Inclement Weather

South Kitsap Soccer Club plays under the NSYSA umbrella, as such we adhere to their policies regarding inclement weather. As parents, coaches, and board members we all take the safety of all SKSC players seriously.  With this in mind, the health and safety of our soccer players and the condition of soccer fields is a priority for SKSC.  Inclement weather (including excessive heat, rain, and snow) and poor air quality can present hazards to players, coaches, match officials, and our fans.  To ensure the health and safety of all SKSC participants, we will adhere to the following policy regarding activities during inclement weather conditions and poor air quality days:
 
1. EXCESSIVE HEAT
Heat-induced illness is one of the most preventable sports injuries.  Parents, players, and coaches all play an important role in understanding the risks of excessive heat and how to prevent heat stress and heat stroke.  Before coming to practice or games, on hot days all children should drink plenty of water.  Drinks that contain sugar or excessive sodium will not properly hydrate children and can give players and parents a false sense of security.  At practice, coaches need to be sure that more frequent fluid break happen as the heat levels rise.  At no time will the availability or frequency of water breaks be used as a punishment for the players.  Coaches will need to monitor and possibly limit activities based on the conditions of the players.

PRACTICE RESTRICTIONS FOR OUTDOOR PRACTICES/CAMPS:
On practice and camp days where the temperature is 80-85 degrees, practices and camps will go on as usual.  Coaches will need to pay special attention to at-risk athletes.

On practice and camp days where the temperature is 85-90 degrees, practices and camps will proceed under a slightly modified schedule.  On these days, high intensity sessions will be limited to 1 hour with a total outdoor training time not to exceed 4 hours.  Coaches will need to ensure that all participants have adequate water and are on alert watching for signs and symptoms of heat illness.  

On practice and camp days where the temperature is 90-95 degrees, practices and camps will proceed under a modified schedule.  On these days, high intensity sessions will be limited to 1 hour with a total outdoor training time not to exceed 3 hours.  Practices for U6-U10 may be cancelled by the association, especially in circumstances where we have multiple days with 90-95 degree heat.  Sessions for U6-U12 should be limited to brief activities.   Coaches will need to ensure that all participants have adequate water, allow for more frequent hydration breaks, and are on alert watching for signs and symptoms of heat illness.  

On practice and camp days where the temperature is 95-100 degrees, practices and camps will be highly impacted.  All practices for U6-U10 will be cancelled by the association and U11-U19 sessions will be limited to very brief activities.  Coaches will need to adjust all activities to provide for enough time to hydrate and cool down.  Coaches will also need to be on high alert for signs and symptoms of heat illness.

On practice and camp days where the temperature is 100+ degrees, all activities will be cancelled.

GAME RESTRICTIONS:
On game day, if the temperature is 80-89 degrees, water breaks may be implemented if agreed to by both coaches.  NYSA strongly encourages quarterly water breaks.

On game day, if the temperature is above 90-95, quarterly water breaks must be implemented and enforced by the match official.
 
Implementation of Water Breaks:
For U10 and below the game will be played in quarters with a short break between the first and third quarters and a longer break for halftime.  The quarter breaks should be 2-3 minutes at most to give players a chance to hydrate.

For U11 and above, the decision and/or notification for the water break should be decided on before the start of the game.
   1. The stoppage should be at a normal stoppage as close to the midpoint as possible.
   2. Players should remain on the field.  Bench players and coaches should be able to provide fluids to those on the field.
   3. This is not a coaching opportunity.
   4. Normal substitution rules will apply.
   5. This stoppage should be no longer than 2-3 minutes.
 
2. RAIN AND SNOW
Soccer is a game that is played in almost any weather, however, there are instances when excessive rain and/or snow results in field closures.  As an association, we rent fields from several agencies including the city of Port Orchard and the South Kitsap School District. Each agency monitors the conditions of the fields and makes an independent decision about the condition and safety of each field.  Fields can be closed at the discretion of the field provider if they feel the field is too wet or covered by snow and unsafe for use.  Until we receive notice from the individual field provider we will assume the field is open and playable.  Once the field is closed it is closed for the rest of the day, and we will not reopen for that day.

If the field providers have not closed a field, but upon arrival the field conditions are not suitable for a safe and productive match they may be cancelled.  At the field, games can only be 'called' by the referee.  The referee will evaluate the weather situation and decide if it is safe to continue play.  If a referee determines the field is unsafe the decision is final and all participants are to leave the field of play.  Teams are not allowed to pick and alternate match official who is willing to allow the teams to play.

