Hopewell Youth Association Storm & Lightning Policy
Lightning is a dangerous phenomenon. Athletic teams that practice and compete outdoors are at risk
when the weather is inclement. The HYA Board of Directors has developed a lightning safety policy to
minimize the risk of injury from a lightning strike to Hopewell athletes, coaches, umpires, and families.
To monitor lightning, the HYA Board and HYA Coaches will utilize both the Flash Bang method AND a
Lightning Detector. Our policy is in accordance with the NCAA recommendations regarding lightning
Responsibility for Removing Athletes
The responsibility for removing athletes from a practice area in a timely manner lies with the head coach
of the HYA team(s). If the head coach is not present, an assistant coach will assume responsibility.
During game days, the umpires and/or an HYA Board Member has ultimate responsibility for clearing
Criteria for Evacuation of the Practice/Game Area
For Travel Games, an HYA Coach or Board Member will inform any visiting team of HYA’s policy with
regards to lightning during pregame warm ups if weather conditions warrant.
When the horn on the Lightning Detection System on the roof of the Pavilion adjacent to Field 3 sounds,
ALL fields must be Immediately evacuated, and must remain so until the yellow light on the Lightning
Detection System stops flashing and the "All Clear" signal is sounded (3 shorter blasts of the Lightning
Evacuation and Safety Information
A vehicle is considered safe if it is fully enclosed with a hard metal roof, rubber tires, and completely
closed windows. Persons should not touch the sides of the vehicle! Convertible and “soft top” vehicles
and golf carts do not provide a high level of protection and cannot be considered safe from lightning.
Persons should avoid using plumbing facilities and landline telephones during a thunderstorm.
Dugouts, bleachers, scorer's booths, pavilions and the picnic area at the concession stand are NOT
considered safe shelters from lighting. PLEASE GO TO YOUR VEHICLE WHEN THE LIGHTNING
DETECTION SYSTEM ACTIVATES.
If unable to reach safe shelter or a parked vehicle, persons should stay away from the tallest trees or
objects (i.e. light poles, flag poles, etc.), metal objects (i.e. fences, bleachers, etc.), individual trees,
standing pools of water, and open fields. Persons should avoid being the highest object in an open field.
Stay at least 15 feet apart from other members of your group so the lightning won't travel between you
if hit. Keep your feet together and sit on the ground out in the open. If you can possibly run to a vehicle
or building, DO so. Sitting or crouching on the ground is not safe and should be a last resort if an
enclosed building or vehicle is not available.
In situations where thunder and/or lightning may or may not be present, yet someone feels his/her hair
stand on end and skin tingle, LIGHTNING IS IMMINENT! Therefore, all persons should assume the
“lightning safe” position as described above.
A cellular and/or portable remote phone is a safe alternative to landline phones, if the person and the
antenna are located within a safe structure or location, and if all other precautions are followed.
All individuals should have the right to leave a site or activity, without fear of repercussion or penalty, in
order to seek a safe structure or location if they feel that they are in danger from impending lightning
Criteria for Safe Return to the Practice/Game Area
Personnel should not return to the practice/game area until the yellow light on the Lightning Detection
System has stopped flashing and the "All Clear" has been sounded by the system (3 shorter blasts of the
Lightning Detection horn).
Pre Hospital Care of Victims of a Lightning Strike
Because lightning strike victims do not remain connected to a power source, they do not carry an
electric charge. Therefore, it is safe to touch the victim to move him/her to a safe location and to render
During an ongoing thunderstorm, lightning activity in the local area still poses a deadly hazard for
personnel responding to the victim. Personnel should consider his/her own personal safety before
venturing into a dangerous situation to render care.
The first priority of personnel is to move the lightning strike victim to a safe location. Prompt, aggressive
CPR has been highly effective for the survival of victims of lightning strikes. Therefore, it is critical that
CPR and AED use is initiated as soon as safely possible.
Practice / Game Status due to Storm/Lightning Delay
Practices and/or Games delayed beyond the standard practice/game time duration during the rec.
season will be canceled. Games delayed beyond the standard game time during the In Park
Tournament will be suspended and continued at the earliest possible time.
FLASH – BANG Lightning Detection Method
This method of lightning detection can be used in the absence of a Lightning Detection System...
Watch for the flash of lightning. Begin to count (one, one thousand, two one thousand . . . . )
o Stop counting when you hear the bang of thunder.
o Take this number and divide by 5. This will give you an approximation of how far away
the lightning is (5 seconds = 1 mile).
o EXAMPLE: You see a flash of lightning and you begin to count. You reach 45 before you
hear the bang of thunder. 45 / 5 = 9. The lightning would be approximately 9 miles
o Using this method you would suspend activity with lightning at or within 8 miles.
o We ask everyone for their cooperation as we strive to make Hopewell a fun and safe
park for our kids and parents. Please be assured that any coaches that disregard this
policy will be subject to immediate disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion
by the Hopewell Board of Directors.