Coaches, athletes, and contest officials shall be educated regarding the signs indicating thunderstorm development. Since the average distance between successive lightning flashes is approximately two to three miles, in most cases whenever lightning can be seen or thunder is heard, the risk is already present.
- If lightning is imminent or a thunderstorm is approaching, all personnel, athletes, and spectators shall evacuate to available safe structures or shelters. The best shelter is a large fully enclosed, substantially constructed building. A vehicle with a solid metal roof & metal sides is a reasonable second choice.
- Competition or practice shall be suspended once lightning has been recognized OR thunder is heard. It is required to wait at least 30 minutes after the last flash of lightning is witnessed OR thunder is heard prior to resuming practice or competition. Given the average rates of thunderstorm travel, the storm should move 10-12 miles away from the area. This significantly reduces the risk of local lightning flashes. Any subsequent lightning or thunder after the beginning of the 30-minute count shall reset the clock, and another count shall begin.
More details can be found in the links below.
**Information from US Youth Soccer**
Each year, about 400 children and adults in the U.S. are struck by lightning while working outside, at sports events, on the beach, mountain climbing, mowing the lawn, or during other outdoor activities. About 80 people are killed and several hundred more are left to cope with permanent disabilities. Many of these tragedies can be avoided. Finishing the game...