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Thread: British school sports in the winter

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  1. #29
    practical experience, FTW neandermagnon's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    Dorset, UK
    Quote Originally Posted by Roxxsmom View Post
    My impression is that they are far less inclined to be weather wusses in the UK than in many parts of the US. The times I've been there, I've seen people out playing football, rugby, running, riding horses etc. in weather that would have US school kids inside (in the gym) playing dodge ball, volleyball or basketball. I grew up in CA, and our riding instructor would blanch and have us and pull the saddles off the horses, then cancel our lessons when it rained more than a few drops, because "water ruins leather." It doesn't appear to ruin saddle leather in the UK--maybe they make more liberal use of saddle soap there. Nor does playing soccer in the rain "ruin" the grass in the UK as everyone seems to think it will do here in CA.

    Actually, come to think of it, I don't even know what indoor sports they play (in gymnasiums) across the pond. Basketball and volleyball are popular in the US. Do they play basketball and volleyball much in the UK?

    Maybe that's why they move kids' PE classes inside in the winter in the US. Because we have popular games that can be played indoors. It's al;so true that in some parts of the US the winters do a lot more than rain or snow lightly--they have persistent drifts of snow that partially melt then refreeze to make a horrible crust on top.
    It depends on a lot of things. In secondary school it will depend on timetabling, i.e. it may not be possible to change the location of an outdoor PE class to indoors if there's already another class in the hall. Though if there's gale force winds they will reschedule. A little bit of rain isn't much of a health and safety hazard but strong winds are. Also, there are legal issues with showers (stricter child protection and showers involve being naked) so they won't want kids getting too wet/muddy. I just asked my kid who's at secondary school - they don't even have showers any more ("there used to be but now it's a PE cupboard"). Also, temperature isn't a factor - rain or snow would be the issue, albeit snow shuts down the whole country so it's likely if it's snowing that much they won't be at school. Note: snow that doesn't settle won't close places down.

    There's quite a big difference between school PE and activities that people choose to do of their own accord - I've done rugby training at my local club during a storm that was strong enough to have a name* (I've forgotten the name of the storm) but we were all there because we chose to be. School PE is compulsory so not all the kids will want to be there in the first place, never mind outdoors in horrible weather.

    *they're named the way hurricanes are named but they're just called "storm Barry" or whatever, rather than hurricane

    In primary schools they usually do change outdoor PE to indoor PE due to bad weather because they don't have the same facilities for changing and they won't want wet, muddy children in the classroom for the rest of the day.

    Regarding pitches and rain damage, it depends on the soil type and also how high up the pitch is. Drainage is a major factor in some places.
    Last edited by neandermagnon; 09-23-2019 at 10:14 AM.
    my blog - cave people and stuff - an imaginative look at palaeolithic life: http://cavepeopleandstuff.wordpress.com/

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