Falling rain does not prevent play, we play rain or shine. Rain can affect ground condition (see below) but it usually takes several hours of very heavy rain.
Ground condition may affect play. Councils will close grounds when they feel it is appropriate. This is generally when there is sufficient water to form pools on the surface. Council will make the call on ground usually in the morning between 9-10am but sometimes as late as 3pm. Spring Soccer may also make the call earlier when it seems obvious that Council will close the ground or we think the surface condition is likely to cause injury. We will email all players as soon as a decision is made and post the decision on our web site.
You can view the Council's current status at http://www.kmc.nsw.gov.au/Services_facilities/Facilities_and_venues/Sports_venues/Sportsground_closures
Letting You Know
If there is a decision about cancelling, I first post a message in the blue banner of our web page as this is the quickest way to communicate.
I then do a group email to all players affected. This takes a little longer but is the second quickest way to communicate.
I then let the referees know.
All these changes happens before I answer individual emails.
If you email asking about a decision the answer will be "it is on" unless a decision has been made. If a decision has been made, the above steps take priority over an individual answer so you are likely to receive 2 replies, the group email followed by the individual response.
As a rule of thumb we use the same policy as Football NSW ie Cancel or postpone events involving Children at a temperature of 32° at time of kick-off
Note: the maximum for the day is usually one or two degrees warmer than the temperature at 4:30-4:45
Specifically we use the WBGT index recommended by the Sports Medicine Australia index should be 20 or below. You can see the current sun and shade ratings around sydney at http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDN65179.shtml
The principle lightning safety guide is the 30-30 rule. This is a common rule across outdoor sports.
The first “30” represents 30 seconds. If the time between when you see the flash and hear the thunder is 30 seconds or less, the lightning is close enough to be of concern. If you haven’t already, seek shelter immediately.
The second “30” stands for 30 minutes. After the last flash of lightning, wait 30 minutes before leaving your shelter. More than one half of lightning deaths occur after a thunderstorm has passed.
It is not possible to give players advance warning of when the 30:30 rule will be applied, all we can do is abandon games when the situation arises. Referees will stay under shelter and advise players as they arrive.
If there is bushfire smoke we will be guided by the Dept of Health forecast http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/aqms/aqiforecast.htm but may make a local decision based on conditions.
Where the air quality is poor, the instructions are People with heart or lung disease should limit exercising outdoors. in these circumstances games will proceed.
Where the air quality is very poor (or worse) the instructions are People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid exercising outdoors. in these circumstances games will be cancelled.