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Weather - Related Procedures

  • Monitor Weather forecast.
  • Plan for weather emergencies.
  • Official / Coaches assume responsibility for stopping play.
  • Game manager must evacuate game participants and spectators at the official stoppage of play.
  • Metal bleachers, metal stadium standards, fences and goals create the greatest danger during thunderstorms.
  • Evacuate to a safe indoor or permanent, non-metal covered area (private automobiles can be an alternative).
  • It is safe to return to the event on the advice of a weather monitor or 20 minutes after the last heard thunder.

Game Interruption - Weather

  1. The decision to suspend a game due to lightning or other dangerous weather should be made by the referees on the field at the time of play.
  2. If two games are being played at the same time, the decision made by officials at one field will be immediately communicated to the other field and followed.
  3. The head official and representatives from the host team should monitor weather forecasts and communcate possible weather concerns to other officials.
  4. They or their appointees should actively look for signs of bad weather throughout each game and notify the committee if severe weather becomes dangerous.
  5. If the head official feels that play should be interrupted at any time, then they have the power to go onto the field and tell the nearest official to suspend play immediately.
  6. In the absence of technology to assist with weather evaluation, games should be suspended whent he "flash-to-bang" count for lightning is less than 30 seconds.
  7. Once a game is suspended the officials should assist event staff in quickly evacuating teams and spectators.
  8. Everyone, including teams and spectators should be instructed to proceed to safe shelter (their automobiles or adjacent buildings).

Facility Evacuation System

  1. Evacuation Alarm - signal to leave facility; may be a bell, tone that is consistent and known by building inhabitants.
  2. Meeting Area - upon leaving the facility, all inhabitants go to this pre-arranged place well away from the facility.
  3. Facility Supervisor
    1. Notifies groups/teams, in advance, or evacuation procedures.
    2. Assigns "monitors" to assist in clearing facility (can be event staff and/or team personnel).
    3. Have a map of exit routes and outside meeting areas.
    4. Give out local fire/police/EMS telephone numbers and location of working telephones to groups.
    5. Staging Area - place where fire, police, and EMS will organize to deal with the emergency.
    6. Monitors - may be event staff and/or participants (coaches, athletic trainers, managers) responsible for assisting individuals leaving the facility (especially those with special needs); responsible for reminding inhabitants to go to meeting area; and account for all inhabitants at the meeting area.
    7. Event Participatns - should know at least two exits form each facility and be able to find the exits in the dark; should be able to recognize the emergency alarm.


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