09/07/12 – Reminder about Weather Interrupted Football Games

September 7, 2012 Athletic Department Blog Updates

Based on the number of inquiries in the last few hours, it seems prudent to remind schools and officials about the required procedures involving interrupted football games.

Basically, there is no such thing as a no contest. Regardless of how long or short games go due to inclement weather, it cannot be treated as though it never happened. Once it starts, it starts.
Two valuable resources are laid out in the KHSAA policies. First, if you look at the Officials Guidebook, it clearly talks about the officials authority NOT being absolute on whether or not we resume. It says:

SEVERE WEATHER / HEAT ILLNESS POLICY FOR ACTIONS BY OFFICIALS AT OUTDOOR SPORTS
The Referee (Lead Official / Crew Chief) shall stop play in a contest or scrimmage at the first sound of lightning or thunder at the site. The playing site shall be cleared immediately of all persons. The contest or scrimmage may be resumed following a three (3) minute warm-up period, no sooner than thirty (30) minutes after the last sight of lightning or the last sound of thunder.

If the severe weather is of great length or intensity, the Referee (Lead Of? cial / Crew Chief) shall work cooperatively with home contest administration on decisions related to the resumption of play. Contest officials are encouraged to learn the weather forecast prior to contest time and to work cooperatively with home contest administration prior to making weather-related decisions. Safety of the public and participants is the most important factor in any decision of this type.

The Referee (Lead Official / Crew Chief) shall work cooperatively with home contest administration on decisions related to the KMA Heat Illness Plan. Final authority for this decision rests within home contest administration.

RESUMING AN INTERRUPTED GAME

Secondly, a reminder to schools that if we are interrupted, the choices are laid out in the competition rules at http://khsaa.org/handbook/tournamentrules/fbtournamentrules.pdf. If we are interrupted, we have the choice of

1) terminate at point of interruption.
2) resume at a mutually agreed date, which must be decided before everyone leaves the site. In other words, we can’t say “let’s talk next week and decide”, we have to decide when we are going to resume the game at the moment we are stopped and have decided not to resume that night.
3) If we can’t agree on a resumption date and time, it is to be the next day, same game time. If one school can’t play the next day, AND can’t agree on the resumption date, that team will simply forfeit the game.

Please remember as the policies state, that divine intervention is the primary reason we end up in these situations, and working together is a much better solution.