All fields that Hartwell Soccer uses are managed by the Town’s Parks and Rec Department including all school fields. The town is responsible for their upkeep, lining the fields, and making decisions if they are playable during poor weather or other conditions. For example, the town may close this fields if the grass needs treatment or if the fields are soaked from past rain.
Although we are given primary use of certain fields each season, school events can take first priority for school fields. Additionally, we do share some of the fields with other town-sponsored activities and private events, which can also impact availability. Managing over 18 fields each season is a complex task for Hartwell and its volunteers.
The safety of all of our players is Hartwell’s primary concern, so if at any time there is thunder/lightning or any other severe weather or safety issue when fields are open, all coaches and referees are instructed to move players to a safe spot and wait 30 minutes before entering a field again.
Prior to practices and games, Hartwell will follow the direction of the Town's Parks and Rec Department when it comes to field closings. Generally, for weather-related situations: Parks and Rec will close fields when the fields are at risk and Hartwell (and other town sports) are responsible for canceling activities when kids are at risk. There also can be situations where Parks and Rec may close the fields for reasons other than weather. In either case, when the town closes fields Hartwell must cancel all soccer activities on the grass (including practice) even if the sun is shining and the kids are safe.
Field status notifications will be targeted for:
Occasionally unexpected storms, weather and field conditions are such that game- time/practice-time decisions must be made either by coaches, GHSC staff or referees. Coaches have the discretion to cancel practices if they deem the weather or field conditions are an issue for their age group.
When weather or any other external event impacting our use of fields occurs, Hartwell will always post a scrolling marquee on the website indicating fields are closed and send an e-mail to our members. If your account on Hartwell’s website is set up to receive text messages, you will also receive a text message noting the cancellation at that time. We highly recommend setting up text notification, as it will allow the fastest way to communicate the status of our fields.
Making timely decisions on field closures is important. However, please understand that we rely on volunteers and coaches who walk the fields and watch the weather reports closely to maximize play and ensure the safety of our kids. As a result we may not always be able to adhere strictly to the guidelines set forth above and we appreciate your patience and understanding. More volunteers are always welcome!
BOTTOM LINE: unless you hear otherwise from Hartwell – Fields are considered OPEN. When fields are CLOSED you will receive an e-mail or text (if registered) and Hartwell’s website will be updated accordingly.