Soccer team hoping for smokeless conditions

Smoke and soccer are a toxic mix.

In fact, with the amount of fine particulate matter in the air descending upon the city as a result of raging wildfires to the west, health authorities are advising people to avoid aerobic activity of any kind until the conditions change.

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Soccer is one of the most aerobic of sports and the fires have played havoc with summer schedules in the Prince George Soccer Association adult leagues, prompting an unprecedented number of postponed games.

But there's good news on the horizon with a changing weather pattern expected later today. Winds out of the northwest are expected and a 40 per cent chance of showers is predicted by Environment Canada for the weekend.

It's hopeful the improving conditions will arrive in time to allow the UNBC Timberwolves men's soccer team to open its 2018 season as scheduled this Friday night at Masich Place Stadium against the University of Victoria Vikes.

If not, contingency plans are in place to delay the two-game U Sports Canada West series, set for Friday and Saturday evenings. Any air quality health index reading at seven or more at the 3 p.m. Friday cutoff will force postponement.

If the air quality remains poor and the teams can't play the season-opener Friday at 7 p.m., that game would be rescheduled for Saturday at 9 a.m., with the second game to be played Sunday at 9 a.m.

If that Saturday morning game can't be played, it would be postponed until Saturday at 6 p.m. with the second game Sunday at 9 a.m. If the skies still haven't cleared as of Saturday afternoon, the teams will play just one game, Sunday morning.

The T-wolves are coming off their most successful season, in which they made the playoffs for the first time in six years as a university team.

The men's and women's teams at UNBC will be playing their home games this season on field turf in the refurbished Masich Place Stadium, which opened a couple weeks ago.

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