OHSAA Makes Slight Changes in Lightning Delays for Outdoor Sports

The Ohio High School Athletic Association is making a slight modification in their lightning delay policy for outdoor sports.

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Coaches, athletic trainers, athletes, administrators and contest officials shall be educated regarding the signs indicating thunderstorm development. Since the average distance between successive lightning flashes is approximately two to three miles, in most cases whenever lightning can be seen or thunder is heard, the risk is already present.

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However, at night under certain atmospheric conditions, lighting flashes may be seen from distant storms. In these cases, it may be safe to continue an event if no thunder can be heard and the flashes are low on the horizon.

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If lightning is imminent or a thunderstorm is approaching unless under the night atmospheric conditions previously explained, all personnel, athletes and spectators shall evacuate to available safe structures or shelters. A list of the closest safe structures should be announced and displayed on placards at all athletic venues.

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Competition or practice shall be suspended once lightning has been recognized or thunder is heard. It is required to wait at least 30 minutes after the last flash of lightning is witnessed or thunder is heard prior to resuming practice or competition. Given the average rates of thunderstorm travel, the storm should move 10-12 miles away from the area. This significantly reduces the risk of local lightning flashes. Any subsequent lightning or thunder after the beginning of the 30-minute count shall reset the clock, and another count shall begin.

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For further details on OHSAA storm delay policy: CLICK HERE...

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