Cold Weather Policy & Safety Tips

Pipeline will make the call for each session during the winter no later then 4 pm on practice days or 24 hours before games.


The effects of cold weather can impact health and safety during practices and games. The definition of “cold stress” varies across the United States, depending on how accustomed people are to cold weather. A player from Minnesota will have a much different threshold for cold than a player from Florida.

U.S. Soccer’s RECOGNIZE TO RECOVER program prepared this guide for coaches, referees and players for training or playing in colder climates. Additionally, it serves as a guide for match play and participant safety during extreme temperature conditions. The information provided is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. For specific questions and concerns, please consult your health care provider or physician.


Dressing for the cold

When temperatures drop and wind increases, the body loses heat more rapidly. It is important to dress appropriately when training or playing in cold weather. This also means to
not overdress.

Layering clothing in a specific way (see box) is recommended and very effective. The layers can be added or removed based on body temperature and changing environmental conditions, such as temperature and wind. Allow players to

Stay Dry

Wet and damp conditions add to the risk of injury or illness during cold weather. Players, coaches and referees should recognize these factors and use additional caution to watch for potential cold injuries.

If players do get wet during training or play, remove wet or saturated clothing and replace it with dry clothing. This becomes more important if the individual will remain out of play or anticipates standing around for a prolonged period of time. A hat, gloves and extra pair of socks can also keep extremities dry in case of snow or rain.

Stay Hydrated

Cold weather often reduces our ability to recognize that we are becoming dehydrated. If you are thirsty you have already become dehydrated. Try putting warm or hot water in a water bottle so that your water doesn’t freeze when training for extended amounts of time outside.

Take Action

If someone is suffering from a cold-related illness, get him or her into a warm location as soon as possible. Identify a nearby warming location before the start of training or play.

During games provide blankets or other items for players to stay warm while they are on the bench and allow additional substitutions or warming breaks.

Wind Chill

Pay attention to the wind chill temperature (WCT) Index. (see chart below) Even prolonged exposure in relatively mild temperatures can lead to frostbite. The National Weather Service wind chill chart can serve as a guide to safe play in cold weather.

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Capelli Sport

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USYS National League

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Development Academy