Inclement Weather

Soccer in Inclement Weather

CSA Lighting Policy

With the number of thunderstorms that occur in the summer, we need to be clear on the Club's approach to cancelling, delaying or calling games due to thunderstorms. Please make sure that all coaches are aware of this procedure.

First, please remember that it is the Referee's responsibility to control the game and ensure that the players are safe. This includes cancelling, pausing or stopping a game because of weather. The Referees have been instructed about the Ontario Soccer Association position on dealing with adverse weather. It is:

Use the Flash to Bang method to monitor lightning for evacuation of the playing field to a safer environment. With this method the seconds are counted from the time a flash of lightning is seen until a clap of thunder is heard. When this number is 30 seconds or less, evacuation of the field should get under way. Lightning awareness should begin with the first flash of lightning seen or thunder clap heard.

Large enclosed structures (substantially constructed buildings) tend to be much safer than smaller or open structures. If the game is inside a stadium, encourage all players and coaches to go to the dressing rooms. If however, such a building is not available, fully enclosed vehicles such as cars, trucks, buses, vans, fully enclosed farm vehicles, etc. with the windows rolled up provide good shelter from lightning. Never stand under trees, in an open field or under an umbrella.

The game should not be restarted until 30 minutes after the last clasp of thunder was heard or the last flash of lightning was seen.

If thunderstorms are forecast for game-time, both coaches should meet with the referee before the kick off and ensure agreement on a plan to deal with the possibility of thunderstorms. This plan should include an agreement that if there is thunder, the two coaches will consult. If they agree that the conditions warrant stopping play, they should call to the Referee asking for stoppage due to weather. Both coaches must agree to have a game cancelled. The Referee may stop play on his/her own for adverse weather.

If play is stopped due to weather:

  • Coaches should ensure that everyone leaves the field of play as quickly as possible to a safe area.
  • Do not shelter under a tree or remain on the field. The closest safe place is usually inside a vehicle.
  • Do not remove the nets from the goalposts during a thunderstorm - wait it out and then put the equipment away.
  • Games called or cancelled will not be re-scheduled.
  • For the purposes of standings, where a game is called and there has been more than two thirds of the game played, the score at the time the game is called should stand.
  • If there has been is less than two thirds of the game played or the game was not started, a score of nil-nil should be recorded.