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Lightning Policy

General Policy on Inclement Weather Procedures

In the event of inclement weather prior to or during practices and games, the athletic trainer will advise the LA Fire Juniors Admin Staff by monitoring weather conditions via Earth Networks. The LA Fire Juniors Admin Staff will notify coaching staff, visiting programs and participants through text, email, the tournament site, or verbal communication to prepare for shelter if needed.

In the event of a severe weather warning, the LA Fire Juniors Admin Staff will indicate a “Clear All Fields” signal to the referees. When reopening fields after severe weather, the LA Fire Juniors Admin Staff will indicate a “Resume Play” signal to the referees.

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Lightning is a dangerous phenomenon that can strike as far as 10 miles, and it does not have to rain for lightning to strike. The athletic training staff has developed a lightning policy to minimize the risk of injury from lightning strike to LA Fire athletes, coaches, support staff and fans. To monitor lightning the athletic training staff will utilize Earth Networks weather alerts then the Flash-Bang method. Athletic teams that practice and compete outdoors are at risk when the weather is inclement. For this reason, the following guidelines adopted from the NATA, must be observed if it appears that lightning is possible for the area:

  • If inclement weather is forecasted for the area or sighted in the area, an athletic trainer will get a weather update via Earth Networks or the National Weather Service in New Orleans, LA by telephone or internet.
  • The Flash Bang method: count the seconds from the time lightning/flash is sighted to when the clap/bang of thunder is heard. Divide this number by 5 and equals how far away (in miles) the lightning is occurring.
    • For example, 20 second count = 4 miles). As a minimum, the National Severe Storms laboratory (NSSL), strongly recommend that all individuals have left the athletic sites and reach a safe location by the flash-to-bang count of 30 seconds (6 miles).
  • If lightning is in the immediate area, the athletic trainer will notify the head coach as to the status of the inclement weather and of need to take shelter. Once alerted by the athletic trainer, the LA Fire Juniors Admin Staff will clear all fields and send a mass text through the Rained Out Alerting System. All coaches, athletes, and spectators must move INSIDE their personal vehicle.
  • Teams may return to the field thirty (30) minutes after the LAST lightning strike within six (6) miles. The “All Clear” advisory will come from the athletic trainer. The LA Fire Juniors Admin Staff will then call “Resume Play”.
  • Informational texts, emails, and website updates will be sent out to inform participants of the status of the delay and expected time for return to play or cancellations.