To view the latest pool status information, see the Pool Alerts section on the Rice Aquatics home page. You can also follow @RICEAquatics on Twitter or see our Facebook page.
If it is raining, we will stay in the water and swim. The only exception to this rule is if the rain affects the our (or the lifeguards') visibility of the swimmers in the water. However, it is worth considering driving conditions in and around Rice when determining whether or not to come to practice. While it hasn't happened recently, a quick and heavy downpour can cause issues with flooding in and around Rice. Please use your best judgment in these cases.
Lightning or Thunder
The Recreation Centers policy with lightning or thunder in the immediate area is to clear the pool and pool deck for 30 minutes after each occurrence. If swimmers are in the water we will do one of the following: drylands in a covered area, stretching in the wet classroom, videos in the lounge or another activity out away from the pool deck. Depending on the practice time and group, space is limited and this is best used for shorter durations. We will send out Twitter updates and emails for any practice changes, such as an early dismissal.
If there is significant lightning in the area prior to practice and it is evident that we will not be able to swim (and drylands are most likely not feasible) we will send out an email that notifies parents of a canceled practice. These are most common when driving conditions for coaches traveling to and from the pool are not good and/or common sense dictates we will not be getting a practice in that night.
Most groups will swim in the cold weather. Factors such as wind chill, rain/sleet/snow (yes we have had snow during practice) do play into which groups swim and which groups are canceled. With these decisions, common sense plays a role. The pool is heated and falls on the high side of Red Cross Recommendations for outdoor pools. We will pull tarps to cover the pool and keep the heat in once the temperature is consistently low.
Coaches at Practice
Unless an email was sent out with prior notice of a cancelation, we will have a coach at the pool. We will not leave your swimmers alone on the deck or leave them alone during bad weather.
We will send emails and update our Twitter as the pool closes and try to give an estimated re-opening time to keep everyone up to date. This should help you decide whether or not to drive out to practice. It also helps our later groups keep up to date on the situation at the pool. The typical pattern will be repeated updates on pool closures and/or openings until the pool is fully open or practices are canceled. If an update does not go out again, the pool is most likely re-opened at the time stated and we are on deck trying to get everyone in the water for some pool time. With the number of inquiries and other considerations, such as dealing with our swimmers that are not in the pool, we may not be able to reply to all individual questions regarding pool closures and openings. Please take a look at Twitter, Facebook, and any emails we send out for the latest updates.
Canceled Practice Emails
If a practice is canceled and there will not be coaches on the deck, we will always send out an email, post on the front page of the website (and Twitter), and put it on our Facebook page. I would check at least 2 of these prior to leaving for practice on days where there might be a question.
SMS Text Options on the Website
There is an option in the membership section of the website to enable SMS text updates through our team unify management system. I encourage everyone to sign up for this, although currently it isn't the most effective system to use. There is work being done to make it an easy process for us to send out a message so having everyone signed up when that is deployed would be ideal.
Recreation Center Front Desk
If your swimmer does come to the pool on a questionable day, have them go to the pool deck and my office to check with a Rice Aquatics coach about practice that day. The front desk has been known to inadvertently take the idea that a temporary pool closure means no swim practice.