Cold weather

Discussion in 'Referee' started by voiceoflg, Jan 12, 2022.

  1. voiceoflg

    voiceoflg Member+

    Dec 8, 2005
    The coldest game I ever refereed was 38°, but later in the day it warmed up to 60. I know all about layers having lived the first 18 years in Milwaukee.

    Sunday, I have two games. The forecast calls for snow, 29° at kickoff, 16° wind chill. By the end of the last game, it is supposed to have more snow, 31° by games end with wind chill of 20°. Turf field, so no chance of them getting cancelled.

    My question is...one pair of merino wool socks or two? What all do you wear when you are in that kind of weather?
     
  2. MJ91

    MJ91 Member

    United States
    Jan 14, 2019
    Yeah, proper layering with the proper fabrics are key - for me they've still gotta have some breathability, so i'll still wear UA heatgear fitted shirt & compression shorts as a baselayer.

    In really cold weather, my extremities tend to start hurting first...
    • Goretex trail running shoes to keep the cold wind & water off my feet.
    • i wear compression socks under my uniform socks anyway, so i just switch to a more insulating version of those.
    • Wind/water-proof sports gloves (form-fitting style).
    • Chapstick.
    • For the ears, black beanie-style hat or an ear band.
    • I don't wear pants/leggings in the middle as i run enough to keep my legs warm, but will wear them as AR if needed. I'm usually pants-over-the-shorts so that i can shed them without a changing room. i'm rarely on games where someone would care about shorts not being visible.
    • Balaclavas and neck gaiters get too hot for me, but YMMV.
     
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  3. code1390

    code1390 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Hopefully someone at concacaf forwards this thread to the officials for the upcoming three USA games
     
  4. MetroFever

    MetroFever Member+

    Jun 3, 2001
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    In NJ, that's the temperature at kickoff for a daytime match when the games begin in late February/early March.

    Coldest game I did was 22 degrees at night. I need to have my head examined.

    Sock-wise, there were only 2 occasions where I wore a woolen one under my USSF sock. Personally, I focus more on my upper body with the layers, a good woolen cap and heavy duty gloves if I'm the AR.

    As I see past pictures of myself in short sleeves in cold weather, I am finding that I am more sensitive to temperature as I am aging.
     
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  5. RefIADad

    RefIADad Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    Aug 18, 2017
    Des Moines, IA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Obviously, layers are the key here.

    I refereed in Kansas City in the middle of December. Similar type of weather to what you're describing. The temps were in the upper 20s for my first 8 AM AR with a brisk wind. By the time I finished my third game around 1:30, it was pushing 45 and the wind was a lot less brisk.

    For my AR, I wore my long pants for the first half. I felt warmed up enough to go with shorts and socks for the second half. Here's how I layered.

    1) Compression socks underneath my regular socks. Surprisingly since I usually have cold feet, that's usually enough for layering related to socks.
    2) I hardly ever wear running tights under my shorts for middles, but I have done so in the past. If I'm on the line, I'll go with long pants. For me, I run enough in the middle that I usually warm up to where I'm OK just wearing shorts as the center.
    3) Base layer is a cold-layer compression shirt. I have a Nike with a mock neck and a Macron with a crew neck.
    4) If I need an additional layer, I usually just wear my USSF quarter zip between my base layer and my shirt.
    5) I have a couple of running beanies that I wear for hats. Knit hats are usually too cold for me.

    To be completely honest, I often find I overdress for the cold as opposed to under dress.
     
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  6. Rufusabc

    Rufusabc Member+

    May 27, 2004
    Having had surgeries on my hands and arms, they get really cold as I get older. If I am on the line in cold weather, I use hand warmers with big gloves. In the center, I wear just glove liners as I find it easier to pull cards out. I bike a lot, so I have a ton of biking gear that doubles as cold weather ref gear too. I have a hat with ear flaps that is really warm.

    Coldest temperature wise was 15 degrees at KO. No wind though. Coldest I have ever been was a 40 degree spring day with sideways rain. I was on the line for the first match of the day and the wind was so wicked that 3 goals were scored directly from corners! The next day I went out and bought gloves that fisherman use!
     
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  7. chwmy

    chwmy Member+

    Feb 27, 2010
    If it’s going to be cold and wet (and if it’s 29 and snowing, it’s not dry snow) i feel like the absolute best thing is to have a wool base layer. They do breathe but if they get wet with sweat or rain or snow you will still be warm. A soaking wet synthetic base layer is almost useless. Same for hats.
     
