Field Closures & Storms

Communication

We post updates about fields to our @vulgames 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. City Park Status: Fields may be closed by Parks & Rec departments of various cities. If that happens, we will share those update when we get them. View current status here:

2. VUL Discretion: If the forecast is uncertain, fields may be left open with "User Discretion", 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.

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." 

For storms, please remember "when thunder roars, go indoors". If thunder is heard, it is possible for lightening to strike. Please take shelter in your cars or a grounded structure. Stay indoors and game play cannot resume within 30 minutes of hearing the last rumble of thunder. Resource Ultimate Canada Health & Safety Polices.  If either captain wants to stop, the game must end.

Air Quality

Air quality can drop for a variety of reasons, including smog and forest fires in the region.

To ensure consistency and support of the safety of our members the VUL has implemented the following policy with regards to Air Quality and Cancellations:

VUL Programs will be cancelled for the day if:

  • The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) for the area is at a level 7 or higher or:
  • There is an Air Quality Advisory in effect that advises reducing or eliminating outdoor activity for all people
  • Youth programs will be cancelled if the Air Quality Advisory lists children as one of the vulnerable groups

If the AQHI is between 4 and 6, we recommend people with respiratory or heart health concerns avoid participating. Instructors and coaches must alter/reduce the intensity of their programs for the day and if a captain does not feel comfortable playing they can choose to cancel their games without defaulting/forfeiting.

This policy was created using information from the Air Quality Health Messages Guide. If you are unsure if you are at risk, please check out the Health Risks of Air Pollution Guide.

 

Extreme Heat

When the Heat Index reaches 37.7 Celsius (100F) (see NOAA/National Weather Service Heat Index Chart), it is recommended that captains and/or instructors suspend play until the heat index drops below 37.7 Celsius (100F).

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