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LIGHTNING AND WEATHER POLICY
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Maryland District 2 Lightning Safety Guidance and Policy
Each year in the United States, more than four hundred people are struck by lightning. On average, about 70 people are killed and many others suffer permanent neurological disabilities. Most of these tragedies can be avoided if proper precautions are taken. When thunderstorms threaten, coaches and sports officials must not let the desire to start or complete an athletic activity hinder their judgment when the safety of participants and spectators is in jeopardy. All thunderstorms produce lightning and are dangerous. Many deaths from lightning occur ahead of storms because people wait too long before seeking shelter, or after storms because people return outside too soon. If you hear thunder, you are in danger. Anytime thunder is heard, the thunderstorm is close enough to pose an immediate lightning threat to your location.
A thunderstorm can cast lightning up to 20 miles from the edge of a storm, and/or about as far as the sound thunder can carry.
It is important for manager, coaches, officials and volunteers to understand the basic facts about lightning and its dangers. As follows, the guidelines are Little League International’s and Maryland District 2 (D2) regarding lightning safety is:
Be proactive and assess the risk level in advance of your scheduled game, activity or event for developing or approaching storms.
Use the free Little League WeatherBug App (available on the ITunes App Store or Google Play along with other available resources on the Internet, TV, radio, etc. In 2008, all League Presidents voted unanimously that a lightning detection device must be available at every field across D2.
D2 lightning safety guidance is as follows:
Make sure all players are accounted for and leaving with approved persons;
With the first sound of thunder or visible lightning – Clear the Field;
When lightning is determined to be within 20 miles, play shall be suspended immediately. Players, Managers and Coaches shall be placed in the dugout;
When lighting is determined to be within 10 miles, Players, Managers, Coaches and other Volunteers shall be cleared from the dugout and all external field areas entirely. Go to a large enclosed building, if one is nearby go to metal-top cars, with windows rolled up if no enclosed building is available;
Once a game/activity has been suspended, all players shall remain completely clear of all field areas and remain so until an “all clear” is issue by the Umpire(s) or Little League Official (i.e. Game Director);
The “all clear can only be issued when one or both of the following apply:All lightning/thunder activity has moved beyond the 20-mile radius from the field and so long as no additional lightning is expected to move into the area.
t least 30 minutes has elapsed from the last visible lightning strike or the presence of thunder.
If someone is struck by lightning:
Lightning victims do not carry an electrical charge, are safe to handle, and need immediate medical attention.
Call 911 for help. Have someone call 9-1-1 or your local ambulance service.
Give first aid. Begin CPR if necessary
If possible, move the victim to a safer place
For more information on lightning safety, visit NOAA’s website and refer to attached the NOAA flyer regarding lightning safety
Parents, coaches, umpires and all volunteers have a responsibility to promote and help enforce this policy. Play it safe
time, our kids’ lives may depend on you!