Thunder / Lightning Storm
Colonial SC Thunder & Lightning policy
- For Travel league games, the Referee is responsible for the game and the safety of the participants and spectators. The Referee at their sole discretion will determine if the game conditions are unsafe, and suspend or call the game.
- For all other activities, the Team Coach, Manager, Colonial SC Administrator or Colonial SC Board Member is responsible for the safety of the participants and spectators.
- If at any time a parent believes that their child is not safe, they should advise the Coach of their concern, and move their child to a safe location.
The following is the proper procedure in dealing with events interrupted by thunder and/or lightning:
- If inclement weather is forecasted or sighted in the area, it is the responsibility of each coach to track storms and lightning using Weather/ Lightning detector Apps such as “Weather Bug.”
- If Lightning is detected within 10 miles of your location OR if Thunder can be heard or Lightning can be seen, (even if the sky over playing field is clear).
Soccer activities must be suspended immediately
- Once activity is suspended, all athletes and spectators should leave the field and take safe shelter in a building or in a car. Shelter must be in Fully enclosed space: dugouts and pavilions are Not safe from lightning. Know how long it will take to get to safe venues and plan accordingly.
- Activities may not resume for 30 min after the last lightning strike or sound of thunder and lightning must be at least 10 miles from venue.
- If a person is struck by lightning, call 9-1-1 immediately and once the area is safe, provide first aid as needed or move person to safe location. If a victim appears unconscious or pulseless begin CPR and apply AED as soon as possible.
No Place Outside is Safe When Thunderstorms are in the Area
Half an Hour Since Thunder Roars, Now it’s Safe to Go Outdoors.
National Athletic Trainers Association Position statement on Lightning
- Postpone activities promptly. Don’t wait for rain. Many people take shelter from the rain, but most people struck by lightning are not in the rain! Go quickly inside a completely enclosed building, not a carport, open garage or covered patio. If no enclosed building is convenient, get inside a hard-topped all-metal vehicle. A cave is a good option outside but move as far as possible from the cave entrance.
- Be the lowest point. Lightning hits the tallest object. In the mountains if you are above tree line, you ARE the highest object around. Quickly get below tree line and get into a grove of small trees. Don’t be the second tallest object during a lightning storm! Crouch down if you are in an exposed area.
- Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of lightning, or increasing wind, which may be signs of an approaching thunderstorm.
- Listen for the sound of thunder. If you can hear thunder, go to a safe shelter immediately.
- If you see or hear a thunderstorm coming or your hair stands on end, immediately suspend your game or practice and instruct everyone to go inside a sturdy building or car. Sturdy buildings are the safest place to be. Avoid sheds, picnic shelters, baseball dugouts, and bleachers. If no sturdy building is nearby, a hard-top vehicle with windows closed will offer some protection. The steel frame of the vehicle provides some protection if you are not touching metal.
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio. Coaches and other leaders should listen for a tone-alert feature during practice sessions and games.
- If you can’t get to a shelter, stay away from trees. If there is no shelter, crouch in the open, keeping twice as far away from a tree as it is tall.
- Avoid leaning against vehicles. Get off bicycles and motorcycles.
- Get out of the water. It’s a great conductor of electricity. Stay off the beach and out of small boats or canoes. If caught in a boat, crouch down in the center of the boat away from metal hardware. Swimming, wading, snorkeling and scuba diving are NOT safe. Lightning can strike the water and travel some distance beneath and away from its point of contact. Don’t stand in puddles of water, even if wearing rubber boots.
- Avoid metal! Drop metal backpacks, stay away from clothes lines, fences, exposed sheds and electrically conductive elevated objects. Don’t hold on to metal items such golf clubs, fishing rods, tennis rackets or tools. Large metal objects can conduct lightning. Small metal objects can cause burns.
- Move away from a group of people. Stay several yards away from other people. Don’t share a bleacher bench or huddle in a group.
Please visit the EPYSA Lightning Safety page for additional information.