British Columbia

Icy weather impacting Metro Vancouver soccer season

Thousands of Metro Vancouver soccer players have been sidelined by snow, as fields across the region are closed due to weather.

Outdoor fields frozen, practices, games cancelled as sub-zero temperatures continue

Warren Field at UBC is covered in snow on January 3, 2017. (Tristan Le Rudulier/CBC News )

Thousands of Metro Vancouver soccer players have been sidelined by snow, as fields across the region are closed due to weather.

Games and practices are cancelled for thousands of players in the 4-District and 5-District Youth Soccer Leagues across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

"Everything's outside. So, because the fields are covered in snow, they're unsafe to play on," said 4-District League secretary Christine Pietrzyk.

The grass at UBC's Warren Field is barely visible on January 3, 2017. (Tristan Le Rudulier/CBC News)

"The fields aren't opened until they're thawed and safe to play on and if we're going down to –10 tonight and still in freezing weather until the weekend ... I personally can't see that changing."

Pietrzyk said her two sons, who play in the league, are eager to get back out on the pitch.

"They're bummed — we've had a break already. We lost some games before Christmas due to weather [so] they want to get back to playing."

The Vancouver Park Board said it could be weeks before fields are reopened.

"Not only do we have to wait til the snow leaves the surface, we also have to wait til the ground actually thaws out because it'll just be a frozen slippery mess after that for a little while," said Howard Normann, Director of Park Operations.

"Those leagues also sign an agreement for liability, so we cannot allow them to go on the fields when they're not safe."

The grass at Douglas Park — one of Vancouver's busiest soccer sites — is covered in snow and ice. (Howard Normann/Vancouver Park Board)

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