Weather conditions can cause potentially dangerous situations for our players and participants. The ASA Inclement Weather Policy is in place to keep all involved as safe as possible. ASA coaches, players, and members work together by following the US Soccer's Environmental Conditions Guidelines to create a safe environment for our participants at all times. For full details about US Soccer's environmental conditions guidelines and recognize and recover actions, please click the link above.
ASA Inclement Weather Guidelines
Lightning & Severe Weather
Lightning is one of the top ten causes of sudden death in sport. As the majority of soccer is played outdoors, lightning and severe weather pose a threat to player health and safety. U.S. Soccer’s Recognize to Recover program, with the help of the Korey Stringer Institute, provides these guidelines for responding quickly and safely when lightning and severe weather threaten practice or a game. When it comes to making decisions to suspend or cancel play due to weather conditions, coaches, officials, athletic trainers, and administrators all share responsibility. These same individuals should be aware of close safe shelter locations and know how to evaluate when it is safe to resume play after severe weather leaves an area.
No place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area. All activity should be suspended, even if lightning or thunder has not yet been observed, and everyone should get indoors. Communicate this information completely and quickly to all participants.
Consult the National Weather Service, the Storm Prediction Center or local media outlets for severe weather watches and warnings. Alerts can even be sent directly to your mobile device while you are on the field.
Safe locations should be available with enough capacity to hold all who may need a safe shelter. A primary location would be a fully enclosed building with wiring and plumbing. A fully enclosed vehicle with a solid metal roof, like a school bus, would be a safe secondary option. Open fields and open-sided shelters are not safe. If there are no adequate safe shelters close to the field, play must be stopped well in advance of the storm to allow everyone to travel to a safe place or their home.
If it’s been half an hour since thunder, it’s safe to go outdoors. Outdoor activity may resume 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder or flash of lightning. The 30-minute clock restarts every time lightning flashes or thunder sounds.
Severe storms are dangerous and can be upon us before we know it. High winds, heavy rainfall, hail, lightning, and thunder can cause serious threat quickly in any situation. If a severe storm is approaching the area, been spotted on Radar, or is visibly in close proximity, activities will be suspended until the area is determined safe to play. ASA requires all participants to seek immediate shelter in their automobiles or a permanent structure such as bathrooms/concession buildings. Avoid any open structures, trees, tents, metal or other conducting materials, and unprotected open areas. The coach/staff will notify the team/manager when it is safe to return to the fields, or activity has been canceled.
The danger from lightning can persist for 20-30 minutes or more after a thunderstorm has passed. Lightning can strike from over 10 miles away and is considered a major threat to the safety of our participants. If lightning has been detected within 10 miles or any thunder has been heard, all game(s) and practice(s) will be suspended and all participants will need to seek shelter immediately. Game(s) or practice(s) will not restart for at least 30 minutes after the last lightning strike has been detected or thunder has been heard. If lightning & thunder continue for longer periods of time, all game(s) and practice(s) will be canceled. The coach will notify the team/manager when it is safe to return to the fields, or activity has been canceled.
Heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion can be serious and potentially life-threatening conditions. U.S. Soccer’s RECOGNIZE TO RECOVER program prepared this guide for coaches, referees and players when training or playing in warmer climates, outlining recommendations for hydration breaks and participant safety during extreme temperature conditions. The information provided herein is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare providers. For specific questions and concerns, please consult your healthcare provider or physician.
When the body can not continue to cool itself dangerous situations arise. Symptoms caused by the body overheating can include fatigue, nausea, headaches, cramps, dry mouth, and a decrease in sweating. By monitoring and limiting outdoor exposure during extremely hot conditions and properly hydrating our participants, we can create a much safer playing environment. ASA Hot Weather Guidelines
The effects of cold weather can impact health and safety during practices and games. The definition of “cold stress” varies across the United States, depending on how accustomed people are to cold weather. U.S. Soccer’s RECOGNIZE TO RECOVER program prepared this guide for coaches, referees and players for training or playing in colder climates. Additionally, it serves as a guide for match play and participant safety during extreme temperature conditions. The information provided is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare providers. For specific questions and concerns, please consult your health care provider or physician.
Cold weather conditions can be just as dangerous. The mix of cold air and hard playing surfaces can cause difficulty breathing, muscle pulls, loss of feeling in extremities, frostbite to exposed skin, and greater risk for injury coming in contact with a harder/cold surface. By monitoring and limiting outdoor exposure during extremely cold conditions we can create a much safer playing environment. Below are the guidelines for temp (air temp or wind-chill factor), amount of exposure, and suggested clothing during cold weather activities. ASA Cold Weather Guideline