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Inclement Weather Policy

PLAYER SAFETY AND INJURY PREVENTION DRIVE ALL WEATHER-RELATED DECISIONS

Weather is unpredictable. At times very small clouds that appear to cover only a few square blocks on the radar may dump heavy rain on the complex and be accompanied by lighting or it may be pouring at your house and dry at the complex (it happens, making weather decisions difficult). You should contact your coach if you have questions about whether practice is on or not or check GYSA’s website.

  • Lightning is the #1 weather-related danger when storms are near, but poor field conditions from rain can also create an unsafe playing surface depending on the amount of accumulated rainfall over a period of hours or days. See Lightning Safety Outdoors.

    • If lightning strikes within 6-10 miles of the complex, a lighting delay will be initiated. Play or practices will be postponed until no strike has occurred within a 10 mile radius for the preceding 30-minutes minimum. A distance "range" is used because the severity of the storm and the speed and direction it is traveling are taken into consideration, but safety is ALWAYS the PRIORITY. After the first or second lightning delay, the complex/officials may or may not make the decision to cancel or reschedule a game or practice. 

  • Rainfall. Soccer is an all-weather sport. Unless there is a safety concern such as lighting or unsafe field conditions, games will likely be played. During the season, hundreds of games are scheduled each weekend and rescheduling a full-days slate of games is difficult. Games will not be canceled for light showers or uncomfortable temperatures (hot or cold).

    • If a referee stops play for weather, you must get off the field and seek shelter as quickly as possible. A dangerous storm could be coming in quickly!

    • DO NOT LEAVE THE COMPLEX...stay in communication with your coach for updates. You can also monitor GYSA’s website.

    • Wait for the all clear before returning to the field.

    • Typical lightning delays may run from 15-30 minutes (maybe longer) depending on the severity of the situation.

    • If there has been enough accumulated rainfall, a game or practice may be canceled or postponed to avoid injury or excessive wear and tear on the fields.

  • Dust Storm/Haboob

    • Haboobs (also called dust storms) are unexpected, unpredictable and can sweep across Arizona's desert landscape at any time. You can endure these brief but powerful windstorms if you know how to react.

    • In the event of a dust storm, seek shelter in your vehicle and wait for notification regarding cancellations.

  • Heat

    • Soccer in Arizona is sometimes played under extreme heat conditions. Coaches, Referees and Parents should be aware of signs of trouble when players are not properly hydrated under these conditions. When temperatures and humidity rise above normal levels, the potential for risk arises. Be aware of these dangers and be prepared to stop or delay games (or practices) to ensure proper hydration. The proper and continued hydration of players and volunteers is essential starting at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled event. Sunscreen of appropriate strength should be applied frequently.

      • If the temperature is expected to be or reaches over 108 degrees matches and training may be canceled.

      • If the temperature is expected to be or reaches over 105 degrees matches and training may be adjusted to allow for more hydration and rest.

Postponing or rescheduling games is a major decision that potentially affects every team. Club officials use a combination of weather forecasts and the visual observations of referees and club officials on site to make the final decision. If it is deemed safe to play, games will resume. If not, expect a delay or cancellation.

You can do your part by understanding this policy, remaining calm and patient and helping us keep players safe. Please trust and respect the decisions of the complex officials.


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