Wayland Youth Soccer Lightning policy
NOTICE: Wayland Youth Soccer has adopted the National Federation of State School Association (NFHS) lightning policy.
This policy is to be implemented by the Referee with the full support and assistance of our coaches.
Coaches should also adhere to this policy during practices.
Lightning is a serious hazard and storms can move quickly. Officials must take a conservative approach and suspend contests.
Essentially, the policy is that if you can hear thunder or can see bolts of lightning, clear the field.
“If you hear it, clear it. If you see it, flee it.”
Keep the field clear until you have at least 30 minutes with no thunder or visible lightning.
Understanding of "SAFE" shelters is essential. SAFE evacuation sites include:
a. Fully enclosed metal vehicles with windows up.
b. Substantial buildings.
c. The low ground. Seek cover in clumps of bushes.
UNSAFE SHELTER AREAS include all outdoor metal objects like flag poles, fences and gates, high mast light poles, metal bleachers, golf cars, machinery, etc. AVOID trees. AVOID water. AVOID open fields. AVOID the high ground.
a. When thunder is heard, or a lightning bolt is seen, the thunderstorm is close enough to strike your location with lightning. Suspend play and take shelter immediately.
b. Thirty-minute rule. Once play has been suspended, wait at least 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard or flash of lightning is witnessed prior to resuming play.
c. Any subsequent thunder or lightning after the beginning of the 30 minute count, reset the clock and another 30 minute count should begin.
d. Games delayed due to weather must not run into then next scheduled game. If there is a weather delay and another team is scheduled to play in the next time slot the remaining playing time must be adjusted so the game ends as scheduled.
Cooperation between Referees, coaches and parents in monitoring weather conditions is an important step in ensuring lightning safety. Stay alert to changing conditions.
If you have to cancel a contest, note the time of game and score at suspension. BAYS will determine whether the game is replayed, resumed or stands as is.
Do not be persuaded to continue a game if your gut tells you otherwise. Competitive people may not have the big picture in mind. They can argue for continued play, but you have the final word. As stated above, be conservative.
WAYS will fully support any decision you make that errs on the side of caution.