AYSO Region 1600 policy is that if you can hear thunder you are within reach of lightning and that referees must protect the safety of all participants by stopping game activities quickly, so that participants and spectators may retire to a safer place before the lightning threat becomes significant.
The AYSO National Referee Commission position regarding severe weather states: “It is said that lightning can strike from a clear blue sky that is within a ten mile radius of a storm. It is therefore strongly recommended that practices and games be terminated immediately upon hearing thunder or seeing lightning”.
In view of the above, the following is the position of AYSO Region 1600 regarding severe weather and is to be instituted by coaches and referees at all practices, games and other AYSO sponsored events.
AYSO Region 1600 will not cancel entire days or remaining games due to active thunderstorms in our area as these storms usually pass through quickly. Regardless of the weather overhead, when thunder is heard and/or lightning is seen, suspend play and direct participants to a safe area by following the guidelines below. Play may resume 60 minutes after the last thunder is heard, or lightning seen.
Areas considered safe
- Inside a fully enclosed metal vehicle with windows up
- Inside a substantial building (roof and four walls)
- Small buildings including picnic shelters and the open area of a concession stand
- Anywhere near metallic objects like flagpoles, antennas, towers, underground watering systems, soccer goals, metal bleachers, electric equipment
- Open fields, trees and water
Open area without shelter
- Avoid standing in groups
- Spread out to reduce risk
- Crouch on your feet, keep your head low
- Avoid being the tallest object
- Avoid lying on the ground
If a strike occurs to an individual
- Call 911
- If you are qualified to do so, apply First Aid or CPR immediately
- People struck by lightning do not carry an electrical charge and are safe to touch
Restarting after the All-Clear (60 minutes after the last boom is heard or strike is seen)
- Games which have completed the first half will be considered finished and the score at the time play was suspended shall be the final score.
- Games which have completed less than one half; the referee will resume by starting the second half, reducing the remaining time if necessary so that the match ends at the scheduled time.