GUIDELINES ON HANDLING CONTESTS DURING LIGHTNING DISTURBANCES

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide a default policy to those responsible for making decisions concerning the suspension and restarting of contests based on the presence of lightning. The preferred sources from which to request such a policy for your facility would include your state high school association and the nearest office of the National Weather Service.

Proactive Planning

1. Assign staff to monitor local weather conditions before and during events.

2. Develop an evacuation plan, including identification of appropriate nearby shelters.

3. Develop criteria for suspension and resumption of play:

a. When thunder is heard, or a cloud-to-ground 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 or 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.

4. Hold periodic reviews for appropriate personnel.

For more detailed information, refer to the "Guidelines for Lightning Safety" contained in the NFHS Sports Medicine Handbook.

Revised October 2007

 

FACILITY / GROUNDS FIT TO PLAY

The Referee (Lead Official / Crew Chief) is to judge, in accordance with the sport’s playing rules, as to whether contest site is fit for play. He or she has the authority to cancel a contest due to unfit grounds / facilities, within the scope of those playing rules, or direct corrective action be taken prior to the event. If contests are canceled for this reason, the Association shall be notified through the assigning secretary.

 

CANCELLATION OR POSTPONEMENT OF CONTESTS

It is the duty of the home school to properly notify the contest officials in case of cancellation or postponement of the athletic contest.

If a contest is canceled and the officials were notified prior to departure, there is no financial liability on the part of the school.

If a contest is canceled prior to the officials leaving home and the officials are not notified, the home school is responsible for the payment of a full game fee plus the local policy board travel allowance.

If a contest is canceled due to circumstances that occur after the officials have left home but prior to the start of the contest, the home school is responsible for the payment of the local policy board travel allowance fee to the crew of offi cials, plus a fee of 1/5 of the KHSAA established contest fee to each official.

If a contest is postponed after the start of the contest due to inclement weather, the officials originally assigned to the contest shall make every effort to be available for the completion date.

The member schools shall not be liable for an additional contest fee for the officials to work the re-scheduled contest, but shall be liable for an additional travel expense (mileage) fee. Each local officials’ association is to implement a policy for the remuneration of officials working a re-scheduled contest who were not originally assigned to the contest.