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Alan Richards

Greater Manchester WF League - Autumn

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I'm commenting here as a player, and as a  club co-ordinator who entered two teams on behalf of our Group at Curzon Ashton F.C.- nickname 'The Nash' in today's first Autumn session.

The Nash Amblers and The Nash Bees competed in Divisions One and Three respectively,  and it was such  a good morning.  There was little  not to like.  Faces are becoming familiar...like the Fleetwood player not even in our Division who walked across two pitches to wish us a 'good tournament'.  The organisers have done a very good job with this competition.  the venue was resplendent in the September sunshine. 

We had mixed results, but both of our teams emerged with credit.  Some challenges ( probably some of ours too) were over physical but nothing 'excessive' that I saw , or experienced had me thinking this was anything other than  a positive experience.  It is far easier for a Referee  to decide what is  'excessive' under a 'non-contact' policy, than under a free for all rule that allows tackling and contact as a matter of course. I am sure the Referees will be reminded that 'no-contact' really  means 'hardly any contact at all'.

I stress I don't speak for all of our players, they will have their own experiences of course.

I played for The Bees, and yes, I'm still buzzing.  I can wait for the October round of fixtures because our internal games are enjoyable too, but this League programme is working really well.

Thanks to all who took part today...especially in Division Three... Wakefield Wanderers , Bolton 'B' and Bury 'Relics' - that's a misnomer if ever I've seen one. Good team. 

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Great to hear that yet another walking football comp is being well received.

However I feel the need to comment about non contact and it being easier for referees to penalise. Your support for no contact , in my opinion, is flawed as soon as you mention that it actually means some contact!

I am currently officiating in the LinxWF over 60s walking football league being played under FA Walking Football laws. I find it easy to penalise offenders using the careless, reckless and excessive force headings. We are having very few reckless challenges, no excessive force so far, but a number of careless. I class careless as use of upper body pressure, hands onto opposing players , any challenge at from behind.

The players are getting used to this and adapting accordingly. We can get this right, there is room for defenders in this game as well.

Great to discuss things and share opinions.

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For me 'minimal' contact means something approaching total contact will be tolerated. Whereas NO Contact means anything more than minimal contact will not  cut the  mustard with even the most lenient Referee.  I'm not a qualified Referee but I am strict. I sometimes find contact hard to spot and adjudicate on and the NO contact rule helps. It means in truth that you can penalise anything but use common sense in allowing play to flow when minor brushes or 'coming together's' occur.

I don't think this is rocket science and the choice of language used in the F.A. rules gives too much leeway for subjective interpretation

I am by nature sometimes anti-establishment and in this instance I don't think the current establishment for football has done a good job of legislating for our 'offshoot' of what they see as their game. I see it as the people's game  - walking football is the older person's game and as such requires certain safeguards.

I agree -  it's good to exchange views.

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