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Ottawa Rec Sports Weather Policy

Rain: All league games will proceed if weather is rainy but there is no lightning in the vicinity of the field. Players and refs are advised to dress warm, leave electronics in cars or waterproof bags, bring a towel and change of clothes and make sure all players have access to a car.
Lightning: If there is lightning in the vicinity of the field at kickoff, everyone will be asked to wait (in their cars) for 30 minutes. If weather clears by then, games will proceed but game-length may be reduced. If weather does not clear, game will then be cancelled at the field. If there are multiple kickoff times in a night (ie games at 6PM, 730pM and 9PM), refs will wait in their cars and evaluate each game independently at its kickoff time. We encourage teams to expect to play as lightning warnings often don’t impact the exact time/location where you are playing, but make sure all players have access to cars they can take shelter in.
Smoke: In the event of forest fires causing high smog levels, we will cancel games in advance if environment canada advises against outdoor activities. In 2023 this usually meant the smog index was 7/10 or higher. Below this level we will proceed with caution but advise players with any respiratory conditions not to play.
Tornado Warnings: These have become commonplace with all thunderstorm warnings so we treat them the same as lightning warnings, game cancellations will only come if refs and captains find the conditions unsafe at the field at kickoff time.
High Heat: Games will proceed with caution, refs will add additional water breaks and we advise all teams to bring extra water. Teams may also request shortening the game length as needed.
General weather forfeits: I know battling the momentum of players wanting to stay home is tough, so if you find your team is simply all cancelling, it’s okay, just send a forfeit notice email to and I can put you in touch with the opposing team to agree in advance to cancel. We cannot promise to make up these games, but everyone will at least save themselves the drive to the field. Prepare teammates in the future to be ready to play on rainy days though (make a plan to go to a pub together if the game ends up cancelled so you get something social out of driving out!).
Exceptions: If there are exceptional circumstances – particularly bad lightning, tornado, ice storms, etc, we may cancel games in advance. And If your team feels unsafe to play they may always make their own decision not to play.