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Purpose. The purpose of this policy is to strike a balance between the need to maintain our grass fields in superior condition over the long-term, and the desirability to play games/matches when scheduled.

Basically if there is over a half inch in a 24 hour period, or there is significant visible pools of standing water, or that the water "pools" around your cleat when you step on the field, then there is a Rainout Condition.

1. Decision-Maker. The General Manager (GM) of the Morgan Hill Outdoor Sports Center (MHOSC) shall have the authority to suspend play at any time. Once play is suspended, the MHOSC GM, or his designee, shall consult with the Greenskeeper, Event Director, Head Referee, Morgan Hill Youth Sports Alliance (MHYSA) Board members to determine if play is cancelled for the day and when play may be reasonably expected to resume. The GM and Greenskeeper will closely track the weather and provide updates as required prior to match-day, and together, will declare rain outs conditions before field use if necessary.  Generally, when the grass fields have sustained over a half inch of rain in a 24 hour period, a Rainout condition occurs.

2. Timing. The initial decision shall be made no later than 6:45 AM on the day in question, except that the decision may be made as of 5:00 PM on the day before match-day, if the field conditions warrant that they will be unplayable on match-day. (It is important to make the decision based on conditions as they actually exist on the match day itself, rather than based on a weather forecasts or a guesstimate. It is important to make the decision as early as possible on match-day, so as to give as much notice as possible to players and referees.)

3. Method. It will be the responsibility of the MHOSC GM or the greens-keeping team to actually walk each field to determine if the field is playable according to the guidelines in the next section. (It is important to base the decision on personal observation, rather than assumptions, guesstimates or second-hand information.) Based on the guidelines, if the MHOSC GM determines any of the MHOSC fields are unplayable, they will update the Hotline, TXT-tree, and website to inform the community about the status of the fields.

4. Guidelines. Matches shall be postponed on a given field if, on a significant portion of the field, (1) there is standing water on the field; (2) the turf is "squishy" when walked upon; or (3) the grass root system has failed and the fields are muddy. Additionally, if over 1 inch of rain is recorded in a 24 hour period, then the fields will be deemed unplayable. If the weather forecast clearly provides ample warning of over 1 inch of rain, or that on game day 1 inch of rain will likely accumulate over 24 hours at a point when games are played, then the MHOSC GM will deem the field unplayable. Squishy, or ground saturation, can be defined as when one steps on the grass field and water pools around one’s shoe and feels spongy to walk upon. Muddy is the conditions where the grass root system fails to provide adequate traction for safe play, and that further use will increase muddiness. The determination of terms “likely”, “squishy”, “muddy”, and “ample warning” is the sole determination of the MHOSC GM, Greens-keeper or their designees.  A Rainout condition is in effect after a half inch of rain has been recorded in the 24 hour period up to the start of a game (see Rainout Premium below).

5. Re-Evaluation. If a field is not playable under the guidelines, but there appears to be a reasonable possibility that the field may be playable later in the day, only the morning matches shall be cancelled initially, and the field shall be re-evaluated by the MHOSC GM at 10:30 AM for afternoon play.  The Rainout Premium may be offered.

6. Notification of Players and Referees. The decision-maker(s) shall inform the Head Referee, the Event Director or Head Marshall, and then they shall record an appropriate message on the Hotline, TXT-tree, and website IMMEDIATELY after the fields have been examined by the MHOSC GM or designee. The message should begin with the date and time of the message. If fields are playable, the message should so state, especially if there has been rain in the area recently. The message should conclude by stating the time of the next announcement, if re-evaluation is contemplated, and possibility of rescheduling. Notice shall also be posted at the entrance to the field complex.

7. Declaring Rainout After Play Commences. If after play has commenced, field conditions deteriorate to the point where the Guidelines set forth above are met, teams are expected to halt play. In addition, any member of the Event Committee, Referee or Referee Coordinator who is present at the fields has the authority and responsibility to halt play. The person(s) making the decision shall put in place a "Fields Closed" sign at the entrances to the MHOSC, and he shall notify the Event Team, MHOSC Event Coordinator, MHOSC GM or designee, or the MHYSA Executive Director so that the Rainedout Hotline, TXT-tree, and website may be updated.

8. Penalty for Playing After Rain-out Declared. If a field at MHOSC or any other fields· has been declared "rained out" or closed, no organizations or teams or players may play on the fields. Any team or individual player who plays in violation of this policy shall be subject to the penalties set forth in the Usage Agreement.

9. Ice of Frost – under no circumstance will anyone be allowed on fields covered by ise or frost.  Stepping or driving on frosted or ice grass kills the crown with no chance of recovery. Any team or individual player who plays in violation of this policy shall be subject to the penalties set forth in the Usage Agreement.

10. Rainout Premium Option
Event Directors or Users may have an option to play through the rain, which can be offered at the sole discretion of the MHOSC GM or their agent.  Basically if there is over a half inch in a 24 hour period, or there is significant visible pools of standing water, or that the water "pools" around your cleat when you step on the field, then there is a Rainout Condition.  If the field conditions (for all fields or individual field) are "on the edge" when a rainout occurs, then the discussion of a Rainout Premium is warranted.  
Determination of the premium availability is based on conditions sustained in the 72 hours prior, expected forecast, the need to preserve fields for upcoming events, or other considerations. The Rainout Premium runs $200 to $400 per field and surrounding grass areas and will be based on damage sustained by teams, officials and spectators. 
Once the Event team and GM agree on the execution of the Premium, the event resumes with no possibility of a refund for the premium. The fields can now be closed again if:

  • conditions become (as deemed by the head referee) unsafe;

  • there is an inch in a 24 hour period while games occur;

  • the grass becomes clearly soaked and only mud will come of it all.

The GM has the sole responsibility to determine the field damage extent and what it will cost ($200 to $400) to repair the fields.

11. Artificial Turf Fields – the artificial turf system is robust and is expecting to handle any reasonable rain – however, in the case where the drainage system is unable to drain the fields and standing water is observed, the artificial turf fields shall be closed. In general, the only expected weather conditions that would warrant the closing of the artificial turf fields is lightning observed within 15 miles, thunder, excessively high temperatures, or other extreme meteorological phenomena. If lighting or thunder conditions are observed, play is suspended for 30 minutes from last observation.



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