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HIGHLAND GROVELAND RECREATION ASSOCIATION

Weather Policy

HGRA Soccer

Games will be played unless there is lightning or severe weather. Games will be played in the rain depending on field conditions. The decision to suspend or cancel games will be made at the field. Please do not call or e-mail HGRA for that information. Bear in mind that one of the two games on a given night might be called off but the weather could be fine for the other game.

HGRA Baseball

Coaches should attempt to continue play in light rain. However, if lightning is observed in the area, play stops and all participants should seek shelter. If a game is postponed, the head coaches should make an attempt to reschedule the game. If rescheduling is not possible, the game will then be canceled.

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Current Weather Conditions

 

General Weather Information

Severe Storms

Severe storms can produce high winds, heavy rain, hail, lightning, thunder and/or tornados. If a severe storm approaches the playing area, the safety of the players is the number one priority of coaches and referees, and may require that the game be suspended while shelter is sought. In the event the game is suspended, ALL participants MUST clear the field immediately and move into their cars or other permanent shelter.

High winds can create problems by dust and debris being in the air or blowing over objects. Heavy rain can create hazardous field conditions or lead to flash flooding. Hail can cause injury. Lightning and thunder is discussed separately below. Tornados are obvious dangers of any severe storm. Use common sense and seek shelter as appropriate.


Lightning and Thunder

Lightning is the second leading cause of storm-related deaths (flooding is first). Lightning can strike up to 10 miles outside of a thunderstorm, literally a bolt from the blue. The danger from lightning can persist for 20-30 minutes or more after a thunderstorm has passed. The National Weather Service does not issue watches or warnings for lightning by itself. However, the National Weather Service does advise that if you see a lightning bolt and hear the thunder in 30 seconds or less, you seek shelter and wait 30 minutes before resuming outdoor activity.

If a person can hear thunder, or see lightning, the danger already is present. A clear, sunny sky overhead with storm clouds nearby can still be dangerous.

Referees and Coaches should adhere to the following:

  • If lightning is within five miles, with or without hearing thunder, the game(s) or practice(s) should be suspended and shelter sought. A lightning detector can identify the distance accurately but may not be available. A rough guideline is to measure the time between the lightning flash and hearing the corresponding thunder. If it is 30 seconds or less, seek shelter. It may not be possible to determine which lightning strike generated which roll of thunder. A simple rule: If you can see it or hear it, clear it!  
  • HGRA recommends that participants seek immediate shelter in their automobiles or a designated severe weather shelter, if there is one nearby. Smaller, open structures, tents, trees, isolated areas, etc, should be avoided. Cars, with windows rolled up or buses, can provide good shelter. Avoid contact with metal or other conducting materials to the outside surfaces. Do not stay in open, unprotected areas.
  • Games should not be restarted for at least 30 minutes after the last lightning strike is seen or roll of thunder is heard.
  • Tournaments should inform participating teams of notification and evacuation plans and shelters near the playing sites.


Hot Weather

Heat is a problem when it prevents the body from cooling itself. The hotter the body gets, the more likely it is to increase fatigue levels, develop cramps and increase the possibility of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The hotter and more humid the weather, the faster these problems can develop. Temperatures as low as 65 degrees, with a relative humidity of 100%, can be serious.

  1. A heat index chart should be given to every coach and referee (www.nws.noaa.gov)
  2. Games need to be adjusted as the heat index rises:
    1. Mandatory water breaks
    2. Go to quarters
    3. Shorten the games
  3.  Provide training to coaches to teach the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Club administrators and tournament officials are responsible for monitoring the heat index (by weather radio, online or the Weather Channel) and keeping the participating teams and game officials informed of the heat index. Coaches are encouraged to also monitor the conditions.

The following are recommended when there is a possibility of dangerous high heat index:

Heat Index Recommendations
Up to 89° Normal Play
90° - 99° Mandatory two-minute water breaks per half with running time.
Each half shortened by five minutes.
100° - 105° Mandatory two-minute water breaks per half with running time.
Each half shortened by ten minutes.
105°+ Suspend Play