An NWSL game between the North Carolina Courage and Houston Dash was abandoned on Friday night following a three-hour weather delay.

Tyler Lussi put the Courage up 1-0 in the 33rd minute, but shortly after halftime, play was stopped due to severe thunderstorms in the Houston area. More than two hours into the delay, players began warming up with hopes of resuming play, but they were sent back to the locker room when there was more lightning in the area.

“So glad I ended up drinking a coffee at 11:43 pm,” tweeted Courage defender Kaleigh Kurtz. “I really needed it for that 3 min warm up.”

Shortly after midnight in Houston, the game was officially called off. In a statement, the NWSL said: “Due to adverse weather conditions, tonight’s match between the Houston Dash and the North Carolina Courage at Shell Energy Stadium has been abandoned. As the first half was played in its entirety, the match is considered complete and will not be rescheduled. The match will be recorded in the NWSL league standings as a 1-0 win for the Courage.”

There is no mention of this rule in either the NWSL competition manual or rules and regulations guide. After the initial publication of this story, the NWSL provided Just Women’s Sports with an excerpt from the league’s operations manual, which says: “In the event a Game cannot be completed, the Game counts if the entire first half was completed.” The full excerpt can be viewed below.


This is the second week in a row the North Carolina Courage have dealt with a severe weather delay. Last week, the Courage lost to Gotham, 1-0, following a two-hour weather delay, though all 90 minutes of that game were eventually played.

“Player welfare yet again been overlooked. We gotta be better,” tweeted Courage midfielder Denise O’Sullivan.

Just Women’s Sports also asked the NWSL if the operations manual — which is not published online — addresses the maximum length of a game delay. This story will be updated accordingly.