Soccer referees have to be just like the players when it comes to the weather; we play and we referee. Except for lightning, and a foot of snow on the ground/turf, we play. So it comes as no surprise that games go off even though it's 38 degrees and rain. I could ref Futsol, as that is indoors, but I'd rather dress in layers, and fight the elements with those athletes and be outdoors. I guess running all those long and cold miles back in the day in Cleveland, Ohio, with temperatures in the minuses prepared me for now, or at least that is what I tell myself when my thoughts are all about a hot shower as soon as I get home from the field.
Since January 5, 2019, I've refereed 25 games (on weekends), with four snow-out games cancelled. I really do not mind the cold when dressed appropriately, but that bone-chillin' rain is something else, and you need grit to just get through it (don't forget, we can't use an umbrella). But the kids are out there giving it their all no matter the conditions, and so should the referees. And we do; and I am grateful for every game completed out on that pitch.
And do you know what my go-to piece of clothing that makes all the difference? A turtleneck cashmere wool sweater on top of a cold weather Under-Armour long-sleeved shirt. It's the combination that makes any cold weather game bearable, even enjoyable to be honest.
So there you have it; dressing right, and maybe a little bit of grit can get anyone through cold outdoor conditions whether refereeing soccer, hiking through a great trail, or going for a walk or run. It's all quite doable for sure!
I saw this "Grit" sign on our way to Crested Butte, Colorado, in 2017!