Severe Weather Policy
The Seaway Surge Baseball Club does its best to eliminate unnecessary travel due to poor weather, but it is not a perfect science. Weather is often unpredictable. It is critical that players, coaches and umpires go to scheduled games unless otherwise notified. On game days, here is how decision making unfolds:
On game day, field conditions may be unplayable as a result of previous or current weather. If this is the case, the coach of the Seaway Surge team will send out a notification to all participants as late as 30 minutes before game time if it is determined that game cancellation is warranted. If a rain event has occurred, this often means we are out surveying field conditions, so please be patient for this messaging.
Cancellation may be due to excessive rain on fields, thunderstorms, or extreme heat (see last section for more on heat).
Note that if no message is received from the Seaway Surge, players, coaches and umpires should plan to attend their regularly scheduled game.
Once at the diamond, it is at the discretion of the coaches to cancel the game if they feel the field is not safe, or to delay/cancel if there is thunder and lightning. This may vary at different fields and in different parts of the region.
DURING THE GAME
During the game, coaches and umpires will collectively decide on the safety of the field and weather conditions, and may choose to stop the game at any time. If present, umpire(s) will make the final decision, in accordance with the Baseball Ontario Lightning Policy (see below for general outline).
IN THE EVENT OF LIGHTNING/THUNDER
The Seaway Surge Baseball Club follows Environment Canada guidelines with respect to lightning and thunder safety:
- Take shelter immediately if you can hear thunder or see lightning. If you cannot find a sturdy, fully enclosed building with wiring and plumbing, get into a metal-roofed vehicle.
- Wait 30 minutes after the last lightning and rumble of thunder before leaving shelter. Half of all lightning deaths occur after the storm passes. Stay in a safe area until you are sure the threat has passed.
Coaches/Umpires: please use Environment Canada's Canadian Lightning Danger Map to help guide the decision of proceeding with or cancelling practices/games. This map shows red areas that are most at risk of having lightning strike the ground in the next 10 minutes. Watch how to use it here.
You should know: Direct strikes are responsible for only 5% of lightning-related deaths and injuries. Two other types of hazardous phenomena are caused by lightning. Ground current and side flash account for 60 to 80% of lightning-related injuries and deaths. A ground current is set up when lightning hits the ground, spreads out and sends a current through a victim. Side splash occurs when lightning hits a tall object, travels partly down the object and then jumps to a nearby victim.
It’s not necessarily a direct lightning strike that will injure or kill a person. During a lightning storm, the atmosphere becomes electrified. Lightning streamers from the ground are trying to connect up with the lightning strike making its way down to the ground. If these streamers form on a fence/lamp post or a person at the game, damage can occur to a person's nervous system and brain. People can recover from this close encounter with lightning but it can also lead to fatalities or lifelong damage.
PLAYING IN THE HEAT
With summer comes warm, humid weather. All players should come to the game with cold water and having had sunscreen applied.
Regardless of how warm it is, coaches and parents should all watch for signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion with players: dizziness, headache, weakness or exhaustion, tremors, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, or unusual heart beat.
If someone has a throbbing headache, vomiting, and a rapid strong pulse, this may be a sign of heat stroke and you should call 911 right away, and help cool the person until help arrives.
Please refer to the following zones for playing outside in the heat (temperatures should factor in humidity considerations, aka the humidex):
GREEN ZONE (18ºC - 26ºC)
No special measures need to be taken, aside from regular hydration and sunscreen application.
YELLOW ZONE (27ºC -40ºC)
Coaches are encouraged to take extra steps to protect players by making sure they stay hydrated and by encouraging frequent substitution during games and practices. Catchers are a particular focus, and consecutive innings of catching should be limited to 2 (House League).
If it is a practice day, coaches are instructed to reduce the time of practice, to give frequent breaks and to ensure players stay well-hydrated.
ORANGE ZONE (41ºC - 46ºC)
Rally Cap and 9U Division games will be cancelled at these temperatures. A notification will be sent to coaches and parents/guardians.
All measures in the Yellow Zone apply to other Divisions. Coaches will make a decision to proceed based on input from parents/guardians, and will contact their Convenor immediately to let them know of their decision.
RED ZONE (47ºC+)
All House League practices and games will be cancelled and a notification will be sent to coaches and parents/guardians.
The humidex will rise and fall depending upon time of day, amount of wind, cloud cover, etc. The above program modifications could also change throughout the course of the day. For example a 6:15 game may be in the Orange Zone, but an evening game (this year) might only be a Yellow Zone. Coaches should check the weather ahead of the practice/game and follow the appropriate program modifications.
The above are merely guidelines and it is the responsibility of parents or guardians to make the ultimate decisions as to the participation of their child in Seaway Surge events when heat may be a factor, taking into consideration the age and physical condition of their child. Parents also have the ultimate responsibility to inform their child about the dangers of heat and need for protection, including sunscreen and proper hydration.
(Thankyou to Baseball Oshawa for allowing us to use their Extreme Weather Policy as the basis for the above.)