Rainout & Lightning Guidelines

Rainout & Weather Guidelines

Our goal is always to get as much safe and fun play as possible.  Depending on the level, we offer different guidelines for when and why to cancel a practice or game.  

In general, we want coaches to cancel games via GameChanger - please be sure you have downloaded GameChanger (https://gamechanger.io).  Coaches can cancel practices and games by editing the game and canceling it in the app.  If you choose to message your team, all parents and fans will get a message notifying them of the cancellation.  If the event is a game, please work with the other coach before canceling to ensure you are on the same page.

TLDR: cancel if it's too cold for your level or if the field is too wet to play on.  Don't cancel due to threat of rain until 1 hour before game time as the weather could miss our fields (tee ball and coach pitch may cancel earlier because of the short duration of their events).

For Coach Pitch & Tee Ball, we basically cancel if things aren't going to be fun.  Today is drizzly and 41 degrees.  That does not sound fun.  I would cancel these levels.  We basically consider this week a bonus week anyway and play if there is good weather.   Generally, for the younger kids, they get cold fast.  If it's above 45 and not windy, we suggest giving it a shot.  Below 45 and drizzly or windy, it probably won't be fun.  If you want to wait until temperatures are in the 50s, that's fine, too.  We have a good number of events for these levels, so just use your judgement and discuss with your parents through the app.

For AA (player pitch) , AAA (minors), and Majors, we will play games when drizzly or cooler.  Generally, we say give it a shot if it's 40 and above.  For AA, use your discretion.  They're still pretty little.  Same for any level if it's windy and the day looks like it won't be any fun.  If there is a drizzle, but no lightning or thunder, we're good with playing.  Coaches should bring towels to dry off baseballs.  Generally, games that are rainy are worth playing.  Practices that are rainy can be hard to make constructive.  

Field conditions - if the field is soaked from a lot of rain and there is standing water, it's probably best to cancel.  If it has not rained hard in a good amount of time, our fields generally drain well.  For example, if it stopped raining hard by 10 in the morning, a 5pm practice will usually be viable.  If a coach or parent can get to the field in the early afternoon and shovel out puddles, there is a better chance of things drying.  If you are leaving deep mud-prints in the field when walking on it, the field is not safe to play on and you could damage the field. Raymond's Mill Street field drains poorly - be sure to check conditions after a heavy rain.  It often takes 12-24 hours to dry out.

When to cancel - please cancel as late as possible when there is a "threat" of rain.  If it has not rained yet or you're only looking at a forecast, please wait until one hour before game or practice time to cancel.  This way, you can see if the rain is veering off course or will miss us.  For tee ball and coach pitch, you can cancel earlier, but for higher levels, we want to be sure it will actually rain.  We'd rather have kids go to the field and get rained out than have a field open because of an overly conservative cancellation.

Lightning Policy

Managers should be aware of the dangers of lightning. The general Little League policy is as follows:
“If you hear it – clear it” (Clear the field for at least 30 minutes)

“If you see it – flee it” (Leave the field/Game Ends) 

Lightning Safety Guidance 

?Each year in the United States, more than four hundred people are struck by lightning. On average, about 70 people are killed and many others suffer permanent neurological disabilities. Most of these tragedies can be avoided if proper precautions are taken. When thunderstorms threaten, coaches and sports officials must not let the desire to start or complete an athletic activity hinder their judgment when the safety of participants and spectators is in jeopardy. All thunderstorms produce lightning and are dangerous. Many deaths from lightning occur ahead of storms because people wait too long before seeking shelter, or after storms because people return outside too soon. If you hear thunder, you are in danger. Anytime thunder is heard, the thunderstorm is close enough to pose an immediate lightning threat to your location. A thunderstorm can cast lightning up to 10 miles from the edge of a storm, and/or about as far as the sound thunder can carry.

It is important for coaches, officials, parents and volunteers to understand the basic facts about lightning and its dangers. Coaches, officials, parents and volunteers have a responsibility to promote and help enforce this policy. Play it safe every time, our kids’ lives may depend on you!

Safety Guidance

In the event of game cancellation, make sure all players are accounted for and leave with approved persons;

Emergency Information