If you do not see any update, that means games are on as scheduled, BUT you may still need to cancel if your field is unplayable (see below). If we cancel games, we will send all captains an email.
Note that one team cannot unilaterally cancel a game due to the weather. If the fields are open, both teams are expected to play. If one team does not show up, they are in default. However, if both captains communicate in advance, they can jointly agree to cancel or postpone a game.
Timing & Criteria for Closures
Games may be cancelled when fields are unplayable due to bad weather.
1. Park Board: Fields may be closed by the Vancouver Park Board as shown on their Field Status page. For weekend closures we will post an update by 3:00pm Friday. They rarely update that page for weekdays.
2. VUL Discretion: If the forecast is uncertain, the Park Board may leave fields open with a 'user discretion' warning, meaning we can make the decision. If we expect fields to be unplayable, we will cancel games by the following times:
- 2:00pm for weekday games (same day)
- 3:00pm on Friday for Saturday games
- 6:00pm on Saturday for Sunday games
- On weekends, if fields are playable but the weather worsens overnight, we try to check in the morning and post an update 1 hour before game time, but this is not always possible.
3. Captains Judgement: In all cases, captains must use good judgment at the fields and cancel games if appropriate. We will hold teams responsible if fields are damaged.
a) Grass fields are considered unplayable and must NOT be used when:
- the field is saturated (i.e. visible puddles, squishes when you walk, large muddy areas), or
- it's raining and the field becomes saturated during play, or
- the field has frost or is frozen
When a field is saturated, the root structure is a lot weaker. Playing will cause damage, leading to holes and future closures.
b) Artificial Turf fields are not closed by the Park Board for rain or snow. They recommend that play not occur if there is snow accumulation, but playing on snow does not damage the field, and the snow can melt quickly at some sites, so they rely on user discretion. View the AT Field Terms & Conditions for more info.
We follow the same procedures with turf fields as grass fields, and will cancel games if fields are unplayable.
If a thunderstorm develops and lightning occurs, games should stop and all players should seek shelter.
From Environment Canada's Lightning Safety Overview: "The first and most important thing to remember is that if you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance of lightning. Take shelter immediately, preferably in a house or all-metal automobile (not convertible top). If caught outside far from a safe shelter, stay away from tall objects, such as trees, poles, wires and fences. Take shelter in a low lying area."
If it looks like the storm could pass by quickly, teams can wait and resume after the storm passes, or games can be stopped completely. If either captain wants to stop, the game must end.
Air quality can drop for a variety of reasons, including smog and forest fires. In extreme situations we may cancel games, but in general, the VUL lets captains decide whether conditions are suitable for game play. If one captain is uncomfortable with the air quality, they can cancel without incurring a forfeit or default. However, we suggest the decision be made at the field, as air quality can vary significantly over the course of a day and by field location (nearer the water is usually better).
Environment Canada publishes an Air Quality Health Index as a guide:
- Metro Vancouver NW region (an average value for Vancouver, most of Burnaby, North Shore)
- Other regions in Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley
See the Air Quality Health Messages for guidelines on what to do at each index level.
Metro Vancouver also publishes data for specific weather stations, so you can see how air quality varies within Metro Vancouver NW.
- Metro Vancouver AirMap - for weather stations, select "Air Quality and Weather Across the Region", then "Exceedances" at the bottom of the list.