Inclement Weather Policy

Policy Purpose and Scope

The Indiana Interscholastic Cycling League (IICL) recognizes that inclement weather experienced while out on the trail (including, but not limited to, lightning, extreme heat, and extreme cold) can affect the safety of its athletes, parents/guardians, coaches, and other volunteers, and the league is committed to implementing safe practices to minimize such risk.  As such, IICL has adopted this Inclement Weather Policy for Trainings, Practices, and Races with a heavy reliance on National Weather Service (NWS) alert systems and public safety information.  Coaches and other IICL management personnel are to follow this policy when determining whether races, trainings, or practices should take place, be modified, or be canceled outright due to possible, or actual, extreme weather conditions. This policy applies to training, practice, and races, over which IICL management and coaches have governance authority.   (Anyone in attendance at IICL events is encouraged to notify the IICL official present if lightning, thunder, or other inclement weather is occurring in the area.)

Policy Overview

The safety of our athletes, parents, coaches, and other volunteers is paramount in any weather situation.  This policy lays out clear policies for when alterations or cancellations must be made to IICL activities based on: potential, or actual, inclement weather conditions; league-wide decisions made by IICL management; and situations when a field has been closed by the field owner. The policy relies heavily on NWS weather announcement-based recommendations and follows the NWS recommendation that the public take action when thunder is heard, rather than waiting for lightning or rain. 

National Weather Service Announcements

The table below provides NWS announcements that are applicable to this policy.  Coaches and other IICL management staff will use this table to determine when activities shall be cancelled due to weather.  Assuming trail/field conditions are acceptable, activity may resume if a weather alert is lifted and it is still feasible to hold the activity.

National Weather Service Alert (click to view definitions) IICL Policy
Winter Weather Announcements Minimum Temperature for any IICL practice or race. 40 degrees F.
1. Blizzard Warning All outdoor practices and races cancelled
2. Freezing Rain Advisory All outdoor practices and races cancelled
3. Freeze Warning N/A
4. Freeze Watch N/A
5. Ice Storm Warning All outdoor practices and races cancelled
6. Winter Storm Watch N/A
7. Winter Storm Warning All outdoor practices and races cancelled
8. Winter Weather Advisory All outdoor practices and races cancelled
9. Frost Advisory N/A
10. Wind Chill Advisory All outdoor practices and races cancelled
11. Wind Chill Warning All outdoor practices and races cancelled
    National Weather Service Alert (click to view definitions)     IICL Policy
Hot Weather Announcements
1. Heat Advisory All outdoor practices and races cancelled
2. Excessive Heat Watch N/A
3. Excessive Heat Warning All outdoor practices and races cancelled
Fog/Wind/Severe Weather Announcements
1. Dense Fog Advisory N/A
2. High Wind Watch N/A
3. High Wind Warning All outdoor practices and races cancelled
4. Extreme Wind Warning All outdoor practices and races cancelled
5. Wind Advisory All outdoor practices and races cancelled
6. Severe Thunderstorm Watch · Outdoor practices may proceed · Parent/guardian or a person designated by the parent/guardian, and communicated to the player, must remain at the facility in case safe sheltering is required* · Refer to the Lightning and/or Thunder section of this policy for additional requirements
7. Severe Thunderstorm Warning All outdoor practices and tryouts cancelled
8. Tornado Watch · Outdoor practices may proceed · Parent/guardian or a person designated by the parent/guardian, and communicated to the player, must remain at the field in case safe sheltering is required* · Refer to the Lightning and/or Thunder section of this policy for additional requirements
9. Tornado Warning All outdoor practices and tryouts cancelled
 
   
   
   
   
National Weather Service Alert   IICL Policy
Flooding Announcements
1. Flash Flood Watch N/A
2. Flash Flood Warning All outdoor activities cancelled
3. Flood Watch N/A
4. Flood Warning All outdoor activities cancelled

* The designated person must be at least 16 years old.  Only players at least 16 years old may act on their own behalf as the designee with their parent’s/guardian’s authorization.

Lightning and/or Thunder

According to the NWS, there is no safe place outside when thunderstorms are in the area, and if you hear thunder, you are likely within striking distance of the storm so, “When thunder roars, go indoors!”  In consideration of this advice, IICL policy is as follows:

If a coach, manager, parent/guardian, athlete, or other individual sees lightning, or hears thunder, that person shall immediately notify the coach, and the coach shall:

1.    suspend the outdoor activity; and

2.    direct all riders to seek safe shelter for at least 30 minutes from the last time lighting is seen or thunder is heard.

Coaches and league officials may choose to download the free www.weatherbug.com lightning detector app, which may help track when lighting might be near; however, use of this app does not supersede the coach’s requirement to follow the NWS announcement policies or lightning and/or thunder policies outlined above.

Safe Shelter

According to the NWS, safe shelter is either a substantial building (one with plumbing and wiring such as a home, school, church, office building, indoor concourse or recreation center) or a fully enclosed metal-topped vehicle such as a hard-topped car, minivan, bus, etc. Unfortunately, many of the facilities used by IICL do not have access to substantial buildings for safe shelter.  Therefore, while IICL coaches, managers, and management have the best intentions for the safety of our riders, parents/guardians are reminded that they are ultimately responsible for ensuring riders have access to a safe vehicle during training, practice, or races. 
Parents/guardians shall make arrangements to ensure that a responsible person with a safe vehicle remains at the field if/when there is a risk of severe whether forming.

