A Groundsman’s Terminology A-Z

Assistance – Help given to a groundsman by playing members of Heaven C.C. Not applicable on Planet Earth.

Bald Growth Coefficient – The direct ratio between the length of newly seeded grass and the length of the groundsman’s hair. A coefficient greater than 4 suggests the need for mowing. A coefficient of less than 1 suggests the need for a haircut.

Chalky – Rhyming slang for a club member who just turns up and plays without ever offering to do anything pre-or post match. (Chalky White = parasite).

Dribble – The standard SI unit of measurement for sprinkler water pressure. SCC has an average of 0.1 dribbles per hour.

Ecosystem – The entire cornucopia of animal and plant life that lives under a groundman’s fingernails.

Grodour – The heady aroma permanently wafting throughout a groundsman’s car – a mixture, in equal measures, of petrol, stale grass, damp socks and fertiliser.

Hole of Hell – A crevice the size of the Grand Canyon caused by those guilty of tapping their bats at the crease continually. Hell is where they will be going if I catch them…

IPFS – The Institute of Persistent Foot Scrapers. Members display the annoying habit of dragging their feet heavily whilst bowling, thus destroying a track for future use. National President of IPFS is Ollie Crees.

Jenkins Giant – The name given when a boundary is accidently marked out to such wide-reaching dimensions as to allow Huw to run a 3.

Kingpin Crisis – A term given to the trauma felt when, no matter how hard you hammer and twist and push, the middle stump is half an inch higher than the other two.

Leverock – The heaviest of heavy rollers, guaranteed to flatten any pitch. Named after the legendary Bermudan cricketer.

Muddsterstartler – A wicket of immense turning proportions, allowing Mr Waters to spin one past the outside edge. Only seen once a season at most, and then only from one end.

NECEV – abbreviation for necessary evil – The groundsman’s name for the Junior Section. Lots of wickets. Lots of work. Lots of subscriptions.

Oracle – name given to master groundsman Mr James T Moon. Advice is often sought, but rarely given.

Poppins Perfect – A descriptive term for the organisational skills, appearance and general demeanour of Alison Harrison.

Quaint – a derogatory term used to describe a rustic ground with poor facilities and a terrible wicket (also see Eridge CC).

Rollrot – a medical condition affecting the groin area caused by too many hours on the roller.

Shed rage – worse than road rage. Displayed by a groundsman when someone else has been in his shed and removed or moved some piece of equipment.

Ted – Colloquial name given for a dusty wicket, named after the late presenter of the quiz show 3-2-1 and referring to its primary animated character.

Uncle – Rhyming slang for an under-prepared and poor-quality wicket (Uncle Tom Cobley = wobbly and bobbly).

Varylength – The official dimensions of a junior track – somewhere between 15 and 24 yards, depending on whether the groundsman can be arsed to mark it out correctly.

Woody Well – a deep hole of wishing well proportions found at square leg and caused by the point of Mr Paul Wood’s Shooting Stick.

XXXXX – Often used local groundsman’s dialect – “some xxxx has been riding bikes over my xxxxx square. If I xxxxxxx catch them then I’ll cut their xxxxxxx xxxx off”

Yoyo – A slang term for a wicket of unpredictable bounce – up and down.

Ziplip – An acquired groundsman’s skill – the ability to remain quiet and “not bite” when overhearing a player make disparaging remarks about the look of a lovingly prepared wicket.

The groundsman