AYSA has a severe weather policy that enables us to cancel games if necessary. Generally, we cancel all games if we can see that there is an imminent threat of severe weather (thunderstorms, tornado warnings, etc.) by about 3:00 PM. We generally do not cancel games if it is raining or cold, unless we can see a reasonable threat of hypothermia. We sometimes make one decision for the games involving our youngest players, and a different decision for older players. We will post cancellation information on this web site.
This is an imperfect system. It is extremely difficult to make decisions at 3 PM for games that will be played up to four hours later. Sometimes conditions are very poor at individual game sites, or fields have not drained and are unsafe. Field coordinators or referees are always the final authority and are authorized to cancel games at the field if conditions are unsafe.
Coaches can also call a number after 3:30 PM to find out if games are canceled. We ask parents to refrain from calling as the phone system cannot handle the volume of calls if anyone other than coaches call. Coaches should then inform their players if games are canceled.
Referees are instructed to stop play if they see lightning or hear thunder that sounds close or threatening. Players, coaches, and spectators will be asked to leave the field and move to their vehicles. Generally, referees will suspend the game and ask teams to remain at the site until it is determined whether the game can be safely restarted. Referees will restart play if it appears that the lightning passed over the area, and if fifteen to thirty minutes have passed since the last appearance of lightning. Referees will immediately cancel the game if the weather is too hazardous for teams to remain in vehicles at the site. No one should try to overrule a referee that has stopped play due to lightning or other weather hazards.
We also rely on coaches and parents to make weather related decisions. Coaches can cancel a game if they feel playing conditions are inappropriate. For example, conditions may be appropriate for most age groups, but not for U6 or U8 teams. A coach making this decision merely needs to inform the opposing coach and the AYSA office. It is important to make the decision as early as possible so we can inform the referees.