Lightning is the most dangerous and frequently encountered weather hazard that most people face each year. Lightning-strike casualties during sports and recreational activities have risen alarmingly in recent decades and occur most often on Sunday and Saturday, respectively, which coincides with the time that most outdoor-sports activities occur.
The problem is that lightning threats will occur several times during a year in most areas, so lightning becomes an inconvenience for soccer activities. With a limited amount of time for practices and games, it’s a huge nuisance to have to stop everything, delay a game or practice, and then restart. But the threat is real.
Remember: No Place Outside is Safe During Thunderstorms!
Coaches, referees, and club officials have the overall responsibility for the safety of their players during practices and games. Parents or players should also remind coaches of approaching weather if it is apparent that the coaches are so immersed in the game that they are unaware of the possible danger.
If you hear thunder, see lightening, or the lightening detectors sound your location is in danger of a lightning strike. Play/practice should be suspended and everyone evacuated to safe shelter until 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard or the last lightening is seen or when the lightening detectors sound the all clear. Safe shelter includes sturdy buildings or inside a vehicle with windows closed. Once the 30 minutes is concluded or the all clear is sounded by the lightening detectors, play/practice may resume.
AVOID: Isolated trees, light poles or other tall objects, bodies of water, sheds, fences, bleachers, convertibles, tractors, bikes and motorcycles. Avoid leaning against vehicles.
Be proactive with the decision to suspend a game. Indecisiveness creates a life threatening situation.