Colorado weather can be very unpredictable, with rapid changes possible in the spring and summer seasons. Because of this, we must be prepared to act on very short notice when it comes to the postponement or cancellation of any practices or games. The North Boulder Little League Weather policy is intended to ensure the safety of all players, coaches, managers, umpires and parents/friends who might be assisting or attending a practice or game, as well as to maintain the quality of our playing fields.
In addition to monitoring the weather on game and practice days, we will also assess the condition of the playing fields prior to each practice or game. If practices/games must be canceled, we will make every effort to announce the cancellation on this website, Facebook, Twitter and email via TeamSnap. In addition, team managers will attempt to text or call parents with this information as soon as a postponement or cancellation has been decided.
If practices or games are canceled, managers will have the option to reschedule on another day if possible. Field availability might limit the possibility of rescheduling in many cases.
Individual practice and game decisions can be made on a league-wide level by the NBLL Safety Director and by individual team managers who will take field conditions and weather forecasts into consideration. Cancellations might be necessary in order to not place players and coaches at risk of injury or illness; nor permit damage to the fields. The decision to postpone or cancel a practice or game rests with the good judgment of the NBLL Safety Director, the individual team manager(s), as well as our umpires.
We request that all board members, team managers, and umpires download and utilize the Weather Bug smart phone app which has location-based weather and lightning alert features built in.
Managers are encouraged to arrange for team notification using text, voicemail or email. The following procedures govern postponing/delaying games or cancelling practices.
If conditions are unplayable 1 hour prior to a practice or game time, team managers and the North Boulder Little League Board of DIrectors have the discretion to cancel or postpone practices/games. If conditions are too poor to allow use of the infields but the outfields can sustain use, practices may be held at the manager's discretion. Under these circumstances all activity must be restricted to the outfields.
For organized outdoor activities, the National Weather Service recommends those in charge have a lightning safety plan, and that they follow the plan without exception. The plan should give clear and specific safety guidelines in order to eliminate errors in judgment. Prior to an activity or event, organizers should listen to the latest forecast to determine the likelihood of thunderstorms. NOAA Weather Radio is a good source of up-to-date weather information.
Thunderstorms produce two types of lightning flashes, ‘negative’ and ‘positive.’ While both types are dangerous, the characteristics of the two are quite different. Negative flashes occur more frequently, usually under or near the base of the thunderstorm where rain is falling. In contrast, positive flashes generally occur away from the center of the storm, often in areas where rain is not falling. There is no place outside that is safe in or near a thunderstorm. Consequently, people need to stop what they are doing and get to a safe place immediately. Small outdoor buildings including dugouts, rain shelters, sheds, etc., are NOT SAFE. Because our fields do not have substantial buildings with wiring and plumbing which provide the greatest amount of protection, a hard-topped metal vehicle with the windows closed provides good protection. Occupants should avoid contact with metal in the vehicle and, to the extent possible, move away from windows.
Who should monitor the weather and who is responsible for making the decision to stop activities?
The North Boulder Little League board members, Safety Officer, managers and umpires are designated to monitor the weather for lightning.
When should activities be stopped?
The sooner activities are stopped and people get to a safe place, the greater the level of safety. In general, a significant lightning threat extends outward from the base of a thunderstorm cloud about 10 miles. Therefore, people should move to a safe place when a thunderstorm is 10 miles away. Also, the plan’s guidelines should account for the time it will take for everyone to get to a safe place. Here are some criteria that could be used to halt activities.
- If lightning is observed. The ability to see lightning varies depending on the time of day, weather conditions, and obstructions such as trees, mountains, etc. In clear air, and especially at night, lightning can be seen from storms more than 10 miles away provided that obstructions don’t limit the view of the thunderstorm.
- If thunder is heard. Thunder can usually be heard from a distance of about 10 miles provided that there is no background noise. Traffic, wind, and precipitation may limit the ability to hear thunder less than 10 miles away. If you hear thunder, though, it’s a safe bet that the storm is within ten miles.
- If the time between lightning and corresponding thunder is 30 seconds or less. This would indicate that the thunderstorm is 6 miles away or less. As with the previous two criteria, obstructions, weather, noise, and other factors may limit the ability to use this criterion. In addition, a designated person must diligently monitor any lightning. In addition to any of the above criteria, activities should be halted if the sky looks threatening. Thunderstorms can develop directly overhead and some storms may develop lightning just as they move into an area.
When should activities be resumed?
Because electrical charges can linger in clouds after a thunderstorm has passed, experts agree that people should wait at least 30 minutes after the storm before resuming activities.
General Weather Policy For Games
NBLL will attempt to notify coaches, players, umpires and families of game cancellations as soon as possible. Due to the fast-changing weather in the Boulder area along with very limited fields available for make-up games, we often will wait until the afternoon to decide on cancellations.
- For weekday games, cancellations will be announced by 4pm.
- For weekend games beginning before noon, cancellations will be announced by 8am.
- For weekend games beginning after noon, cancellation will be announced by 11am.
All cancellations will be made by email through TeamSnap.
In general, NBLL will cancel games if the projected “feels-like” temperature factoring in humidity and wind chill at game time is 40 degrees or lower for AAA and older divisions and 45 degrees or lower for Tee Ball, Single A and AA divisions. NBLL uses the Weatherbug application for temperature forecasts along with the “Spark Lightning” feature to track lightning in the proximity of the fields.
Managers should not decide to cancel games ahead of time without consulting the appropriate division VP (ie, VP-Majors, VP-AAA, etc). NBLL pays for field preparation and umpires, so advance notice of cancellation is required. Time, fields and umpires available for make-up games are also very limited.
If team managers and/or NBLL board members arrive at a field that appears unsafe to play, the managers and/or board members may cancel the game for safety reasons.
Once a game has started, decision authority to cancel or postpone a game lies with the umpires, any board members present, or team managers in the case of an umpire under age 18.