Lack of ball boys and girls ?

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Colin Appleton
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Lack of ball boys and girls ?

Post by Colin Appleton » Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:25 pm

Why don't we have any ? The amount of time wasted by opposition players retrieving the ball is unbelievable.
As is the case in this afternoon's match with Yeovil.



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Re: Lack of ball boys and girls ?

Post by barrowfan » Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:30 pm

I think it might be something to do with health and safety. A suggestion was made that if one of them gets injured by a flying ball the club would be liable.

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Re: Lack of ball boys and girls ?

Post by Time Lord » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:38 pm

Why does the club not ask some of the adults to help out in exchange for free admission :o

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spirit of 1990
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Re: Lack of ball boys and girls ?

Post by spirit of 1990 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:01 pm

barrowfan wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:30 pm
I think it might be something to do with health and safety. A suggestion was made that if one of them gets injured by a flying ball the club would be liable.
That’s exactly it....we suggested various options to “protect” the ball boys/girls two years ago but it always got knocked back. One excellent suggestion by Jonty was a proper foam type barrier that they could sit behind which also could be used as an advertising screen.

Crazy really, many many other clubs seem to manage.
We didn't underestimate them, we just didn't think they were that good.

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Re: Lack of ball boys and girls ?

Post by pjdaly » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:25 pm

Time Lord wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:38 pm
Why does the club not ask some of the adults to help out in exchange for free admission :o
This thread has been debated on here before . . . going back four or five years in fact, or however long it is now since a ball-child was last seen adjacent to our touchlines.

I did make the suggestion of having "ball adults" several years ago, youngish people in their 20's or 30's, thus avoiding the health and safety problems. Alas, unfortunately I took stick from some posters for the suggestion as apparently it must only be kids (there must be some universal law that I am not aware of that means highly competent adults are forbidden from, or incapable of, doing the job). "It's just not tradition, it's not the done thing". Ah, traditions can be seen as so sacrosanct! Perhaps we should still be feeding people to the lions?

I do agree that it would be preferable in many ways to have youngsters doing the job as it would be an enjoyable experience for them but, seeing as this health and safety issue continues to rule them out year after year after year then I would still like to see adults doing it rather than nobody at all. I very much agree that the time lost in retrieving balls is a joke at times. If we ever get VAR at our level to go with the ball retrieving delays then we might see 3 o'clock matches finishing at 5.10 one of these days. Fun.

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Re: Lack of ball boys and girls ?

Post by Jonty » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:02 pm

I did indeed research this after seeing Jason Walker jump over the HSE wall to retrieve the ball with the clock ticking away and we were losing. I got so frustrated at seeing 5 minutes game time lost every game waiting for players to retrieve a ball, usually the goalie having to walk to the corner flag, or the dugout taking an age to realise the ball wasn’t coming back after sailing over the HSE. I got in touch with Stockport County who were very helpful and gave me all the details needed to set up a ball boy scheme after having run a very successful scheme for years. The ballboys / girls there were made up of local Junior teams who had all applied to do the ball duties on match day. So successful/popular that it was done every game even cup and night games. The junior teams were essentially looked after for the day, with their manager, and a couple of parents volunteering to help. All the usual match day experience thing for the kids, photos with players, autographed Programme etc. A very successful scheme. Stockport were very helpful and even provided all the forms needed to get set up. All it needed was to get it up and running and coordinated this end and the green light to go. ...unfortunately it was It was turned down on a club H&S decision as the club did not want to accept liability for any injuries from players / balls clattering into the kids. I can understand that, so to reduce the risk, you can get two seater shelters from football stadia sites and the idea was to place those behind those “Toblerone” shape Lightweight advertising barriers that could have sat right in front of the shelters (and also be a pitch side sponsorship opportunity)..., but at that time the club did not want to pursue and it did not go any further. Fast forward to today, same issues with lost game time it seems.
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Re: Lack of ball boys and girls ?

