Thunder and Lightning Policy:
Lightning is the second leading cause of storm deaths in the U.S., killing more people than tornadoes or hurricanes.
- Plan Ahead: Prior to the individual practice/game, the outdoor weather should be noted. If a thunderstorm is imminent the practice/game should be suspended/postponed.
Dark clouds, winds picking up in intensity, sounds of thunder, and lightning in the distance are enough clues that the weather is not conducive to good playing and spectating conditions. If the practice/game has begun, these signals should alert the coaches to suspend or postpone the event.
- Lightning: Once lightning has been seen or thunder is heard you must leave the field, you may not return to the field until 20 minutes has passed without lightning or thunder.
- Avoid Dangerous Locations: DO NOT go under trees to keep dry in a thunderstorm! Avoid: elevated places, open areas, tall isolated objects, water activities, dugouts, open areas such as fields, open vehicles, unprotected open buildings, and large structures such as fences or bleachers.
- Safe Locations from Lighting: Any fully enclosed, substantial building; ideally with plumbing, electrical wiring and telephone service which aid in grounding the building. If a substantial building is not available, a fully enclosed vehicle with a metal roof and the windows completely enclosed is a reasonable alternative. Cellular or cordless telephones should be used for summoning help during a thunderstorm. They are a reasonably safer alternative to land-line telephones.
- Lightning Crouch (Desperate last resort): If the lightning is about to strike near you, it will sometimes give a warning of a few seconds or less. Sometimes your hair will stand upright, your skin will tingle, light metal objects will vibrate, or you will hear a crackling static-like sound. If this happens and you’re in a group, spread out so there are several body lengths between each person. If one person is struck, the others may not be. Once you’ve spread out, use the lightning crouch: put your feet together, squat down, tuck your head and cover your ears. When the immediate threat of lightning has passed, continue heading to the safest spot possible. Remember this is a last resort; you are much safer having followed the previous steps and not gotten into this high-risk situation.
- First Aid: Lightning deaths are caused by cardiac arrest or the person has stopped breathing from the cardiac arrest. Call 911.
Penalties for Disregarding the Lightning Safety Policy:
The umpire, coach, coordinator or adult in charge is responsible to ensure that their group follows the Lightning Safety Policy. Disregarding the policy subjects the umpire, coach, coordinator or adult in charge to disciplinary actions brought forth by the recreation commission.