Field Closures & Storms

Communication

We post updates about fields to our Twitter account. Those updates appear under "Game Status" on the home page and MyVUL, and you can also get them via SMS (see Help for instructions).

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 check again in the morning and post an update 1 hour before game time.

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.

Thunderstorms

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.