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.
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
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.