Practice or competition in hot and humid environmental conditions poses special problems for athletes. Heat stress and resulting heat illness is a primary concern in these conditions. Although deaths from heat illness are rare, constant surveillance and education are necessary to prevent heat-related problems.
Encourage proper education regarding heat illnesses (for athletes, coaches, parents, medical staff, etc…).
Education about risk factors should focus on hydration needs, acclimatization, work/rest ratio, signs and symptoms of heat illness due to over-exertion, treatment, dietary supplements, nutritional issues, and fitness status.
Assure that trained staff members have the authority to alter work/rest ratios, practice schedules, amount of equipment, and withdrawal of individuals from participation based on environment and/or athlete’s medical condition.
Heat index of less than 100 degrees
Heat index of 100-105 degrees
Heat index of 106-110 degrees
Heat Index of greater that 110 degrees
Any athletic activity scheduled to take place at an outside setting may be rescheduled if the temperature is 32 degrees or below. Wind chill also factors into the decision. Every effort shall be made for this decision to be made by 1:00 pm on the day of the game or practice.
While the probability of being struck by lightning is extremely low, the odds are significantly greater when a storm is in the area and proper safety precautions are not followed. Prevention and education are the keys to lightning safety.
The Executive Director and/or administration will monitor the weather forecasts and radar the day of the game and during the event. All information received about threatening weather will be distributed through the chain of command.
Be aware of any “Watches” or “Warnings” that have been issued for the area by the National Weather Service.
A top priority of lightning safety is removing athletes from the field of play and into a safe location.
Suspension and Resumption of Athletic Activities
Flash to Bang will be the primary method used to determine how far the thunderstorm is from the activity.
When suspicious cloud/storm approaches, the coach, assistant coach, and/or administrator shall monitor the approaching storm using the Flash to Bang method. Simply count the number of seconds between the lightning “flash” and the thunder “bang.” Divide the number of seconds by 5 to determine the distance the strike is from your activity.
EXAMPLE: If 15 seconds are counted between the flash and bang, divide 15 by 5. The lightning is 3 miles away.
Play must be suspended as flash to bang reaches 50 seconds or the 10 mile range.
Criteria for suspension of activities:
Criteria for resumption of activities:
Once a game or practice has been suspended, the storm should continue to be monitored. No contest or practice should be resumed until no lightning has been detected within a 10 mile range for 30 consecutive minutes using the Flash to Bang method.
Each time a new lightning is strike detected or a clap of thunder is heard, the 30 minute clock restarts.
Although the home team is responsible for each game or match, it should be noted that the coach, assistant coach and/or administrator is responsible for the safety and well being of adults and students in his/her charge.