SAD FAREWELL TO ARTHUR CUNNINGHAM

In a sad period of time when our nation is losing so many people to Coronavirus, it brings home the pain ever more when a dear soul is taken from our community. Arthur Cunningham lost his short fight with this blight upon the world, just as his blossoming England  career for the over 70s was taking off. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

RIP

Celebrating 6 years of walking football - an insight and journey expose of my endeavours and experiences, a lid lifting, warts and all e-book of trials and tribulations, tears and tantrums. Available this summer. For anyone interested in the game it's a best cellar.

Walking Football United: Any contributions, anecdotes, insights from the community will be considered for publication. If you have been part and parcel of my involvement in any capacity you are encouraged to add meat to the bone. If you've been sworn at by a referee, fouled by your own keeper, threatened, bullied, harassed, harshly stared at by your mum at a match or would just love to big me up in a foreword - drop us a line at stevewrich@hotmail.com - all contributions will have the option of anonymity. Only the truth will get out there.

SAME GAME - DIFFERENT NAME

Unquestionably, competitive walking football participants want the one unified set of rules so that they can readily play the very same game at any location up and down the country. No other sport is played so differently at any two locations, but in the walking game the rules can vary from one place to even nearest neighbours, and that is not preferable.
With the FA and the WFA producing their own Laws Of The Game, with many differences, it appears evident that no compromises will be met in the foreseeable future. That does not bode well for the tournament journeyperson.
After careful deliberation, having successfully produced the game’s first set of competitive rules back in 2014, here is such a compromise that will best serve the community. Turning official heads may prove to be more difficult.

THE FA
•    Drop the pitch being comprised of two halves. Most WF games are played without such, and frankly is the halfway line really necessary in our game?
•    State that the game is non-contact, even in spite that it is challenging, and that contact is inevitable. It removes any doubt from players that they may apply their own interpretation of minimal contact on an opponent. Wide is the gulf of interpretation from one player, one ref, to another, and makes for an easier game to control for referees.
•    Abolish the pass back rule. It’s derived for the quicker, younger aged small sided football game. Players should be able to make the one back pass, with a warning given on the second, and a free kick against on the third occasion where the ball hasn’t advanced.
•    More emphasis on tackling from behind.
•    Entering or exiting the area (for keepers) by momentum is accepted.
•    Clarify the sin bin duration for event organisers based upon the 10% game time tariff.
•    Award a corner for an attacking team if the goalkeeper saves the ball and it goes above the height restriction and over the goal line.
•    Abolish the one-step penalty. It is unworkable.
•    Infringed penalties are not rewarded with a re-take.
•    Put in place specific rules around pitches with barriers for health and safety measures.

THE WFA
•    The penalty area line separates two playing zones and should remain a neutral playing area from either side until the ball is determined in one or the other.
•    The ball exceeding the height restriction is dead in all circumstances except when it drops into the goal goes against the principle of having a height restriction. It cannot be dead and then alive. This needs abolishing.
•    Kick-in procedures must have the ball on the line at the point where it crossed from in-play to out of play. Behind the line could imply that the ball can be played on a line back from the point of crossing up to any distance, which is not credible.
•    With difficulties for players and referees to effectively manage the core principle motor coordination of the one-step penalty itself, this is further compounded when all static kicks are required to follow the same procedure. More complexity and unnecessary.
•    In a game where exerted projectile force is its very essence, putting a subjective limitation on the velocity of the ball is nonsensical and unrealistic.
•    The two-minute sin bin needs increasing for matches of longer lengths. 10% factor.
•    Drop balls in any football format should not be contestable. Award the ball on the bounce to the team in possession, not guilty, team of who’s half of the pitch it is, or back to the nearest keeper. Asking players to kick at the ball and potentially each other is not in the best interests of the players.
•    Goals can be scored directly from the corner if attempted or deflected.
•    Penalties that are infringed are not re-taken (not mentioned.)
•    Pass back criteria needs applying. Once is acceptable, twice a warning and thrice is a free kick against.

With concessions and mutual respective cooperation, the rule changes above are do-able, easy to adapt and apply, and will give the competitive player the one unified set of Laws for any location within England. Having two distinctively differing sets of rules is just simply not appropriate for our game.
 

NATIONAL TOURNAMENT 
ROLL OF HONOUR

50+

60+

65+

2014  Leggy Mambos           

2015  Leggy Mambos

2016  Herne Bay                   Hartshill Strollers

2019  Pele's Pearls               Redcar Strollers           Leggy Mambos                        

Hall Of Famers

Vic Vaines, Chris Humphries

ADDITION TO HALL OF FAME

Eddie Gibson is the latest inductee into the Hall Of Fame. His deserved inclusion is for his passion, commitment and longevity towards Leeds Titans WFC, his enthusiastic and dedicated work with his Farrah Rose tournament and his organisational expertise with the Northern Premier League. Eddie also co-ordinates the hugely successful Inter-League tournament featuring the top four sides in north, south and Welsh regional leagues. 

IAN HENRY 2019 WFU WALKING FOOTBALL PERSONALITY
OF THE YEAR

This year has been relatively easy in proclaiming that Ian Henry (walkingfootball.com) is the most deserving candidate for this small honour - bestowed upon him for his huge commitment to the game, support and loyalty to those he respects, and his passion and drive for producing the game's major information portal. In a difficult, stressful and emotional year for Ian, we hope for a better year to come. Now to arrange his presentation. Well done, Ian.

Two legends of the games and a

large lump of silver

Proud supporter of