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In the first of this three-part series, I’m going to take a look at some of the most common sights that any Britballer worth their salt will have seen in their time. If you can’t relate to this article then you definitely still have a lot to learn, young Padawan.

VENUES

This is the very first thing you can suss out as the Bus driver (usually named Nigel) indicates into the entrance. First impressions can go a long way so this section gets you mentally lubed for what lies ahead. Below are all types of venue available in the entire UK that host Britball. If you’ve played somewhere other than these 4 places then I simply don’t believe you.

THE RUNDOWN RUGBY CLUB

Pic credit: google maps

We’ve all played here haven’t we! Possibly the most common site in the country to host our beautiful game. There’s usually some form of “Egg chasing” happening on one of the fields when you arrive and they all immediately hate you. They see your pads and consider you pussies or outsiders. Some may even hang around until kickoff with Guinness in hand just to turn their nose up at the whole affair. 

THE SPORTS COMPLEX

Pic Credit: surreysportspark.com

When you arrive it takes you 20 minutes to find everyone and figure out where you have to go. Hundreds of budding athletes flood the car park and reception area, parents and children alike. Swimmers, footballers & athletes of all sports make this quite a confusing place to organise what you’re doing but the facilities tend to be pretty good. 

THE OVERSIZED STADIUM

Pic Credit: Wikipedia

When you play a team that’s punching well above it’s weight with it’s venue, you naturally get jealous and take the piss. They have thousands of seats but only need about 50 max. It’s usually the best place to play and makes the game pics look that little bit cooler. If you’re lucky you are playing there because you’ve reached a final. Congrats. 

THE DERELICT FIELD

Pic Credit: Christine Johnstone

If the oversized stadium is the M&S of facilities then this is 100% the Poundland. The field is always an absolute trek away from that shed they call a changing room. Usually surrounded by woodland or a busy road it just stinks of Div 2. Usually, get a few chavs hanging around these parts sunbathing in their full Adidas tracksuits whilst blasting shit rap from a Bluetooth speaker. Watch out for dog shit, empty beer cans, and drug paraphernalia.

PLAYING SURFACES

Playing surfaces can vary up and down the country and can often impact our game plan. The different types of field require different footwear or studs to make the most out of it. If it’s anything but perfect it can be used as a good excuse for when you have an absolute stinker. Is it called a field or a pitch over here anyway? 

THE JUNGLE

Pic Credit: Wigantoday.net

This is the classic Britball gridiron. It’s not seen the underside of a lawnmower for weeks and if it has there’s always long patches of grass in random spots. It’s not flat at all, in fact, It’s got more humps than gangbang of camels. You just have to accept that you’re going to twist your ankle here at some point in one of the many holes or divots. 

This surface is nearly always accompanied by those wonky field lines. You can never complain about this though because some lovely selfless volunteer has done it in their own time. The problem is, it looks like some pissed-up clown just ran around with a paintbrush in one hand and a can of Special Brew in the other. Not the best surface by any means but it always serves as a friendly reminder that we are all just amateurs.

THE CONCRETE TUNDRA

Pic Credit: texastreetrimmers.com

Prepare for pain! It’s mid-July and you’ve not seen rain for weeks. Gameday rolls around and you just know the field is going to be rock hard. The grass is burnt to a crisp and you can see all the cracks in the dirt. A cloud of dust scatters with each meaningful footstep and it’s dryer than a popcorn fart. 

THE ALL-WEATHER

Pic Credit: dailyrecord.co.uk

Unfortunately, I can in no way relate this field to a fart, but at least it’s decent surface to play on. Everyone’s speed rating goes up by 2 points with the addition of the bouncy rubber crumb. The majority of people are cool with playing on 3G as you can count on it’s consistency. Just make sure to get all that rubber shite off your socks and shoes before you get home or mum will have a go. 

THE MUD BOWL

Pic Credit: shutterstock.com

Most players will either love or hate to play on a field like this. Most defences love it as you can tackle someone and then skid along the drenched turf for a solid 10 yards. Offences usually lean on their run game here and if the weather is bad it tends to be a low scoring affair (That’s if you’re not playing one of top sides). You’ll notice too that these fields are more common the further you travel north. Keep an eye out for that wrong’un on your team who still avoids the showers after full time. I always found that the feeling of winning in these conditions was turned up a few notches. Who cares if you look like a hippo coming out of the swamp if you’re bringing home that W! 

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