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  8. Chaik

    Chaik Member

    Oct 18, 2001
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    These suggestions are all great. I do prefer the high 20's with some snow to the high 30's/low 40's with rain. As long as you can stay dry, you can make yourself warm. Wear some stuff that you can shed easily if necessary as you warm up.

    If it's raining hard and 40? There's nothing you can do.
     
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  9. cleansheetbsc

    cleansheetbsc Member+

    Mar 17, 2004
    Club:
    --other--
    The temps really aren't terrible if you are in the center. The wind will be really demoralizing.

    Since its two matches, not sure if you are a winter hiker, but if you are, think along those lines for dressing (albeit under soccer clothes). Add/subtract layers as you go along.
     
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  10. USSF REF

    USSF REF Member

    Red Bull NY
    United States
    Nov 6, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Get the stick on toe warmers! That's what helps me the most on the very cold days.

    Shirt: Wicking under layer like under Armour cold gear, insulating windbreaker in the middle and uniform on top.
     
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  11. dadman

    dadman Yo soy un papa

    Apr 13, 2001
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Coldest I've ever been as a player was the same conditions. Too much cotton in the uniform and man! once it was soaked through, it was like being naked. Worse, because I soaked the car seats driving home. :eek:
     
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  12. voiceoflg

    voiceoflg Member+

    Dec 8, 2005
    I'm going to bookmark this thread for future reference. The games were just cancelled...likely postponed as these are NPL semifinals. I appreciate everyone's input, though.
     
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  13. soccerref69420

    I literally only watch soccer games to watch the refs
    Mar 14, 2020
    Nat'l Team:
    Korea DPR
    Worst part of cold weather is how it affects my toes and especially my hands and fingers. I struggle gripping cards or writing stuff down.


    [​IMG]
     
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  14. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

    May 30, 2009
    My coldest game ever was probably only in the low 40s, but we were all in short sleeves with nothing else and it unexpectedly start to pour rain. And a heavy wind. And in the second half I was the AR at the end where nothing was happening.

    So recording goals while freezing in heavy rain. And a coach actually yelled at the R that it was taking too long for us to write down the goals (I ducked under a parent's umbrella to do it at one point). :rolleyes: I had an hour drive home and shivered the whole way home. And bought a rain jacket I can wear under my shirt . . .
     
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  15. USSF REF

    USSF REF Member

    Red Bull NY
    United States
    Nov 6, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I will reiterate it. Get toe warmers like these (there are many brands, this is just for example):
    [​IMG]

    Although it suggests putting them beneath the toe, I have found that is weird when I run, so they go on top of my toes instead.

    Finally, I think there really should be a uniform standard worldwide (but more importantly for me, in the USA) published that specifically allows for long pants in weather where the wind chill is at or below freezing.
     
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  16. RefIADad

    RefIADad Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    Aug 18, 2017
    Des Moines, IA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #16 RefIADad, Jan 14, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
    Certainly not a US-wide mandate, but I know in Iowa we have full backing to wear what we need to wear to stay safe and comfortable.

    Several years ago, I was refereeing a few matches around my son's U11 matches on a Saturday in 35-degree weather. I knew I was working with younger kids who would only have yellow shirts. I emailed the SRA at the time (who's a pretty good friend of mine) and told him I was going to wear black in the middle and wanted to give my young ARs the authority to wear a black jacket or sweatshirt to stay warm. They could just wear their referee tops underneath. He was good with that and specifically said, "Safety first". So that's exactly what we did, and no one complained.

    I also know that Escobar's ARs in the Mexico-Canada match wore black training pants on the line for that game in the frigid weather. I figure if it's good enough for a FIFA-badged crew in a World Cup qualifier, it's good enough for me in my grassroot games (and should be for everyone else in the grassroots world)!
     
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  17. voiceoflg

    voiceoflg Member+

    Dec 8, 2005
    Someone told me that medical vinyl exam gloves worn under regular gloves help keep the body heat in. I only tried it once when there was frost on the ground and it worked.
     
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  18. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

    May 30, 2009
    I totally agree on pants/running tights (though in my neck of the woods, that is hardly ever necessary).

    But why not wear the ref shirt over the top of the warm layer?
     
