Field closures and game cancellations are among the biggest headaches in administering soccer teams and even more so at the league level. The decision impacts so many people that it’s stressful to make and even more so based on timing and location when it comes to fast-moving localized storms. Cancelling practices is a difficult enough call, but when it comes to games, so many more people are impacted if you consider the referees and teams that travel.
The main criteria is if the field has standing water, muddy areas, or water seeps up around your shoes while walking on the field. We close the fields because aside from risk of injury, the field is torn-up by play and then dries, hardening into ruts ripe to turn ankles. We have cancelled games on beautiful sunny days because of poor conditions. It can be raining, and the fields can still be playable. Field closures due to wet field conditions are typically made by the age group coordinators and/or director of fields.
When we cancel games because of environmental conditions, it is because of lightning, dangerously strong winds, or if it is cold and rainy. If it is cold but not raining, or warm and raining, we still typically play.
When it is cold, the players can wear shirts, sweatshirts or jackets under their jerseys. Gloves, knit caps (no brims), and sweatpants are also allowed. The only requirement is that the player must wear shin guards (can be worn under sweatpants), and their jersey on the outside (so their teammates know who to pass to).
We use fields belonging to the county, townships, and school district. Our use them is limited based on competition from other soccer clubs, other sports, and other activities like marching band. Thus, we must try to use the field in our allotted times because there is high demand. Please bear with us in times where a game could have been played, but wasn’t. On those days when it is being played and you think it shouldn’t be, you don’t have to have your child participate. That said, there are valuable lessons for your child to learn when they have to play on through the adversity of rain and wet clothes. Besides, they’ll be lucky enough to be home, warm and dry, within an hour.