Post by Barrowabc » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:10 pm

No offence jonty, but we won, I get your points and really don't see it changing to be truthful, but good effort my friend
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Re: Lack of ball boys and girls ?

Post by DaveC » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:47 pm

Both my lads were ballboys back in the day. They got soaked, heard bad language, got hit by the occasional ball and on extremely rare occasions came into contact with a player. They still wanted to return every game they could. Nothing would put them off.

I'd like to hear the reason that health and safety would stop a ballboy doing their duties, I for one can't think of a single occasion that endangered one of the kids.
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Re: Lack of ball boys and girls ?

Post by bigmac95 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:50 pm

I imagine that H&S is a convenient excuse and the more likely reason is that there is no appetite at the club to organise this.

Personally, I don't think it is that big of a deal.
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Re: Lack of ball boys and girls ?

Post by barrowfan » Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:24 pm

DaveC wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:47 pm
Both my lads were ballboys back in the day. They got soaked, heard bad language, got hit by the occasional ball and on extremely rare occasions came into contact with a player. They still wanted to return every game they could. Nothing would put them off.

I'd like to hear the reason that health and safety would stop a ballboy doing their duties, I for one can't think of a single occasion that endangered one of the kids.
I think that back in the day if a ball boy was hit by a flying ball they would just laugh about it and throw the ball back. They would probably do the same now but it could be parents or litigious lawyers lined up to make a claim against the club.
Unfortunately we now live in times where if anything like that happens it’s a case of who can be blamed and how much can we get?
Sad but true.

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Re: Lack of ball boys and girls ?

Post by Jameston1 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:11 am

Surely if parents were asked to sign a form stating that they agree the club will take no responsibility should a ball land on their son/daughter/child in the cares face then that would be enough to take any liability away from the club?
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Re: Lack of ball boys and girls ?

Post by spirit of 1990 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:26 am

Jameston1 wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:11 am
Surely if parents were asked to sign a form stating that they agree the club will take no responsibility should a ball land on their son/daughter/child in the cares face then that would be enough to take any liability away from the club?
When we were discussing this with the club two/three years ago I suggested the same, there was also the back-up of Jonty’s safety suggestions.
Not saying the decision to not allow it was down to one person - or even that person was wrong as it was their opinion but the club took that advice and knocked it back.
I think the other point was the club have to have someone to meet the ball boys/girls pre-match, look after them at HT and at the end of the game, that person also had to have all the right checks (not sure of it’s title) to allow them to look after children.
I personally don’t see anything there that can’t be worked around and it’s a bit of a shame that we can’t allow kids to take on this role.
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Re: Lack of ball boys and girls ?

Post by Suffolk Blue » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:31 am

Jameston1 wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:11 am
Surely if parents were asked to sign a form stating that they agree the club will take no responsibility should a ball land on their son/daughter/child in the cares face then that would be enough to take any liability away from the club?
I'm not sure that signing a form would make much difference legally as it wouldn't absolve the club of its liability based upon its duty of care. A bit like a disclaimer at ASDAs that says the company wont be responsible if one of their trolleys blows across the car park and hits your vehicle. This will not absolve the company of liability if the trolley has been left there by an ASDA employee or for example has been left standing for days without being collected. This is because you cannot contract out of a duty of care.

Having said that, I'm pretty sure most EFLs clubs still use "ball-boys". More Admin overhead than H&S I would guess.

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Re: Lack of ball boys and girls ?

Post by barrowfan » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:30 am

Suffolk Blue wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:31 am
Jameston1 wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:11 am
Surely if parents were asked to sign a form stating that they agree the club will take no responsibility should a ball land on their son/daughter/child in the cares face then that would be enough to take any liability away from the club?
I'm not sure that signing a form would make much difference legally as it wouldn't absolve the club of its liability based upon its duty of care.
Spot on. That is the legal position.

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Re: Lack of ball boys and girls ?

Post by walney rock » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:19 pm

Just supply them with a gum shields & let them get on with it 👌
Just my opinion

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