MARTHA BRAE, Trelawny — The daCosta Cup committee of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) is working with a handful of high schools in a bid to get football surfaces up to a standard that is acceptable.
With the resumption of the full-fledged schedule of games for the first time since the 2019 season, and with schools hosting games, the perennial problem of games being postponed or points being awarded because of issues with fields has again reared its head.
Already this season, Anchovy High in St James had to forfeit their home game in Zone A to Green Pond High, while games to be hosted by Maldon High and Yallahs High have also been postponed.
Linvern Wright, chairman of the daCosta Cup committee, said the organisation was "working with the principals" of some schools with substandard fields. He noted there are plans in place to play those matches at alternative venues if the situation cannot be improved in a reasonable time.
"We are in discussions with the principals but the fact is that some schools have a challenge in funding field upgrades and we are trying to get alternate venues, but as we speak we are in discussions with all three," Wright told the Jamaica Observer on Wednesday.
Wright, who is also the principal of William Knibb Memorial, said organisers did some pre-season field inspections.
"We did some of that but the truth is that one or two missed us. We had some issues with Christiana High as well but that was sorted out."
He said Maldon, situated in rural southern St James, had work done on its field in the pre-season.
"The referees also did an inspection but we still had some issues afterwards," he said.
"We are working with the principals and as you might appreciate, repairing a field is a big thing and we are really trying not to ignore players' safety and we will have some date changes for one or two of the games," he explained.
Over 80 schools started the daCosta Cup competition this year and with teams responsible for hosting first-round games.
There was no instance of poor fields causing postponements last season as the modified schedule meant games were played at select venues with better playing surfaces.
— Paul A Reid