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Severe Weather Policy

There is always a desire on the part of coaches, players, and parents to complete a game when the weather turns bad. However, that is not always possible. Sometimes bad weather will not allow a contest to start or to finish.

Safety First

Thunderstorms are especially tricky, especially late in the season when getting the game in is more urgent. As the center referee, you and the coaches should confer is anyone hears thunder or sees lightning, and no one should ever be put at risk.

If you hear thunder or lightning occurs, everyone should take cover in cars or buildings (not in the Hollow Park pavilion, the Three Rivers Park pony barn, or some similar structure at an away game). Do not restart a game until 30 minutes after hearing the last rumble of thunder. Read the USSF Severe Weather Policy Position Paper.

As a center ref or an AR, if you do not have a place to go, do not stay outside. Accept an invitation from, or ask, a coach or a parent to sit in a car with them.

Making the Games Count

The best way to make the games count is to shorten the halves (by 10 minutes) and eliminate a break at intermission. This can save up to 25 to 30 minutes a contest, and it satisifes the Laws of the Game requirement of two equal halves.

Although not endorsed by the CJSA, another option, if both coaches and the center ref agree, is to play quarters without breaks in between. That way, if the the third and fourth quarters cannot be completed, the game result is based on two equal halves - the first and second quarter. Scoring after what would have been intermission does not figure into the final tally.

Remember, as stated in the CJSA guidelines, you must complete a report for any game not completed because of weather.

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Last upated 09/13/2012