Other Possible Reasons for Cancellation

At their discretion, IICL coaches and/or management may cancel practice, including, but not limited to, individual team trainings in the winter months.  Any IICL league-wide decision about facility use supersedes any coach’s decision.

Some reasons coaches or IICL management might cancel training, practice, or races include, but are not limited to:

Frozen Surfaces

  • If the riding surface is frozen and/or contains blocks of snow and/or ice, IICL management shall cancel activities.

Wet Surfaces

  • If the riding surface is wet and athletes are leaving tire marks or damaging the riding surface, IICL management shall cancel activities.
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Field Space Owner/Manager Policies

When IICL teams use Facilities managed and operated by the A Municipal Parks system, a private school, or another private organization, the club shall follow the operating policies and procedures established by each institution with respect to inclement weather.

 Playing on a field that has been closed by the field owner is strictly prohibited and is considered a violation of this policy.

 Notifications and Communication

  • IICL coaches and management make best efforts to communicate all modifications and cancellations ninety (90) minutes in advance of the scheduled activity, in accordance with the above policies; however, management reserves the right to cancel activities, should weather conditions change and present safety risks to participants prior to or during scheduled .
  • IICL shall make best efforts to post information about activity cancellations on the league website, all social media pages that the league utilizes, and send broadcast e-mails to all registered players, coaches, managers and teams. 
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Policy Enforcement

Any coach who does not follow the policies outlined in this Inclement Weather Policy for Trainings, Practices, and Races will be considered in violation of the NICA Rulebook and/or subject to disciplinary action by the IICL Board of Directors.  Any parent/guardian who does not adhere to this policy will be considered in violation of the NICA Rulebook and/or subject to disciplinary action. Any rider who does not adhere to this policy will be in violation of the NICA Rulebook, which may result in disciplinary action.

Policy Resources

Links

Additional inclement weather resources are available at the links below:

Inclement Weather Tips

The following tips are provided for the benefit of IICL coaches, families, spectators, and players; however, these tips are informational only, and are not enforceable under the scope of the Inclement Weather Policy for Trainings, Practices, and Tryouts.

Tips for Warm Weather Conditions

Coaches, parents/guardians, and athletes are encouraged to:

  • Take frequent rests and water breaks; when training or competing on synthetic surfaces, consult the referee and opposing coach before the match begins to agree upon water breaks at pre-determined times of each corresponding half
  • Encourage all athletes to drink water before they complain of being thirsty; by the time they are thirsty, chances are they are already dehydrated
  • Wear light, loose fitting clothing made of breathable fabric light in color
  • Stop exercising if chest pain, dizziness, lightheadedness, or nausea sets in

Tips for Cold Weather Conditions

Coaches, parents/guardians, and athletes are encouraged to consider the following recommendations:

Clothing

Individuals should dress in layers and try to stay dry. Moisture, whether from perspiration or precipitation, significantly increases body heat loss. Layers can be added or removed depending on temperature, activity and wind chill.

Begin with a wicking fabric next to the skin; wicking will not only keep the body warm and dry, but also eliminates the moisture retention of cotton. For example, polypropylene and wool can wick moisture away from the skin and retain insulating properties when wet.

Add lightweight pile or wool layers for warmth and use a wind-blocking garment to avoid wind chill. Because heat loss from the head and neck may account for as much as 40 percent of total heat loss, the head and ears should be covered during cold conditions.

Hand coverings should be worn as needed, and in extreme conditions, a scarf or face mask should be worn. Mittens are warmer than gloves.  Feet can be kept dry by wearing moisture-wicking or wool socks that breathe and should be dried between wears.

Energy/Hydration

Maintain energy levels via the use of meals, energy snacks and carbohydrate/electrolyte sports drinks.  Negative energy balance increases the susceptibility to hypothermia. Stay hydrated, since dehydration affects the body’s ability to regulate temperature and increases the risk of frostbite. Fluids are as important in the cold as in the heat. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and other drugs that cause water loss, vasodilatation or vasoconstriction of skin vessels.

  • Fatigue/Exhaustion

Fatigue and exhaustion deplete energy reserves. Exertional fatigue and exhaustion increase the susceptibility to hypothermia, as does sleep loss. 

  • Warm-up and Session Length

Warm up thoroughly and keep warm throughout the practice or competition to prevent a drop in muscle or body temperature. Time the warm-up to lead almost immediately to competition. After competition, add clothing to avoid rapid cooling.

Warm extremely cold air with a mask or scarf to prevent bronchospasm. Session length may be decreased (e.g., from 90 minutes to 60 minutes) in more extreme circumstances to minimize exposure to the cold.

  • Training Partners

Participants should never train alone. An injury or delay in recognizing early cold exposure symptoms could become life-threatening, if it occurs during a cold-weather workout on an isolated trail.

Tips for Safe Shelter

Coaches, parents/guardians, and athletes are encouraged to consider the following recommendations:

  • Once inside a safe shelter, stay away from showers, sinks, bath tubs, and electric equipment such as stoves, radios, corded telephones and computers. Unsafe buildings include car ports, open garages, covered patios, picnic shelters, beach pavilions, and golf shelters, tents of any kind, baseball dugouts, sheds, and partially enclosed vending areas.
  • A safe vehicle is any fully enclosed metal-topped vehicle such as a hard-topped car, minivan, bus, truck, etc. While inside a vehicle, do not use electronic devices such as radio communications or touch metal framework during a thunderstorm. Unsafe vehicles include golf carts, convertibles, motorcycles, or any other open cab vehicle.