3. LIGHTNING 
Each year, about 400 children and adults in the U.S. are struck by lightning while working outside, at sports events, on the beach, mountain climbing, mowing the lawn or during other outdoor activities. About 80 people are killed and several hundred more are left to cope with permanent disabilities. Many of these tragedies can be avoided. Finishing the game, getting one more drill in, or scoring one more goal is not worth death or crippling injury.

Please refer to USSF’s Severe Weather Policy when it comes to practices and games.  This policy includes the following:

1. Recognize the threat. If you see lightning you must protect the safety of all participants by stopping games/practice activities quickly, so that participants and spectators may retire to a safer place before the lightning threat becomes significant. You must wait a minimum of 30 minutes after hearing the last thunder or seeing the last lightning strike before leaving shelter. (NOTE: You do not need to see the "bolt" of lightning to stop practice. A lighting up of the sky counts as well.)
2. Remember that if you hear thunder you are in reach of lightning striking. There is never one without the other. Just because you do not see lightning does not mean the threat is not there.
3. Seek proper shelter
   a. No place outside is safe
   b. The best place is a fully enclosed building. A second choice is a solid metal roof vehicle.
4. If there is no proper shelter stay away from the most dangerous locations: high up on a hill, open fields, near/under trees, poles, light post, electrical towers, unprotected buildings, rain shelters, bus stops, anything made of metal such as metal fences, metal bleachers, metal chairs.
5. If you cannot avoid these locations crouch low to the ground with your head tucked into your chest and hands over your ears.
6. Remain calm and try to prevent panic.

Most importantly please use common sense and good judgment.  Referee’s may call a game due to unsafe conditions during a lightning strike.  The score at the time the game is called will be noted as the final score and all referee decisions are final.

What to do if someone is struck by lightning:
1. Call for help. Call 9-1-1 or your local ambulance service. Get medical attention as quickly as possible.
2. Give first aid. If the victim has stopped breathing, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR. If the person has a pulse and is breathing, address any other injuries.
3. Check for burns in two places. The injured person has received an electric shock and may be burned. Being struck by lightning can also cause nervous system damage, broken bones, and loss of hearing or eyesight. People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge that can shock other people. You can examine them without risk.

4. AIR QUALITY
Wildfires can cause a tremendous amount of smoke in a very short time and breathing in the dirty air can have a negative impact on our player.  SKSC monitors the Environmental Protection Agency site (Air Now) to monitor conditions and determine if practice, camps, clinics, and games will be impacted.  If the smoke in the air threatens the health of our players and coaches we will cancel all outdoor activities.  SKSC tries to make a determination by 3:00pm for evening activities and 2 hours prior to the start of morning activities.  However, due to the speed in which conditions can change, limited notice may be given to coaches and families about the cancellation of activities.  The Referee has the discretion to cancel or suspend a game anytime they feel the conditions become unsafe.
 
PRACTICE AND GAME RESTRICTIONS DUE TO AIR QUALITY:
If the Air Quality Index (AQI), as rated by Air Now, for ground-level ozone and or PM 2.5 pollution is in the range of 100-125, activities may proceed on a slightly modified schedule*.  During this time, coaches should avoid strenuous practices and take frequent water breaks. 

If the Air Quality Index (AQI), as rated by Air Now, for ground-level ozone and or PM 2.5 pollution is in the Unhealthy range of 126-150, activities may proceed on a highly modified schedule*.  During this time, coaches are strongly encouraged to conduct a limited exertion practice of no longer than 1 hour. 

If the Air Quality Index (AQI), as rated by Air Now, for ground-level ozone and or PM 2.5 pollution is in the Unhealthy range of 151 or above, all outdoor activities for NYSA will be cancelled.

Parents of children with medical conditions that are sensitive to air pollution need to determine if the player(s) should participate.  Coaches shall issue no penalty for families and players who choose not to participate due to health reasons. 

*NOTE: When making the determination to hold practice when the air quality is between 100-150, SKSC uses a few things to determine whether practices will proceed.  The determining factors include if the air quality is getting worse throughout the day and the number of days that the Air Quality Index rating is in the 100-150 range.  The cumulative effects of being out on the field, attending camps, and breathing the polluted air throughout the day and night has a large impact on players health and ability to perform on the soccer field.