Weather / Travel Policy
Lightning Safety Policy
The purpose of this policy is to provide information to those responsible for making decisions about suspending and restarting games based on the presence of lightning. The current recommendation of the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) is to consider terminating play when the lightning is six miles away (flash-to-bang time of 30 seconds or less). This recommendation was developed as a practical way to make a judgment in situations in which other resources such as technology and instrumentation are not available.
As a minimum, NSSL staff strongly recommends that by the time the flash-to-bang count is 30 seconds all individuals should have left the game site and reached a safe structure or location. In addition, a smaller, but still real, risk exists with the presence of lightning at greater distances. Unfortunately, current science cannot predict where within the radius the next strike will occur.
The existence of blue sky and the absence of rain are not protection from lightning. Lightning can, and does, strike as far as 10 miles away from the rain shaft. It does not have to be raining for lightning to strike.
The flash-to-bang method is the easiest and most convenient way to estimate how far away lightning is occurring. Thunder always accompanies lightning, even though its audible range can be diminished because of background noise in the immediate environment and its distance to the observer. To use the flash-to-bang method, count the seconds from the time the lightning is sighted to when the clap of thunder is heard. Divide this number by five to obtain how many miles away the lightning is occurring.
When considering resumption of a game, NSSL staff recommends that everyone ideally should wait at least 30 minutes after the last flash of lightning or sound of thunder before returning to the field of activity. If available, electronic detection devices should be used as additional tools to determine the severity of the weather. However, such devices should not be used as the sole source when considering terminating play. (www.nssl.noaa.gov/divisions/forecast/mag/ltg_guidelines.html)
Winter Weather Policy:
For home and away games, SSC Shadow follows the Washington Youth Soccer Travel
Policy for guidance on inclement weather and unplayable fields.
For team practices held on days with inclement weather, SSC Shadow will follow these guidelines:
• If Spokane School District 81 has been closed for the day, all SSC Shadow practices within their school boundaries will be cancelled. If Central Valley School District has been closed for the day, all SSC Shadow practices within their school boundaries will be cancelled.
• If school is in session, but inclement weather has arrived during the day, SSC Shadow will make decisions by 2p.m. about whether or not practices will be held that evening. Parents and players will be contacted by e-mail from their coach or manager IF practice is cancelled. Assume practice is “on” unless you are notified otherwise by e- mail prior to 2p.m.
• Safety first! Because SSC Shadow welcomes members from throughout Eastern Washington and North Idaho, we encourage players and parents to put safety first when it comes to driving distances to and from practices and games during periods of inclement weather. If you feel roads are unsafe for travel, please stay home.
RCL TRAVEL POLICY
By entering a Washington Youth Soccer State Sponsored tournament/league, including Cup Tournaments, State League, and Regional Club League, teams agree to make every effort to play all of their games.
Safety is always our number one priority. It is not required nor expected for teams to take an alternate route that is much farther than the original direct route in order to make a game. It is impossible to cover all situations that may arise due to inclement weather in one document; therefore, any situation not covered below will be referred to the corresponding Washington Youth Soccer staff program manager to determine further action.
Inclement Weather Travel Policy
If a roadway necessary to reach a game location is closed either 24 hours prior to game time when teams are staying overnight or 6 hours prior to game time when teams are traveling the day of the game, per the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for reasons other than regularly scheduled maintenance closures, then the game will need to be rescheduled through the State Sponsored tournament/league representative. If the game is unable to be rescheduled, the program committee and/or staff program manager for the State Sponsored tournament/league will flip a coin to decide the game results if results are needed for advancement.
If roadways are open but chains are required, a team may opt not to travel. These games must be rescheduled as soon as possible at the original home team’s site. If either team refuses the reschedule, the team refusing will accept a loss for the game. It will be recorded as a 0-1 loss and any unrecoverable game expenses the other team incurred for the unplayed game may be submitted to the Washington Youth Soccer office for review to be reimbursed by the team opting out of travel. In addition to reimbursing the opponent for the unrecoverable game expenses, the team declining/refusing to reschedule may also be subject to forfeit fees as applicable in accordance with each State Sponsored tournament/league rules of competition. See reimbursement policy below.
If roadways are open 4-24 hours before game time with no requirement for chains per WSDOT, and a team does not travel to the game, then they will be issued a forfeit loss. The team earning the forfeit loss will not advance in the tournament/league; additionally, the team may be subject to fines per the State Sponsored tournament/leagues rules. Any unrecoverable game expenses the hosting team incurred for the unplayed game may be submitted to the Washington Youth Soccer office for review to be reimbursed by the team opting out of travel. See reimbursement policy below.