The safety of our players, parents, coaches, and other volunteers is paramount in any weather situation. DC Soccer Club recognizes that severe weather experienced while on fields training (including, but not limited to, lightning, extreme heat, and extreme cold) can affect safety, and the club is committed to implementing safe practices to minimize such risk.
DC Soccer Club's Inclement Weather Policy is based on guidelines set forth by U.S. Soccer in conjunction with data provided by WeatherBug, a full-service mobile and online weather application. This policy provides the basis for changes or cancellations to DC Soccer Club activities based on actual or potential severe weather conditions.
DC Soccer Club staff will follow this policy when determining whether club trainings, tryouts, or other events should be modified or canceled due to actual or potential extreme weather conditions.
This policy applies to training sessions, camps, classes, tryouts, games, and other activities, over which DC Soccer Club staff have governance authority. For Travel league games and tournaments, the relevant league or the referee is responsible for cancelling for weather reasons.
DC Soccer Club staff will use Wind Speed and Temperature provided by the WeatherBug App to determine Wind Chill Temperature Index (WCT) on the U.S. Soccer chart to the right.
Actual or predicted WCT at the scheduled time of activities will determine the Recommended Action. DC Soccer Club will use these charts to determine practice modifications or cancelations. Practice will be held when WCT falls in the green, yellow, and orange zones. Activities will be modified, moved indoors, or canceled when the WCT falls in red and black zones.
DC Soccer Club staff will use Relative Humidity and Temperature provided by the WeatherBug App to determine Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) on the U.S. Soccer chart to the right.
Actual or predicted WBGT at the scheduled time of activities, as charted above, will determine the Alert Level on the chart below. DC Soccer Club will use these charts to determine practice modifications or cancelations. Practice will be held when WBGT falls in the green, yellow and orange zones. WBGT in red and black zones will warrant DC Soccer Club activities to be modified, moved indoors, or canceled. Note: given the geographic location of Washington, D.C., all DC Soccer Club activities will be determined on the Category 3 guidelines on the chart seen on the map below.
Lightning and severe weather pose a threat to player health and safety. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), there is no safe place outside when thunderstorms are in the area, and if you hear thunder, you are likely within striking distance of the storm. In consideration of this advice, DC Soccer Club policy is as follows:
If a coach, manager, parent/guardian, athlete, or other individual sees lightning, or hears thunder, that person shall immediately notify the coach, and the coach is required to:
· Suspend the outdoor activity; and
· Direct all players to seek a safe shelter* location for at least 30 minutes from the last time lighting is seen or thunder is heard.
Coaches and managers should download the free WeatherBug App (www.weatherbug.com) lightning detector app, which may help track when lighting might be near. Anytime the app denotes lightning within ten (10) miles, all outdoor activities should cease immediately.
* Safe Shelter: According to the NWS, safe shelter is either a substantial building (one with plumbing and wiring such as a home, school, church, office building, indoor concourse or recreation center) or a fully enclosed metal-topped vehicle such as a hard-topped car, minivan, bus, etc. Unfortunately, many of the fields used by DC Soccer Club do not have access to substantial buildings for safe shelter. Therefore, while DC Soccer Club coaches, managers, and management have the best intentions for the safety of our players, parents/guardians are reminded that they are ultimately responsible for ensuring players have access to a safe vehicle during outdoor activities.
Parents/guardians should ensure that a responsible person with a safe vehicle remains at the field if/when there is a risk of severe weather forming.
Other Possible Reasons for Schedule Changes or Cancellation
At their discretion, DC Soccer Club staff may cancel practice, including, but not limited to, individual team trainings in the winter months. Any DC Soccer Club club-wide decision about field use supersedes any coach’s decision. Some reasons coaches or DC Soccer Club staff might cancel scheduled activities include, but are not limited to:
Frozen Surface: If the playing surface is frozen and/or contains blocks of snow and/or ice, activities may be cancelled.
Severe Flooding and Road Closures: In the event of severe flooding and road closures, activities may be cancelled.
DC Soccer Club uses fields managed and operated by the DC Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR), Montgomery County, schools, and other private organizations and will follow the operating policies and procedures established by each institution with respect to severe weather. Playing on a field that has been closed by the field owner/manager is strictly prohibited and is considered a violation of DC Soccer Club policy.
Notifications and Communication
Policy Enforcement: Any coach who does not follow the Severe Weather Policy will be in violation of the Coach’s Code of Conduct and subject to disciplinary action. Any parent/guardian who does not adhere to this policy will be considered in violation of the DC Soccer Club Parent/Guardian Code of Conduct and/or subject to disciplinary action. Any player who does not adhere to this policy will be in violation of the DC Soccer Club Player Code of Conduct, which may result in disciplinary action.
Additional weather resources: