Lightning Policy

Section IX Lightning and Thunder Policy


Prepared by the Section IX Safety Committee



The purpose of a lightning and thunder policy is to provide a safeguard for athletic contests, events and practices.


The occurrence of lightning and thunder is NOT subject to interpretation nor debate. Lightning and thunder necessitates that contests, events or practices be immediately suspended.


  1. Chain of command
    1. The chain of command at athletic events is defined as:
      1. Superintendent of School
      2. Principal/Building Administrator
      3. Sport chairs or their designees
      4. Athletic Coordinator
      5. Host site athletic directors or their designees
      6. Officials
      7. Sponsoring Coach
      8. Security Personnel
  1. Sequential Response will include:
    1. Suspend play and direct participants to shelter in a public building or if building is unavailable, to a vehicle with a solid top.
    2. Monitor weather scanners/stations
    3. After lightning and thunder has passed, wait a full 30 minutes after the last lightning strike arid/or sound of thunder before resuming play.
    4. Event suspension or evacuation procedures to be outlined during pre‑event announcements.
  1. Host school responsibilities will include:
    1. To make a pre‑event announcement that notes rules, regulations and evacuation procedures.
    2. Announcement to be read: "All spectators, competitors, and personnel should go inside to the school building as quickly as possible. A vehicle with a metal roof and the windows rolled up is .a safe alternative to a sturdy building. DO NOT take shelter under trees or other lone objects. DO NOT remain on, under, or near metal bleachers, fences, or backstops."
    3. Authority to execute the sequential response shall be governed by the chain of command.
    4. Consideration to cancel or resume play must take into account a minimum 30 minute wait from the time of interruption. The rules of the sport will determine whether the contest is official or if the contest must resume at a later date.
    5. To plan for the occurrence of bad weather.

Communication of Lightning and Thunder Policy

  1. Section workshops
  2. League meetings
  3. Preseason coaches meeting
  4. Section IX heat clinics
  5. Health Science and First Aid Update classes
  6. Published plan sent to superintendents, principals, etc.




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