herald

Thursday 31 July 2014

Blanket cancellations are history

BLANKET Dublin GAA call-offs have been put in the sin bin ... for good, writes NIALL SCULLY.

That's the firm message from the county fixture master, John McNicholas.

In times gone by, severe weather would often see the newspaper notice – 'All Dublin GAA matches off this weekend'.

But the advent of the all-weather pitches has changed the climate, as John explains.

"Take the recent weekend of the Ireland-England rugby international. The weather was dreadful. Yet, of 102 games fixed for that weekend, we got 69 of them played. That was a very good return, considering the very wet weather we had been experiencing.

"Some of these games were moved from grass pitches to all-weather surfaces. The throw-in times were tweaked by agreement of the teams involved. These clubs just want to play rather than miss out on matches," insists John.

And going the extra yard to play, despite what the elements bring, is now the preferred option.

"The days of the blanket call-offs are over," declares John.

"The growing number of all-weather pitches means that, despite the weather, many fixtures can still be played. The only exception would be snow!"

Otherwise, the show goes on.

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