This document defines the protocols to be followed by users to ensure a consistent approach to the use and protection of club assets at Kendal Uniteds Castle Drive facility.


Castle Drive pitches comprise one 11v11 pitch and one 9v9 pitch which are shared by all teams in the club. The 11v11 pitch standard is rated ’Basic’ by the Grounds Management Association and it commenced a 6-year improvement programme in 2021, while the 9v9 pitch standard is rated ‘Good’ and is maintained by the club to that condition. The pitches have no physical drainage installed and while the pitches drain reasonably well, drainage is affected by a raised water table in the winter months and pitches can remain soft for some time after prolonged or heavy rain. This section of the document lays out the protocols to be applied by all teams using pitches at Castle Drive.

Managers are responsible for applying these protocols when using Castle Drive pitches

  • Managers are responsible for guiding visiting teams in use of the pitch areas to ensure compliance with these protocols. This should be briefed on arrival.
  • Warm up areas with no restriction on use include the triangle and the area behind the 11v11 goal castle side and these areas should be first choice. Where necessary, pitches may be used for pre-match warm up, but only if conditions allow and where the activity will not impact the pitch being used. At no time should pitches be used for repetitive activities such as shuttle runs, these should always take place on the unrestricted sections.
  • No spectators are allowed on pitches at any time. Damage to pitches by standing spectators is usually severe, happens in a short time and has a lasting impact. Spectators should be encouraged to follow signage to the approved spectator areas behind the wooden barriers.
  • In wet conditions, technical areas for 7v7 matches should avoid the area between the two pitches and be located at the triangle end or castle end of the associated pitch. This will avoid damage to the centre area when both 7v7 pitches are configured as a 9v9 pitch.
  • On wet days, a pitch inspection must be carried out to assess if a pitch will suffer unacceptable damage if played on. Forecast rain during the scheduled time for a match is also a major consideration. Pitches can be easily damaged in wet conditions and are much harder to recover in winter months, making this an important assessment.
  • Pitch inspections must include representation from the volunteer ground staff. This will provide some independent level of insurance against matches being played when inappropriate.
  • Leagues can impose requirements on clubs to provide a playing surface of a certain standard. This currently applies to First Team home matches on the 11v11, so any use of the 11v11 on First Team match days must be sanctioned by volunteer ground staff on the day, with the youngest teams prioritised for use of the selected area.
  • It’s expected that the 11v11 pitch will experience noticeable wear as the season progresses due to its use by open aged and final season youth teams. When setting up junior sized pitches on the 11v11 pitch, areas showing obvious wear must be avoided. If in doubt, contact the volunteer ground staff.
  • Junior teams may be asked to move kick-off times on occasion, where doing so would allow better management of the pitches at busy times.
  • Dog owners attending Castle Drive to be advised when necessary that dogs must remain in the vicinity of the clubhouse at all times and not to encroach onto pitches or any warm-up area. This is in line with the SLDC exclusion order displayed on signage at the entrance to the club, with a credible risk of them fining owners for non-compliance.
  • Managers are responsible for ensuring the pitch is lined prior to their match. Lining equipment is held in the shed, key in the shipping container.
  • Managers are responsible for setting up appropriate respect barriers when required in line with FA or league regulations. In most cases junior matches can use the wooden fences for this purpose.


While Home and Away changing rooms are for use by all teams in the club, availability may be limited on some match days. This section of the document lays out the protocols to be applied by all teams using Castle Drive changing rooms to ensure desired standards are maintained.

Managers are responsible for applying these protocols when using Castle Drive changing rooms.

  • Provision of changing rooms are compulsory in some leagues, and this is the case for our First and Reserve teams. These teams will therefore have priority use of the changing rooms on Saturday or mid-week match days.
  • FA regulations state that we must provide changing room facilities for girls playing at Castle Drive. Girls’ teams will therefore have priority use of the changing rooms on Sundays.
  • Changing rooms must be emptied and left clean and tidy after use, ready for subsequent users. Deep cleaning is carried out mid-week by a dedicated cleaner.
  • No equipment is to be stored in the changing rooms other than in the approved containers provided by the club.
  • Managers will inspect Home and Awaychanging rooms after use and report any damage or maintenance requirements observed.
  • Last person out the clubhouse will be responsible for checking clubhouse lights are off and all clubhouse and outbuilding doors are locked.


When not staffed, teams are encouraged to use the kiosk and provisions by prior arrangement.

All proceeds to go to the club, where they are used to improve equipment and facilities for all teams.


Ian Postlethwaite (consultant), Phil Horner & Stefan Grabek (GMA Level 1 Football Grounds Maintenance), Richard Close.