to the playing surface. 

All hirers of the pitch are required to sign our Terms and Conditions of Hire and are issued with footwear guidance which clearly shows the type of footwear which is prohibited from being used on the pitch. It is the Hirers responsibility to ensure that everyone associated with their booking (which includes the Away team in the case of matchplay) is made aware of all the rules that need to be followed especially in relation to the correct footwear. Signage at the entrance to the pitch also clearly shows those items of footwear which are prohibited from being used on the pitch.

As a secondary measure Dorset FA staff regularly inspect the footwear of users to ensure it meets our strict footwear regulations. If users are found to be on the pitch wearing the incorrect footwear then we reserve the right to ask users to remove themselves from the pitch until they are wearing the correct footwear. Dorset FA Staff also act to prevent people from entering the pitch who are not wearing the correct footwear. 

Over recent months Staff are continually being challenged by users of the facility on the footwear guidance, with several incidence of users becoming more confrontational towards staff because they are not being allowed on the pitch or are being asked to leave the pitch due to wearing the incorrect footwear.

Under no circumstance will I tolerate staff being constantly challenged and in some cases verbally abused when asking users to remove themselves from the pitch due to not meeting the footwear requirements. This is totally unacceptable and we have now come to the point where clubs/teams/coaches/players that continue to infringe the footwear rules or abuse staff will have their bookings at the County Ground revoked with immediate effect. We do not want to take this course of action but unless the situation is addressed and users respect the pitch by wearing the correct footwear then we will have no option to ensure that the pitch surface is protected and that it can continue to meet the highest performance quality standard.

Roger Vaughan, CEO, Dorset County Football Association