Especially during the spring storm season, but to keep in mind all during the year, lightning is the most dangerous natural phenomenon that our children will face on the soccer field, and not a year goes by without some soccer club in the country having an incident. It is especially important at this age that we ALL are aware of what we should do, because there are no referees to provide guidance. What you know about lightning, or think you know, may be out of date or incorrect, or may simply not be sufficient from the Club’s point of view with regard to our players’ safety. You can find lightning safety information from the National Weather Service here. The policy regarding lightning safety is set forth below:
At the first sign of either lightning or thunder, play shall be suspended. If the game is still in the first half at such time, the suspension shall be temporary, and all players and their families shall be directed to their cars to await the chance to return to the fields. No play shall recommence until 30 minutes has passed after the last observation of thunder or lightning. If the game was in the second half at the time of suspension, or otherwise at the reasonable discretion of the Division Director or other Club official while awaiting the passing of the storm, the game shall be considered permanently suspended, and players and families will be free to leave the complex and return home. With regard to practices, coaches should impliment the same rule: cease practice at the first sign, and do not resume until 30 minutes have passed after the last sign.
- Where should you go to wait out the storm? Your car, provided it is fully enclosed. A fully-enclosed building with electrical wiring and plumbing would be better, but there are usually none of those available at the soccer complexes (if you are at a school, and it is accessible, that would be best).
- Where should you NOT go to wait out the storm? The concession stand area at Dideriksen, or any other unenclosed structure - the porch area of the concession stand might keep the rain off your heads, but is NOT a safe refuge from lightning. Also, convertibles are NOT safe cars in which to take refuge.
Please be aware that there may be players whose parents stepped away for a few moments, or families that walked and do not have a car, or silly coaches who drive convertibles - these people may need your assistance to have a safe refuge during a lightning storm.
If any adult wishes to complain about this policy at the time it is being implemented, claiming that there is nothing to be afraid of, that person is welcome to go sit on the highest seat of our metal bleachers for the duration of the storm to show us how confident he or she is that no one is danger.