SSAP / SSC Heat & Lightning Policy 


SSC believes that ultimately parents are best positioned in most circumstances to protect their children from heat related illnesses. Parents best understand how their children react to heat and whether they have underlying respiratory issues. Parents are also best placed to monitor their children’s hydration throughout the day and to influence what their children consume prior to attending a soccer game or training session. Therefore, we want parents to feel comfortable that they can hold their children out of a game or training session without consequence when they believe it is too hot for their children to participate. 

Training Sessions: 

In most cases, training sessions will be held on hot days. Making a club wide decision in all but extreme conditions will be rare as the effects of the heat will be different based on the age of the players, the time of the session and whether or not the session is held on grass or on synthetic turf. If training proceeds as scheduled, parents need to determine whether or not their player will participate in the training session. If the parent withholds the player from participating in the training session, there will be “no consequences” for the player for missing the session. But we do ask that the parent notify the coach that their player will not participate as early as possible. 


Except in the most extreme conditions, games will most likely proceed in hot conditions. With away games (including tournaments), we have no ability to cancel a match due to heat – it is not provided in the rules – and decisions will be at the discretion of the hosting club. Due to the unlikelihood that games will be cancelled due to heat conditions, we will be hesitant to cancel training sessions. Acclimatizing to the heat by training in it is the best way to prepare a player for a game and to limit the possibility of the player suffering from a heat related injury or illness in a game. In most cases referees will allow for stoppage for water breaks throughout those games. Typically those stoppages will occur halfway through a half of soccer. If your unsure the referee is going to have a hydration break during a game, be sure to specifically ask for one. They are allowed in the rules of the game. 

Home Games at SSAP Soccer Complex: 

In conditions where it is hot, but we determine it is safe to play, we will advise referees officiating matches we host to give water breaks halfway through each half. If the temperature exceeds 90 degrees Fahrenheit, we will insist that heat breaks be given. 

Coaches: when running training sessions in the heat, you are reminded to: 

  1. Provide frequent breaks – no more than 15 minutes apart – and when possible, take the break in the shade. Breaks should also be longer than the normal breaks. 
  2. Allow any player who requests water, the ability to get water on request;
  3. Modify the session’s intensity and physical load to account for the weather;
  4. Pay particular attention to whether a player is showing signs of heat distress – and if such signs are seen, remove the player from the session and cool the player. In general, a player removed from a session due to heat should not be permitted to return. 

Additional information: 

In addition, we advise that – 

1. All coaches, when offered the opportunity for water breaks accept the offer during match play; 

2. Teams, when possible set your benches in shade, even if that requires the
spectators to sit in the sun, or spectators and players be placed on the same side of the field; 

4. All coaches, should instruct Parents to work with their children to make sure the player: 

  • is adequately hydrated prior to the match, and
    • has adequate fluid to remain hydrated at the match or training session.
    • Any league game cancelled due to heat will be rescheduled, if possible.
    • Any tournament game or training session cancelled due to heat will not be rescheduled or refunded. • Any camp or clinic cancelled due to heat will be rescheduled. 


Lightning Policy 

  1. SSC and SSAP has established a Lightning Policy. The information provided applies to all matches, practices, and other outside activities sponsored by SSAP and SSC.
  2. When someone at the site sees lightning or hears thunder, all activities are suspended immediately. Match play and/or training will not resume until 30 minutes after the last lightning sighting or thunder.
  3. During match play, the referee must temporarily halt play and will not restart play until the 30 minute rule has concluded. The referee may abandon the match.
  4. When play is suspended for lightning or thunder, everyone must seek cover inside vehicles at the field. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should anyone seek shelter under a tree!!!
  5. Should the match be suspended after half-time the match will be considered complete and the score at the time of stoppage will stand.

What to do if someone is struck by lightning: 

  • Call for help. Call 9-1-1. Get medical attention as quickly as possible. 
  • Give first aid. If the victim has stopped breathing, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR. If the person has a pulse and is breathing, address any other injuries. 
  • Check for burns in two places. The injured person has received an electric shock and may be burned. Being struck by lightning can also cause nervous system damage, broken bones, and loss of hearing or eyesight. 
  • People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge that can shock other people. You can examine them without risk.
  • Apps for Monitoring the Weather: Coaches and parents are advised to have a weather app on their phone that monitors heat index and lightning strikes. Two good free apps to have are the following: 
        • NOAA Weather App, The Weather Channel APP, Weatherbug App