Our new inclement-weather policy

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“If you don’t like the weather in Pensacola, just wait a few minutes.” That’s certainly true this time of year, when we can go from 90-degree-plus temperatures to a monsoon in just a few minutes. Toss in some lightning and wind and everything else Mother Nature likes to throw at us, and things can get real bad, real fast.

It is for that reason that we needed to codify our policy for what happens in the event of inclement weather. As always, the safety of our players, their parents and anyone else involved with Pensacola Youth Soccer is our No. 1 priority. We’re all out here to have fun, to learn, and to stay active. We’ll play in the rain, but we won’t play when it’s unsafe.

You can read our more comprehensive weather policy here, but these are the broad strokes:

  • Rain is fine, so long as the fields are safe and playable. If they’re not, we’ll communicate cancellations as early as possible, via all the methods at our disposal.

  • But as always, check with your coach first.

  • We take the threat of lightning extremely seriously. We’ve adopted what’s known as the “30/30 rule.” If lightning is seen and thunder heard within 30 seconds, that means it’s within about 6 miles and it’s time to get off the field. We won’t go back out until no lightning has been detected for 30 minutes. That may well cause cancellations, or at the very least delays. But we’re not messing around with lightning.

  • Heat and hydration always are a concern. The new standard for when it’s unsafe to play is taken from the “wet bulb globe temperature.” It’s a better indicator than the heat index and takes other factors into consideration. If the WBGT reaches 92 (which is not the same as a thermometer reading 92 degrees), we’ll not play or practice.

  • Referees, coaches and other league officials have the authority to halt practices or games due to weather and should err on the side of caution.

We’ll revise our weather policy as needed and communicate the changes when we do so. If you’ve got any questions about it, or suggestions for how we could improve it, don’t hesitate to let us know.

Phil Nickinson