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AYSO Region 1447 Albuquerque - Westside - Rio Rancho

Weather Guidelines


AYSO’s mission promotes fun, family soccer, including a safe playing environment for all participants. Safety and Risk Management must be addressed for regularly scheduled games, practices and special events. Certain weather conditions can pose risk – proper planning assures that potential emergency situations are appropriately addressed. This document provides basic guidelines for AYSO volunteers and organizers in dealing with severe weather conditions. 

Education, training and effective communication are the most important means to achieving safety for all participants. AYSO event organizers – officials, volunteers, managers, coaches, referees and others in a position of authority or responsibility – must ensure that general AYSO safety practices and guidelines plus those that are unique to the local community and playing facility are understood and applied whenever there is a potential for severe weather conditions.

Some of the most common severe weather conditions are:
• Hot weather – risks of dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke, sunburns 
• Cold weather – hypothermia 
• Thunder and Lightning Storms

Hot Weather

When temperatures and humidity rise above normal levels, the potential for risk rises.

Be aware of these dangers and be prepared to stop or delay games to ensure proper hydration. Allow for frequent water stoppages in addition to substitution stoppages. Incidents of dehydration, heat exhaustion, heatstroke and sunburn are avoidable. The proper and continued hydration of players and volunteers is essential starting at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled event. 

Sunscreen of appropriate strength should be applied frequently. Plenty of shade should be provided to participants by trees, tents or buildings. Scheduling of games outside of the hottest part of the day, whenever possible, is preferred. When scheduling multiple games in a day or over several days when conducting tournaments, it is recommended that there are at least two hours between games and only two games per day for players is strongly recommended – unless the playing time is reduced, as recommended in the AYSO Playtime Study guidelines. 

Cold Weather

Risk of hypothermia, frostbite and injury from numbness are avoidable. Consider canceling games when the weather is cold enough that players are adversely affected by it. Be aware of the dangers associated with cold weather and be prepared to delay or even terminate games to ensure proper protection of the players. 

Freezing rain, hail, snow, sleet or heavy rain can cause field conditions to deteriorate rapidly. Players’ loss of solid footing can cause severe injury. Check field conditions before and during games. Be prepared to stop or delay games if severe weather conditions cause the field to become unsafe for participants.

Players should be permitted to wear appropriate and safe clothing (extra garments under the jersey and shorts, knit hats and gloves, etc.) to protect against cold and windy weather conditions.

Thunder and Lightning Storms 

A lightning safety plan should be an integral part of the planning process for any outdoor event. Do not wait for storm clouds to develop before considering what to do should lightning threaten! An effective plan begins LONG before any lightning threat is realized. 

The key to an effective lightning safety action plan lies in answers to the following questions: 
1. Where is the safest lightning shelter? 
2. How far is the group from that location?
3. How long will it take to get the group there? 

Knowing the answers to these questions and formulating a plan of action accordingly is critical to reducing the chances of anyone being struck by lightning.

Regional Commissioners or their designees, including Coach Administrator, Referee Administrator or referees, will have the authority, as so designated, to delay the start of play, call a halt in play or suspend/terminate a game due to severe weather conditions. 

Studies have shown that most people struck by lightning are struck not at the height of a thunderstorm, but before and after the storms have peaked. This is because lightning can strike as far as 10 miles from the area where it is raining and many people are unaware of how far lightning can strike from its originating thunderstorm.

Recognizing the Danger – And Knowing What to Do 

1. Know how to use the warning systems in place and heed all warnings even if you are told there is a possibility of a false alarm.
2. When thunder is heard it is within striking distance. – seek shelter immediately. Do not wait for the rain to start before seeking shelter, and do not leave shelter just because the rain has ended.

Distinguishing Between Safe and Unsafe Shelters 

Safe Shelter Areas 
INSIDE a substantial building (roof AND completely enclosed walls) towards the middle of the building 

Unsafe Shelter Areas 
1. Around or near all metal objects: goals, flag poles, fences, gates, high mast light poles, bleachers.

2. Around or near all trees, water, open fields, high ground. 

3. Around, near or in small buildings, picnic shelters, concession stands, tents.

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Contact Us

AYSO Region 1447 Albuquerque West & Rio Rancho

PO BOX 66085 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87193

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 505-926-1447
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