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  • Ryan Sparks

What goes in to a weather cancelation?


The process isn't as easy as you would like to think and a lot of effort and radar watching comes into play when it comes to delaying, playing, or canceling a match.

Obviously, player safety is a concern as always but fields in one district (i.e. Lawrenceburg) could be in a different condition than fields in another district (i.e. Switzerland Co.)  We've had storms in Switzerland County but not in Hidden Valley. It happens. 

What most of you don't realize is this: on the day of any schedule match, and sometimes the day before, fields are checked for standing water, holes, and any possible issues that players and teams will have to combat during a match.

Preparations for today's matches regarding weather began at 5:30am, when the first text messages and calls began. Our matches weren't scheduled to begin until 9am. Volunteers, get up and prepare fields, cut grass, place lines, and travel from field to field to check on playing conditions on a regular basis to make youth soccer in South-Eastern Indiana work. 

It's easy to say "just call them off and reschedule".  It's easy to hit social media message boards to complain.  Rescheduling a match isn't always so easy and it takes careful coordination between a number of different parties. Field availability, both teams have to be available, concession stand volunteers, and getting referees in place all go into the rescheduling process. 

For example: the match in Lawrenceburg this morning at 9am was being played by two teams that have already had to reschedule other matches. The road team was playing three games in three days to try and get their games in.  The idea of waiting it out today was to avoid another set of rescheduled matches. 

Looking at the radar this morning, there was a chance of the storm cell breaking (according to the national weather service) around 9:30 the original sever weather alert had an end time of 8:45am. We were aware and keeping a look at the radar, and the idea of delaying the games was considered because of that break. When that break didn't occur, in this case, both coaches were consulted about the cancelation and rescheduling took place on site this morning before both teams left. 

In other cases, based on field conditions, we were able to call off games earlier. Knowing the conditions at certain fields, by traveling to them prior to matches in the morning of games being played, allows us to make adjustments. Last Saturday, we had matches that might have been moved from one location to another in order to get them in if the rain made fields in one district unplayable.  We also rely on board members of each district to update us on any conditions that occur at each location.

Cancelations were posted on SISAY.org, FACEBOOK, and TWITTER, in real time as districts made the decisions to call games off at their locations. No one person makes the choice to delay, cancel, or postpone games. Phones were active all morning trying to make a decision to wait out the weather, push games back, or cancel games all together.  We even held off calling the 1:30pm game at Switzerland County, hoping to get that match in until noon. The Switzerland County board sent us a message at 12:03, it was posted online two minutes later. 

Last spring, we fought a snow and cold weather early in the session. This spring, it's been rain. Certain fields are in better shape than others and some cancelations are easier to make based on field conditions. 

Want to make a difference in your community? Get out and volunteer your time! Coach, help prepare fields, whatever your gift is, share that with others.  

We are ALWAYS looking for volunteers to help at each district. Each and every person that works on the SISAY board is a volunteer that gives their time and energy to make the program the best they can for your kids. If you'd like to volunteer, reach out to your local district. 


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