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New County Rainout Reporting Schedule

By Damascus Soccer Club, 04/04/18, 2:15PM EDT

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Montgomery County Changes it's Rainout Line Reporting Time

Critical for all outdoor enthusiasts, we all need to know if/when our fields are closed. Montgomery County has changed their reporting time. The end result is that there is now less buffer between the report and our activity start times. 

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)

Montgomery County is now reporting rainout conditions at 3 PM instead of at 2 PM as before. This means that we will have less time to alert everyone of a closure. 

Want to know the general policy? Keep reading below. 

What You Can Do Now

It never fails, our fields are closed, we make the announcements, parents show up anyway - wet, disappointed, and frustrated. Don't be that parent! Here are some things you can (and should) do:

  1. Like our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/DamascusSoccerClub/). Facebook is often our first place to report changing conditions and updates. This is simply because Facebook fits on a mobile phone and we're often on a field when we know that an event needs to be canceled.  Most other forms (email, newsletters, Website updates) require us to be at a computer. 
  2. Download the SportsEngine apps to your iPhone or Android. These apps are communication and reminder wizards. They allow coaches to communicate with their teams. They put the schedule at your fingertips. They allow parents to RSVP for games and practices. They allow everyone to upload photos and videos to team Websites - and more! iPhone here (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sport-ngin/id499597400) - Android here (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sportngin.android&hl=en)
  3. Make sure your communication preferences are NOT set to "Opt Out." You can tell be opening your dashboard (log in to SportsEngine) and navigate to communication preferences. There you can set if you want email, text messages, both, or none. If you select none, you will get nothing - no news, updates from your coach, schedule reminders... nothing. This option is not advised. 
  4. Sign up for the rainout line alerts yourself! (https://www.montgomeryparks.org/rainoutline/)

General Weather Policy

Fields are not generally closed because we don't want kids to get wet. Lightning and thunder are no-no's, but rain.... it's just wetness. And slippery... and sometimes cold... but not a show stopper. 

Our fields are owned by Montgomery County. The County has a general rule that when it has rained 1/2 inch or more in the last 24 hours, they close the fields. This is to protect the fields, not the kids. Wet fields are soft. Soft fields get damaged by cleats. Damages fields have to come out of service for the rest of the season. They take a long time to repair. 

We check for field closures at 3 PM (used to be 2 M until they changed their policy), and do our best to get the word out as we talk about above. 

On weekends, our Field and Equipment manager has first line responsibility for inspecting the fields and getting a report back to the Recreation Director before 7AM. If there is a field issue, the Recreation Director and the Field and Equipment manager will contact the President and the three will make the decision. 

A County driven closure trumps a Club decision. If they close, we can not open. If they remain open, we can still close.

Why Would We Close?

Safety, mostly. Some things that can impact safety:

  • Standing water on the field. 
  • Vandalism
  • Holes or man-made devices stuck in the ground (like Lacross goal stakes we can not remove)
  • Damage that is visible with personal inspection, but not known by the County (yet).