Severe Weather Policy

The OSA Lightning Safety/Severe Weather Policy as directed by The CSA
8/14/2009

It has definitely been one of those peculiar summers in Ontario. Nature has given us sporadic bursts of warm sunny weather, but we have seen more and more extreme thunderstorms and wet soggy days. In the world of soccer these conditions are not ideal and have definitely put a dampener on summer games throughout this outdoor season. Frustration builds when games are started with bright sunshine only to be put on hold or abandoned altogether, while the grey clouds blanket the sky and loud claps of thunder and flashes of lightning move in to force play to cease. Inclement weather, especially in the cases of thunderstorms is a critical issue that needs to be paid close attention too. With the summer outdoor soccer season underway it is important that not only Referees, but all Coaches, Players, Parents and Spectators know about proper lightning precautions as they are exposed to these conditions.

The continuance of the game is at the Referee’s discretion. The Ontario Soccer Association has a Weather Policy in place that should be followed in such conditions. The Policy mirrors the ‘30-30 Rule’ as directed by Environment Canada. The ‘30-30’ Rule should be known and understood by all involved in the game. The ‘30-30 Rule’ advises that you take appropriate shelter if you can count 30 seconds or fewer between thunder and lightning, and to remain sheltered for 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder and flash of lightning.
 
Lightning Safety/Severe Weather Policy
 
Though this policy reflects a rule that is a minimum standard for lightning and severe weather safety, it is put in place to be executed in such severe conditions in order to help ensure the safety of our Players, Coaches, Referees, Parents and all involved in the game.  It has been a common occurrence that the unpredictability of sport goes hand in hand with the capriciousness of summer weather in our province; therefore it is vital to put safety first.