Rules for Playing in Bad
Game Suspension Requirements
Lightning and Tornadoes
Rules for Playing in Bad Weather
Soccer is played in almost all weather conditions. Because of our
relatively short playing season and inability to make-up most games,
we try to stay on schedule whenever possible. But safety is still
The problem is this: everyone has a different opinion as to what
is a threatening weather condition. Michigan State Youth Soccer
Association (MSYSA), the governing body, to which we are a member,
has established the guidelines below to follow during adverse
Referees are responsible for making this decision to suspend
play. However, in any situation, parents and coaches should not
hesitate to remove players from any weather condition they feel is
unsafe or inappropriate. No one will be penalized for any safety
related actions taken.
Below are the league rules for playing under bad weather:
- Check the BBSC website for any announcement regarding field
- Rain is not bad weather and is not grounds for the coach or
the referee to stop the game, unless the field becomes
- If the rain makes the field unplayable, the referee will
stop the game. If he/she doesn’t, you should ask him/her.
- Make sure that referees, players, and everyone else gets off
the field if there is lighting or thunder.
- In case of lighting or thunder, the referee will stop the
game. If he/she does not, you should ask him/her to do so. The
referee will wait 20 minutes after last time thunder is heard or
lighting is seen before resuming the game.
- NO ONE SHOULD STAND UNDER TREES IN THE EVENT OF LIGHTNING
AND THUNDER. SEEK SHELTER.
- The coaches DO NOT decide if it is OK to resume the game.
The referee DOES.
- If the delay will extend to the next scheduled game, the
referee will call the game. For example, thunder is heard with
10 minutes left in a game. The game should be stopped, and the
game is complete.
Game Suspension Requirements
If any of the circumstances outlined below
occurs the referee should immediately suspend the game.
If thunder is heard, the game should be
suspended and the fields are cleared. Everyone should
immediately go to a safe shelter.
If lighting is seen, the game should be
suspended and the fields cleared. Everyone should immediately go
to a safe shelter.
If a thunderstorm is heard or seen coming or
your hair stands on end, the game should be suspended and the
fields cleared. Everyone should immediately go to a safe
shelter. Do not wait until it rains.
If the game official does not immediately
suspend the game when any one of the points above have occurred, the
head coach from each team can agree that one of the three criteria
listed above have occurred they are to withdraw their teams from the
field. If this action is taken, then both coaches must submit a
written report to their league outlining the circumstances, the
facts concerning the weather conditions at that time, the fact that
the two coaches were in a agreement and the name of the officials at
If an official and one of the coaches do not
reach the conclusion to suspend the game and any one of the three
points listed above are believed to have occurred, the coach that
supported the suspension of the game is to send a written report to
their league outlining the facts and the names of the officials.
No one should retake the field or re-start the
game until all of the lighting and thunder or other hazardous
weather has left the area. Specifically, no one should retake the
field for a minimum of 20 minutes after the last lightning is seen
or thunder is heard, or the dangerously high winds have passed.
Every five seconds between the flash of
lightning and the rumble of a thunder is one-mile distance. Experts
suggest if you can hear the thunder you are in danger of getting
struck as lightning can travel as far as ten miles from a "parent
The protection of participants is of paramount
importance. Every member should recognize the danger presented by
lightening, tornados, and other hazardous weather. The following
items represent generally accepted principles regarding the dangers
involved with lightning and tornados.
All thunderstorms produce lighting and are
Lightning often strikes as far as 10 miles
away from any rainfall. You are in danger from lightning if you
can hear thunder. You are in danger if you can see lightning.
Lightning injuries can lead to permanent
disabilities or death. Look for dark cloud bases and increasing
Soccer fields are a dangerous place to be
during a lightning storm. When lightning is seen or thunder is
heard, or when dark threatening clouds are observed, quickly
suspend the game and/or practice and move to a safe location.
Avoid standing in an open area, near soccer
goals, under a tent, near trees or water. The safest place
during a thunderstorm with or without visible lightning is in a
Watch for rapidly darkening skies.
The sound of an approaching tornado is often
described as that of an approaching train.
The funnel of a tornado does not have to
touch down to cause extensive damage and injuries.
Tornados can produce winds of 300 miles per
hour or more.
Most people who are hurt during a tornado
are hurt when they are struck by flying debris.
Seek safety in a solid structure, preferably
a basement or in an interior room. If no building is available,
lay down in a ditch.