Scheduled games will proceed unless they are specifically canceled. We make every attempt to keep playing, while working within the City of Palo Alto's policies, and considering the safety of our players.
As our Rain Policy page says, "The only person authorized to cancel a game on the field is the Referee scheduled for that game after personally inspecting the field." Coaches cannot cancel a game, even by mutual consent. The Regional Commissioner, in consultation with the Regional Referee Administrator, can cancel games prior to the scheduled time of play.
If it is raining more than a light sprinkle, the city requires that fields be closed. In addition, play on a saturated field is not allowed. Playing on closed fields can cause us to lose our field permits. If the city has not closed the fields for the day, play may resume later. Depending on the amount of rain and the condition of the field when rain ceases, it may be possible for a game to start late or resume. The Referee decides. Games later in the day may go on when earlier games have had to be cancelled. It's a good idea to show up at the field for your game unless you hear otherwise.
Division Commissioners will inform their coaches when city field closures result in game cancellations. A game postponed because of weather is rescheduled by the Division Commissioner -- when possible. When field availability is limited or there are many games canceled on a particular day, rescheduling may not be possible.
The director shall have the authority to close any park facility or portion thereof and require the exit of all persons therein when he or she determines that conditions exist in said facility or portion thereof which present a hazard to the facility or to public safety. No person shall use, enter or remain in any facility, park or open space which has been posted as being closed under this authority.
No person shall use an athletic field which is posted as being closed, whether the closure is for excess rainfall or for field maintenance or other reason.
City of Palo Alto Rain Policy governs field closure. The City Rain-out Hotline is 650-329-2697,,1. The status as stated by the Hotline is updated on the left of this website, just below the first picture. This information is updated as quickly as possible when a change in status is reported on the Hotline.
The National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) currently recommends that all individuals should leave the game site and reach a safe structure or location when lightning is within 6 miles.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Lightning Safety Guidelines indicate that since lightning can strike out of a clear blue sky as far away as ten miles from a rain storm, when the "Flash-to-Bang" count is thirty seconds or less, everyone should leave the game site to a safe location.
The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) position is that if you can hear thunder you are within reach of lightning and that referees must protect the safety of all participants by stopping game activities quickly, so that participants and spectators may retire to a safer place before the lightning threat becomes significant. Applying the 30-30 rule is recommended and to wait thirty minutes or more after hearing the last thunder before leaving shelter.
In view of the above, the following is the position of the AYSO National Referee Commission regarding severe weather:
"It is said that lightning can strike from a clear blue sky that is within a ten mile radius of a storm. It is therefore strongly recommended that practices and games be terminated immediately upon hearing thunder or seeing lightning".
"If you can see it - flee it; if you can hear it - clear it."
See our Regional Rain Policy