Tips and Suggestions For Safe Travel
Choosing to be an official, which will require travel to games/events during winter months, should cause you to ensure you can safely get to games/events. Ensuring personal and/or work matters are taken care of so you can be certain to have enough time to get to the game/event is a necessary assessment each official needs to make. Additionally, officials should consider winter tires, a well maintained vehicle, block heater extension cord, and an emergency roadside kit (blankets, reflectors, booster cables, first aid kid etc), Food, water, warm clothes, AMA membership, etc.
Communication: Communicating with crew/group 48 hours prior to game/event is recommended to ensure all bases are covered. A centralized meeting place, convenient for all officials/members should be agreed upon. Should plans change or "things come up", enough prior notice should be given that officials are not scrambling at the last minute. Communication with League Officials and Assignors with as much notice as possible is also advisable.
Travel: Officials are to ensure they allow enough time to get to games with league requirements. At times, road conditions can delay travel and officials should allocate more time in these instances. If officials feel they will be late, contact must be made with appropriate personnel so that teams can be notified etc. Officials should never arrive late for reasons other than inclement weather or unexpected delays during travel. A good ‘rule of thumb’ is when police are advising not to travel, officials should adhere to the request and refrain from travelling – if this results in a game cancellation, communication with partners and assignor will be critical.
Weather: In situations of inclement weather, the safest, most weather friendly vehicle, should be used. Safety and reliability is a higher priority than who gets the mileage. When it is known that weather may play a factor in travel, officials should take all necessary precautions to arrive on time. Check the road reports for the route well in advance and good communication with other officials to discuss all options including choice in vehicle, communication with assignor or possibly cancel of game.
In situations where official(s) become stranded and travel is not recommended or advised, the league, or host community shall provide appropriate accommodations (hotel or motel). If necessary, the Official’s Region may reimburse the official and pursue repayment from the league or team for the cost of the hotel. When lodging/accommodations are provided, officials are expected to use them.
Cancelling a Game or Event: In the event that a crew decides that conditions are unsafe for travel, the league assignor or event coordinator must be contacted. Cancellation is a last resort, but may be necessary in some instances. The officials’ first point of contact should be the assignor. If the weather is inclement it is never too early to contact the league assignor/coordinator to discuss travel.
Availability: If work and school are not "flexible" or you are unable to make certain meeting times or meeting locations that meet an acceptable travel itinerary, officials/members shall notify assignors/coordinators so that other official/members can be used.