If lightening or thunder is heard, even if it "sounds far away," all players, coaches, parents, and refs should evacuate the field immediately and stay off the field under the area has been lightening and/or thunder free for 20 minutes.
The responsibility for removing players from the practice/game area in a timely manner lies with the head coach of the AYSA team(s). If the head coach is not present, an assistant coach will assume responsibility.
Everyone must evacuate to a safe structure or location. A safe structure at AYSA would defined as the inside of a school or closet building. Everyone who is not inside a building should be sent to their vehicle. A vehicle is considered safe if it is fully enclosed with a hard metal roof, rubber tires, and completely closed windows. Persons should not touch the sides of the vehicle! Convertible and “soft-top” vehicles, and golf carts do no provide a high level of protection and cannot be considered safe from lightning.
Persons should avoid using plumbing facilities and land-line telephones during a thunderstorm.
If unable to reach safe shelter, persons should stay away from the tallest trees or objects (i.e. light poles, flag poles, etc.), metal objects (i.e. fences, bleachers, etc.), individual trees, standing pools of water, and open fields. Persons should avoid being the highest object in an open field and thus crunch down in a ball.
In situations where thunder and/or lightning may or may not be present, yet someone feels his/her hair stand on end and skin tingle, LIGHTNING IS IMMINENT! Therefore, all persons should assume the “lightning-safe” position as described above.
All individuals should have the right to leave a site or activity, without fear of repercussion or penalty, in order to seek a safe structure or location if they feel that they are in danger from impending lightning activity.
Personnel should not return to the practice/game area until thirty (30) minutes have passed since the last lightning flash. Each time lightning is observed and/or thunder is heard, the “30-minute clock” is to be reset.
Lightning Safety Rules
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Avoid metal! Drop metal backpacks, stay away from clothes lines, fences, exposed sheds and electrically conductive elevated objects.
- 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.
What to do if someone is struck by lightning:
- Call for help. Call 9-1-1 or your local ambulance service. Get medical attention as quickly as possible.
- Give first aid. If the victim has stopped breathing, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR. If the person has a pulse and is breathing, address any other injuries.
- Check for burns in two places. The injured person has received an electric shock and may be burned. Being struck by lightning can also cause nervous system damage, broken bones, and loss of hearing or eyesight. People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge that can shock other people. You can examine them without risk. Remember, however, that ALL thunderstorms produce deadly lightning.
We do not practice in thunder and lightning. If thunder or lightning is in the area, please clear the fields immediately and seek shelter in a enclosed building or hardtop car. You must wait 30 minutes from the last bolt of lightning or thunder in order to resume activity.
For more information on Lightning Safety http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/outdoors.htm