skip navigation

SYC Weather Guidelines

Cold Weather Safety

Cold weather injuries such as hypothermia and frostbite can be prevented by following a few simple precautions. 

HOW COLD IS TOO COLD TO ALLOW CHILDREN TO PLAY OUTDOORS?

During typical winter days, common sense requires us to look beyond a specific temperature and consider factors such as wind chill, whether the ground is frozen or the sun is shining, how well the children are prepared to play outdoors (jackets, gloves, and hats), what activity the children are participating in, and the length of time to be spent outside.

Wind Chill with Precipitation  Guidelines

  • 36º F and above: Normal Practice may occur.
  • Between 33º-35º  F:  No more than 40 minutes outside per session – may return outside after 20 minutes indoors.
  • At or Below 32º F: All outdoor activities cancelled.

Wind Chill without Precipitation Guidelines

  • 36º F and above: Normal Practice may occur. 
  • Between 33º-35º F: No more than 1 hour outside per session – may return outside after 30 minutes indoors.
  • Between 26º-31º F: No more than 30 minutes outside per session – may return outside after 15 minutes indoors.
  • At or Below 25º F: All outdoor activities cancelled.

WHAT IS WIND CHILL?
Wind chill is the human perception of temperature created by the combination of the actual temperature and the additional heat loss from exposed skin caused by the wind. This is how cold it “feels” outside (the apparent temperature). The higher the wind speed and the lower the temperature, the greater the wind chill effect.  If the actual air temperature is 40°F and the wind speed is 10 miles per hour (mph), the apparent temperature is 28°F. If the actual air temperature is 32°F and the wind speed is 10 mph, the apparent temperature is 21°F. 

Hot Weather Conditions and Heat Advisory

♦ Avoid heavy physical exertion during outdoor practices and, if possible, provide coaching instructions either indoors or in an area with less severe conditions.

♦ Coaching staff should stop all activities to allow individuals to drink water every half hour.

♦ Before exercise, hydration to have 8-16 oz., in the form of water or Gatorade/Powerade type beverage with a 6-8% carbohydrate solution. 

♦ During exercise 4-10 oz of fluids (again water or sports drink) per 15 minutes is recommended depending on the age/size of the athletes.  For the younger teams, coaches can help them by asking them to take at least 8 sips of fluids, this will ensure they get at least 2-4 oz when they take a water break if they don’t have a "see-through" bottle.  A good check is if athletes haven’t consumed at least 16 oz by the end of practice, they aren’t drinking enough.

For more specific guidelines and recommendations, refer to the SYC INCLEMENT WEATHER GUIDE.

ALWAYS REMEMBER – THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR COMMON SENSE!

EMERGENCY FIRST-AID:

When the heat index is high, several illnesses such as heat stroke, heat cramps, or heat exhaustion are possible with physical activity or prolonged exposure. The heat may overcome the body’s ability to regulate internal body temperature at a safe level.

Some signs of heat illness include nausea, weakness, fainting, and pale clammy skin. A warning signal before heat illness occurs may be red dry skin. Prompt action can prevent the most serious heat illness or heat stroke, which is fatal 50% of the time. 

Team staff will immediately initiate emergency first aid procedures, which include: 

  • Stop the activity
  • Improve air circulation with a fan or air conditioner
  • Sponge the body with cool water
  • A conscious person should be given sips of cold water or sports drink

Heat illness is an emergency situation and requires medical attention immediately. Call 911 IMMEDIATELY, as well as the parent(s).

THUNDER AND LIGHTNING

If you see lightning or hear thunder, have all players and adults leave the field and seek shelter immediately. 

Flash to Bang Measurement: A s lightning approaches, the time in seconds from seeing the strike to hearing the thunder decreases.  For each 5 seconds count, lightning is 1 mile away.   At a count of 15 seconds (3 miles) there is immediate danger.   It is recommended that you have players and adults leave the field at a count of 30 seconds (6 miles).  

To return to outdoor practice/game: Wait a minimum of 20 minutes from the last lightning strike of a flash-to-bang count no less than 30 seconds. 

For more specific guidelines and recommendations, refer to the SYC INCLEMENT WEATHER GUIDE.

TORNADO

If a tornado warning is issued, all outside SYC events will be suspended until the warning is removed.  

All players and spectators in a gym or other indoor facility should go to an interior hall or room in an orderly fashion. Crouch low, keep your head down, and protect the back of your head with your arms. Stay away from windows and large open rooms such as gyms.