Pensacola Youth Soccer Inclement Weather Policy

Revised August 21, 2019

The safety of our players, officials, spectators and families is of paramount importance. In the event of inclement weather, it is the responsibility of our coaches, referees and league officials to ensure that everyone on and off the field of play follows this weather-related policy.

This policy shall be communicated to all Pensacola Youth Soccer participants at the start of each season, as well as posted on the league website.

Lightning

Lightning is the No. 2 weather-related cause of death in the United States. (Behind floods.) Location supervisors shall have absolute authority to halt practices or games due to lightning, should a coach or referee not already have done so.

Practices and games should be halted and participants should seek shelter immediately — either in a fixed structure or in a vehicle, not under trees — if lightning is determined to be as close as 6 miles from a playing field. Such determination may be made by a lightning detector device or service, a weather app on a phone, or, if necessary, by visual/audible estimate — the “30/30 rule.”

The basic principle of the “30/30 rule” is this: If lightning is seen visually and thunder is heard within 30 seconds, it’s within 6 miles of your location and play should be halted and shelter sought. Play should not start again until no lightning has been seen or thunder heard at least 30 minutes after the last instance.

Referees, coaches and league officials should err on the side of caution.

If more than a single field is in use, location supervisors shall employ three blasts from an air horn (or equivalent device) to alert players, coaches and spectators that play is to be halted and shelter should be sought. Location supervisors should then quickly confirm that fields have been vacated.

Play will not resume until no lightning has been detected for a minimum of 30 minutes. Any subsequent lightning strike or sound of thunder after the beginning of the 30-minute count shall reset the clock, and another count shall begin before activity may resume on the playing fields.

Practices and clinics

In the event of rain, the decision to begin or continue practice or clinic resides with the team or clinic coach.

Soccer is an all-weather sport. So long as field conditions support safe play, we can practice in the rain. A location supervisor or referee also may deem a field to be unplayable, and that decision may supersede that of a coach.

In the event that practices are canceled before their start time, we will make every effort to alert our parents and players via all methods available to us, including by phone, email, text message and social media.

That said, we are a recreational soccer league, and such decisions may tend to fall on the conservative side of things.

Games and tournaments

Every effort will be made to play games as scheduled. However, referees, location supervisors or league directors may declare conditions unplayable if the safety of players, coaches and spectators is in question.

If a game underway must be halted, players and spectators should clear the field and seek immediate shelter, either under a fixed structure, or in a vehicle.

If there is a WetBulb Globe Temperature of 92 or higher at a given location, practices and games shall be postponed, or suspended if already underway.

If a game is canceled before it begins, we will attempt to reschedule, if possible. If a game is halted, it may be rescheduled (or not) at the discretion of the league administrators.