Suspended Games FAQs
When are games suspended?
Any time the officials believe there is an unsafe condition on the field, they will have the situation corrected or will not allow the game to be played.
Officials must delay the start of the game or suspend the game if there is visible lightning or audible thunder. This calls for the removal of athletes from the field to vehicles or permanent structures. As an official, you are responsible for getting the coaches to clear the field; you cannot police spectators. The game may resume if there are 30 consecutive minutes with no visible lightning or audible thunder.
When there is a site manager, the site manager can suspend the game, the officials can suspend the game, and neither party can overrule the other.
Note that even if it is determined that the remainder of the game will not be played and the score is final, there are no handshakes or team cheers when there is lightning or any other dangerous condition: players, coaches, spectators, and officials must leave the field immediately and get into vehicles or permanent structures.
What are the officials' responsibilities when a game is suspended and can't be resumed?
You must tell the assigner exactly when you were released from the field (i.e., the exact time of day that they said, "You don't need to wait around any longer."). That determines, in most cases, how much you get paid.
You also need to report game information in case the game is to be resumed at a later date. In some cases, the time remaining in the game also makes a difference.
Finally, you need to report to the assigner whether they sent you home immediately when the game was stopped or whether they had you stay on site to see if things would clear up.
Beginning in November 2017, the way to report all of this information is to fill out the "UMLOA Suspended Game Report for Officials" form; the link for this page can be found on the ArbiterSports.com announcements page.
What should we do if there are multiple games scheduled and an early game is delayed?
For JV/Varsity double-headers, the correct answer is almost always that the JV game gets shorted and the Varsity game starts on-time or as close to on-time as weather conditions allow.
For other games, such as a set of 5 youth games in a row on the same field, it is usually best to get the next game started on time if possible and to leave the suspended game as suspended. Be flexible if possible, but often the officials will need to get to another set of games, which prevents the officials from allowing the whole schedule to slide later into the day.
Generally, if one game ends up being completely washed out but you have to stick around to see if it clears up for later games, you will get full pay for the games you had to wait through. There is usually only a pay deduction when you are sent home early.
What is the GNLL suspended game policy?
If a GNLL game is terminated, the score is as stands if the coaches agree. However, if the coaches cannot agree, then they need to work with the GNLL league director to see if the game can be resumed. Generally, if it is possible to resume the game, there is an additional fee to the participating teams to cover the additional costs involved.
If league games prior to Memorial Day at the 9/10, 14U, 12U, 10U, or 8U levels are postponed or suspended and then made up during a weekday, the difference in the officials’ fees between the weekend rates and the weekday rates must be made up by the rescheduling teams. If the game is canceled or not completed, no refunds are issued. It is often not possible to make these games up.
What is the MSHSL suspended game policy?
See the MSHSL website. Essentially, untied varsity games which have reached the end of the third quarter are considered completed. If a game is tied in the fourth quarter or later, or if it has not reached the end of the third quarter, it is up to the teams to decide whether to resume the game from the point of interruption. Officials generally get a full game fee for the resumed game unless sometime can be worked out with the assigner (e.g., a partial fee might apply if the last 6 minutes of the fourth quarter could be made up just prior to another scheduled game).
JV and freshman games are typically not made up, but may be under some circumstances.
How are games rescheduled?
The teams involved should send the league scheduler a list of dates which work for both teams. The league will work with the assigner to determine if officials are available for any of those dates. Due to the large number of games already scheduled, it is often not possible to find a date that works for both teams and for which officials are available. For summer games, Fridays have been set aside for rescheduling, and early starts are often possibly if players' families are trying to go out of town for the weekend.
If a game is suspended and completed at a later date, how is the game completed?
The game is resumed from the point of interruption. The officials will note
- the team in possession
- where the ball was
- which team was defending which goal
- the game score
- the time
- the quarter
- the status of the alternate possession arrow
- the number of minutes of personal fouls for each player
- the number of non-releasable unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for each team
- the current penalty situation
and report that information to the assigner, who will make sure the officials working the remainder of the game have the information. In addition, report by email the exact time you were sent home from the game or games so that proper payment can be determined.
What are the payment policies?
See the Pay Rates and Policies page for policies for the current game. You must contact your assigner to make sure you are paid the correct amount. The most important piece of information to report is the time you were released from the field.
For the makeup game, the officials are generally paid a full game fee as they need to pass up the opportunity to work another game in order to work the makeup game. However, in some circumstances the assigner can arrange a lesser fee if the portion of the game to be made up is immediately before or after another game at the same site.