  19. RefIADad

    RefIADad Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    Aug 18, 2017
    Des Moines, IA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    They needed a lot more warm layers given the wind chills were in the teens, and for U11-U12 matches I wasn't going to sacrifice them trying to stuff themselves into a referee shirt with a winter coat underneath.

    If it was State Cup or ECNL, I would have never done this. But for small-sided, it was just easier to make things work this way.
     
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  20. USSF REF

    USSF REF Member

    Red Bull NY
    United States
    Nov 6, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There are a lot of common sense approaches adopted around the world for this issue. Certainly, living just five miles south of Lake Ontario, we also encourage our refs to "break the uniform rules" and wear pants or tights under their shorts when it is very cold. In fact, I don't really see governing bodies ever coming down on an official who would take reasonable measures against the cold at any level. That's not really the issue.

    There are always the gray areas that go along with such decisions though... how cold is cold enough to allow a different uniform standard? What alterations to the uniform are deemed appropriate or reasonable? etc.

    What I would like to see is some specific cold-weather uniform that is standard and accepted throughout the country, but also internationally at the highest levels. Having a clear uniform standard would encourage referees to make smarter choices in cold weather, as I know some who refuse to go to long-pants (trousers for our UK friends) in sub-zero temps, or others who tell the referee that they shouldn't be seen in pants and only the ARs can (drives me a little nuts). This would give those folks the "permission" to use pants. On top of that, if at the top levels FIFA officials were seen to be wearing uniform standard pants then it would just become accepted practice for all. Obviously, there are places where this wouldn't be needed, but that's no reason not to create such a standard for the benefit of all.

    Where it comes to cold weather, I always ask referees, would you rather be seen in shorts because that's the correct uniform and be cold and distracted? Or would you rather be warm and improve your ability to focus and run and make better decisions?
     
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  21. RefIADad

    RefIADad Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    Aug 18, 2017
    Des Moines, IA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #21 RefIADad, Jan 14, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
    I think the following guidance would work very well for international/professional matches

    When the wind chill or WGBT is 0 Celsius (32 Farenheit) or below, referees are encouraged to wear predominantly black training pants or running tights under uniform shorts and predominantly black hats. (This would allow for training pants and hats with some logos/markings on them, like the Capelli warm up pants with the cubes logo on the side that I'm guessing MLS referees are wearing with their uniform deal).

    For grassroots, you just make predominantly black base layers, running tights, and training pants an accepted part of the official uniform and include that in the uniform guidelines that we get with our badges. That allows for young referees to wear training pants with Adidas stripes or Capelli cubes (like my son has for his warmup gear since his club wears black Capelli warmups) while still setting up higher-level referees to wear the usual Official Sports black training pants.
     
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  22. MetroFever

    MetroFever Member+

    Jun 3, 2001
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    I have tried the Under Armour leggings and do not find that they keep me warm unless I'm constantly moving and running.

    There is at least one match a year where if it's brutally cold and if I am the AR, I simply put on my Adidas training pants over my referee short (it would look silly to put them over the heavy long sleeve pant) and feel I still look professional for the level I'm doing.

    Why are we still in the Stone Age where long pants are not permitted, but ultra-thin leggings are? It makes no sense. So much for "health/safety first".

    If OSI made such pants to ensure uniformity among the referees I would definitely get them. Emails coming from assignors, SRA's and USSF not to wear pants during a brutally cold day are hypocritical being that the emails are being typed from the comfort of someone's heated home.
     
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  23. RefIADad

    RefIADad Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    Aug 18, 2017
    Des Moines, IA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    https://officialsports.com/1270p-tapered-warm-up-pant/

    I have three pairs of these. Love them. If I have to wear pants as an AR, this is what I wear. I also wear these when running outside, working as a fourth, etc. I'm sure the Adidas version of these is what Escobar's ARs wore in Edmonton.
     
  24. MetroFever

    MetroFever Member+

    Jun 3, 2001
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    Croatia
    #24 MetroFever, Jan 14, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
  25. DefRef

    DefRef Member

    Jul 3, 2017
    Storrs CT
    I take this a step further with kid refs - if you are miserable, you will be a lousy ref and you will probably quit. Dress as warm as you want - long pants, hats, gloves, jacket. I do ask that they put the ref shirt on top.

    And I cringe at the parents who have their kids playing in freezing weather in shorts and shirt. What is wrong with these people......:speechless:
     
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