Share all sharing choices for: The 9 points to know about how university football transaction with bad weather

photo by Lance King/Getty images

1. Weather can affect any sport, however college soccer is especially vulnerable.

You are watching: How long can a college football game be delayed

For one thing, university football has actually less top-level structure than most of America’s major sports. The on individual schools and also conferences to figure out emergency rescheduling.

While each agree league has a handful of teams in the areas that gain the brunt that hurricane season, dozens of university teams space along the coasts. And hurricane season typically peaks about the beginning of college football season. This days, more than a dozen FBS gamings are liable to obtain canceled, relocated, or postponed each year.

This isn’t minimal to just hurricanes. Because that example, wildfires ~ above the West shore in 2017 and also 2018 transformed practice and also game schedules.

2. Teams have to prepare because that weather delays by having actually lots the snacks stocked.

The NCAA has actually a ascendancy against energetic play when there’s lightning in the area, and also a few games every season capture lightning delays. These have the right to go on because that hours.

Players scarfed under pizza and also Chick-fil-A throughout one in between Michigan State and also Penn State, if fans invested the three-hour layoff having lots that fun.

Big Ten football. Feeling THE EXCITEMENT.

— Ryan Beckler (
RyanBeckler) November 4, 2017

3. If weather affect a non-conference game, it could just gain canceled.

Most every video game contract has a clause around bad weather. Normally, teams can pull the end of a game without financial penalty if weather has made playing or travel unsafe.

In 2017, Miami canceled a trip to Arkansas State because Hurricane Irma could’ve do traveling house a logistical nightmare. That contract said:

This contract shall it is in void v respect to any of the games in the occasion that it becomes impossible to play together game(s) by factor of unforeseen catastrophe or catastrophe such together fire, flood, earthquake, war, confiscation, by order of government, military, or public authority of prohibitory or injunctive assignment of any kind of competent judicial or other government authority. Notice of such catastrophe or catastrophe shall be given as quickly as possible. No such cancellation shall affect the parties/ obligations regarding subsequent gamings covered by this contract. Any kind of games no played as scheduled shall be rescheduled therefore exigencies might dictate or permit.

If a non-conference video game gets canceled, that not typically a huge deal. Many commonly, those space games in between a power 5 team and also a smaller school that’s gaining paid a couple of hundred thousand dollars to lose. Maybe the home team will still salary the guarantee amount anyway, as Florida did after lightning minimal a 2014 Idaho video game to precisely one play.

It’s not constantly that smooth. After Miami canceled that is 2017 trip, the Red Wolves sued for $650,000 in damages.

4. Conference games are clearly trickier, since they can have long-term aftermath for a dozen teams, fairly than simply two.

“It’s a really far-reaching difference, gift a non-conference video game vs. One SEC game,” Florida advertisement Scott Stricklin stated in 2017 around canceling a game against FCS northern Colorado ~ canceling versus rival LSU the year prior, which came to be a large mess. “SEC game, the organization office is gonna it is in much an ext involved due to the fact that obviously they have actually two members with a stake in the game.”

5. Games get postponed and canceled, but also relocated. That deserve to be a whole other logistical puzzle.

“I actually called Jay Jacobs at Auburn, the advertisement at Auburn — they’re at Clemson this weekend — simply to say, ‘Would your stadium it is in available?’ and also he was open to it,” Stricklin said. “He was, ‘Absolutely, permit me know how we could help,’ and we told him just to sit tight and don’t contact anybody. And in our inner talks, we decided that didn’t make any sense. We were simply poking roughly at all the options, come make sure you flesh whatever out.”

These days, a couple of games per year end up being played elsewhere.

6. The whole region matters. Also if the stadion is safe, weather changes much more than just the stadium itself.

Why cancel, postpone, or relocate a video game that was around to be play on a dry field? To store the state’s emergency sources near people in danger and also to stop forcing human being to take trip through poor weather.

“There’s a number of things to store in consideration,” said UCF executive, management associate ad David Hansen, who has actually experience v weather impacting games. “Number one: the human being that have to travel to your city for the game. The visiting team, the game officials, tv personnel — is that feasible because that those people to travel? space there hotel rooms obtainable before, yet maybe they aren’t accessible now because an initial responders have actually come into your community?

“There’s a most logistics there that you have to have firm commitments for. And either before or ~ a storm, it’s impossible to commit to a soccer game.”

“You have foremost in her mind the safety of anyone involved. A video game is important, and also you do the best you deserve to do beat it, yet you nothing wanna place people in hazard in act so,” south Alabama ad Joel Erdmann told us during the ‘17 hurricane season. Erdmann’s Jaguars had a video game canceled in 2016, the an outcome of LSU-Florida fallout. “It have the right to be a time that’s filled v anxiety, however at the same time, you’re prepared.”

7. Because of all this, athletic departments keep a near eye ~ above forecasts front of time.

“You’re continuous staring in ~ a radar, and you’re constantly gaining the best information you have the right to from the experts in the ar of forecasting,” Erdmann called us.

Athletic departments also assign details staffers to monitor weather.

Former Florida associate ad Chip Howard was affiliated with the Gators’ an extensive Idaho game hold-up in 2014.

‘The lightning, once it’s 15 miles , us let the coaches know and also the referee,’ Howard said. ‘And then when it access time at eight miles, you’re beginning to doubt. It is the easy component of it. The hard component is do the efforts to number out and forecast, due to the fact that you’ve obtained television, you’ve got two coaches that are intense and also highly competitive, and you’ve acquired the fans to concern about, first and foremost. We have pretty an exact protocols that we institute as quickly as that happens. So, all the stuff just kind of wake up by plan, what doesn’t take place is, OK just how long is that going to be? instantly when you have actually a lightning strike, the 30 minutes prior to you can resume play,’ every NCAA rules.

Most teams have a central way to screen weather. Sometimes campuses have their own, and sometimes lock use usual services like AccuWeather. Florida has a volunteer lightning researcher who sits in through operations staff throughout games. Marshall offers third-party software application specifically to track lightning.

See more: How Many Super Bowls Did The Chicago Bears Win, Chicago Bears Team History

‘The biggest factor after all that rain to be our field was no good,’ Howard said. ‘I’m wade the field with the referee, and also the referee’s saying, “You know, this is no safe.” You recognize our ar drains great, however there’s just so much water you can put ~ above the field.’

8. You will do think once there’s a destructive storm, human being would placed aside petty rooting interests and also support each other rather of explain the other side is scared to play. Right?

This is college football. No.

9. Yet sometimes, as lengthy as everyone stays safe, inclement weather is in reality welcome.

James Lang-USA TODAY sporting activities