Lightning Policy

The first week we had an incident that generated a lot of emails and phone calls. No lightning struck the stadium and everything was done correctly, but the incident should serve as a reminder to all.

First, let’s review what we might have available, listed in order of most to least accuracy:

1-     A weather service available electronically. These reports are usually specific to the exact stadium location.

2-     A lightning meter. There are many different types and the owner should be the monitor and reporter. Get their name and know where they are.

3-     The good old flash-to-bang count.

Next, I’ll point out the variety of policies in order of precedence:

1-     School District of the home team. It’s their show – follow their rules.

2-     CHSAA Lightning Policy (link to pdf). This only applies if a weather service or meter is available and can be trumped by (1) above.

3-     The NFHS default policy found on page 98 of the RB.

When resuming play, please make sure each team has enough time to warm up – let each coach have whatever they want. It’s not a good idea to resume play if either coach objects to doing so. You may have to play negotiator and it’s unlikely you’ll encounter an unreasonable position. Per Rule 3-1-3, both coaches have to agree to shorten or terminate the game. Any lightning delay with a running clock automatically terminates the game.

If you think this is overkill, don’t forget a few years ago we had Over Officious Ollie assigned as Referee. He took the lightning meter from the trainer and checked it between plays.


George Demetriou

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