In order to keep your fields safe, open, and meet the standard for high quality fields, the Sports Field Operations Team has set guidelines for inclement weather and team sports playing on wet fields.
Experience has shown that most of the turf damage to your field(s) occurs with field overuse or use during inclement weather, especially in early spring and late fall (snow). Periods of wet weather, prolonged rain or heavy downpours combined with field use will cause irreparable damage to the turf. In late fall this includes snowfall and removal of snow for football games and/or practices.
- As with natural turf fields warm weather early in the spring may result in fields being free of snow and appear playable. However, at this time they are not officially open or bookable, but may be used casually by users assuming all liability.
Note: User groups requesting the removal of snow for their event will pay all costs associated with this task as per the Sports Field Snow Removal Guidelines.
In order to keep this damage to a minimum and ensure play safe conditions, fields may be closed during inclement weather. This also reduces repair costs and the potential for the field to be out of service for extended lengths of time. In addition, Staffed Facility field bookings will be consolidated to one or two venues in the late fall to limit the damage and allow fields to be ready for spring season play the following year. We want the field to be open for your next event.
Whenever inclement weather occurs, the Sports Field Maintenance Supervisors visit various sites and assess the turf/field conditions using the following criteria:
- The amount of precipitation that has occurred.
- The presence of standing water on the field.
- Drainage capabilities of the field/site.
- Is the field SAFE to play on?
- What kind and how much damage could occur if the fields were to remain open for the event?
- How many field closures have there been recently?
- The time of year and the cumulative amount of stress on the field.
- Are there any “must play” events that cannot be postponed? Note: All “must play” games on rectangular fields should be booked well in advance, on one of the all artificial turf fields available to our customers.
Once an assessment has been made of various sites, the Sports Field Maintenance Supervisors are in direct communication and share information. Then, based on the above criteria, a decision is made on whether to open or close your fields. This also includes input from the onsite staff at Athletic Facilities.
After the Supervisors have reached a decision, they update the Sports Fields Facility Notifications website and information will be provided to 311. The Facility Notifications website is updated once daily, by 4pm, only if weather conditions change. On the weekend or statutory holidays the Sports Field Supervisors will update 311 and the website only if the weather conditions change from Friday. This will be updated by 10am on weekends. Note: If the weather is changeable prior to the update, the decision to play or not will be left to the discretion* of the user. The user will be entirely responsible for all damages to all fields adversely affected by their decision.
In an attempt to have as little impact on your event as possible we have built in some degree of flexibility within the process. This could include, closing a limited number of fields (usually the premier fields, which is due to the heavy demand/use they receive), or user discretion when feasible.
*User discretion empowers the user to make a common sense decision on whether or not to cancel an event on their field. We ask that if there is any standing water on the field or sports play will cause turf damage, postpone and re-schedule your event. If damage occurs as a result of a user decision to play, the user will be held responsible for all repair costs and may also have their Booking privileges revoked. Please notify Bookings the next working day if you have cancelled.