Welcome to the Official Home Page of the ACFL Field Czar. Do not try to contact him. You can't see him and you can't talk to him. Trust us, he's busy. When it becomes necessary for him to contact you, you will know. If he decrees essential information unto the players of the ACFL, you'll know that to. Otherwise, don't even bother.
These are the
subjects the Field Czar wishes to cover on his home page:
Introduction to Field Use:
Your topics, my loyal subjects:
"Good question my cherub. Getting a field is easy. I've done it in my hometown of Dumont (again, no contact please) several times over. And it is worth the little bit of effort because all my games are nearby as a result.
Here's what I suggest:
your boro hall, town hall, municipal building -- whoever you call.
The people you call when you want to know what day is bottles and cans. Them. And say, "Hello, my name is (state your name). I'm a resident in town and I'd like to join a local football league, but I need to secure a home field for my home games. Can you tell me the process for obtaining a field permit?"
Now that was pretty easy, my subjects. I hope you're all with me so far. Now from here several things can happen. (Keep in mind this is the most dangerous part of the process because you've just asked someone in government produce a lucid response on their own.) Here's where this can go, people:
1. They'll direct you to someone else to call. To which you say, "Thank you very much, have a nice day." Always be polite. It will probably be another town official, like a recreation commissioner or a park ranger or something. (Like I know your town...) OR:
2. They'll tell you to come down to obtain the paperwork. That means you have a shot. Not bad for a beginner like you. You may be pressed to go there during the day. (Now pay attention.) You might want it faxed to you. But remember! You're speaking with a government official. Never ask them to do anything! You say, "Is there someone there who might fax me the necessary paperwork as my job prevents me from getting there during the day." It's just as good as asking that person directly, but they are much less likely to say no for some reason. Must be a law. OR:
3. They'll say "What field did you have in mind?" This is good because that means you actually have a legitimate shot. Well...don't look at me...you better have a field in mind. OR:
4. They'll say, "No. No one in town likes you. We hoped you were calling to say you're moving." That is about the only response they can give you that's a flat out "no" before you start.
Fill out the paperwork. There are really two forms you'll get. A Permit Request form and a Hold Harmless form. You may not know all the answers, but contact the league officials. They will. You also need a Certificate of Insurance. That's where I come in. I'll get you one. Just call us at 201-767-6054. You may want to write that down. No, I don't have a pen you could borrow.
Submit the paperwork. Either by fax, mail or in person. Seems pretty self explanatory.
I ask you. Could anything be easier? Or are you going to complain about having to travel every week? Get a field. Save money ($100 off the registration fee!), play close to home. Like me. PLUS, having a field in your area will help the league attract more teams in your area and that means even more games for you in your area -- eventually perhaps your own regional division."
2. Oh Mighty Field Czar, another query: Are games ever cancelled due to weather events?
"Not to be misleading my son, but the strict answer to your question is: no. No game has ever been "cancelled" in the ACFL due to weather. They are merely postponed to a later mutual date. (Exact words, Greg.) We do have weather postponements. Here's why: The first reason is safety. Your league coordinators are obligated to provide some "rationality" and general concern for players when it comes to letting people play during our permitted times. We must make a responsible decision regarding the playing fields before every set of games. Plus I have a special bond with the earth and I am, as Field Czar, it's protector.
We have to respect the fields on which we play. They are not just for us during the hours in which we play but also for everyone at all other hours. Therefore we feel obligated to keep them in good shape. Moreover, we are "permitted" to play on fields when they are in good condition. We have no agreement that allows us to use the field during conditions that might cause the field to be ripped up, like in sopping wet conditions from rain. That permit does not exist. Use in such would actually void our permits in most cases.
Aside from rain, there are three other primary weather-related events that could cause a cancellation. If we experience a heavy snow that melts in a short amount of time, that could theoretically have the same effects as a heavy rainfall. Also, we do play in snow. In nearly all cases. But playing on it causes it to be packed down underneath, which actually turns it to ice. Occassionally a good rain will remove the snow layer and reveal a solid sheet of ice spread across the field. The ice will only exist on the playing field and not where the snow wasn't compacted! You may notice that after a snowfall melts, you'll sometimes see footprints of ice that remain from where the frozen water (snow) was compacted. Same meteorological principle. This is why we ban vehicles from flattening the snow in cases of heavy snowfall (Darylle!). The only other time for possible postponement is when it snows heavily the night/morning before and there hasn't been sufficient time for clearing the streets. No one needs to play THAT badly that we should travel on unsafe roads."
3. Please, our fair and fruitful Field Czar, we ask of you: How can we keep these fields once we have them.
"You are wise to ask this of me. If you have secured a field, you are in a way, a mini field czar. Now I'm not bestowing any of my power unto you so don't get a big head. And you noticed, you're in lower case. You can help though by calling in the day before to alert us to field conditions in questionable weather, either good or bad.
You can make sure the paperwork is up to date and that for the first few weeks you are there with a copy of the permit should the police authorities question what is taking place here as they have a custom of doing.
But the best thing I can tell you to maintain your good standing with the boro officials is to keep it clean. If you've been in the league for long you know we stress this above all else. It is every coach's responsibility to make sure his team leaves with all the bottles, tape, ripped shirts, etc. that they came with. Also, no excessive noise or horseplay. We cannot have people blaring their systems or screaming unnecessarily on a Sunday morning in a residential area.
No excessive noise or horseplay.
THAT IS DEFINITELY GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL.
This, and not playing when it soaked, are the best ways to maintain a longstanding relationship with the boro and not have them chase you and your family out of town in the middle of the night.
Respect your field.
Did you know that in Japan they bow before taking the field as a show of respect for the
field and do not spit on it for fear of showing it a lack of respect. I'm obsolving you of
having to go that far, but have a little respect! Treat it like it's in your backyard.
Now please, I grow so weary of your bothersome questions. I hope I have been of some help. Go get your field paperwork, fill it out, submit it, call us if you need anything and we look forward to sheduling your home games! And, you'll be helping the league to which we all say, "Thank you."
The Mighty and Benevolent Field Czar has thusly spoken. Go forth and take heed my words.
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