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Lightning Safety Procedure

Lightning Safety Facts:

·       All thunderstorms produce lightning and are dangerous.

·       Lightning often strikes as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall. Many deaths from lightning occur ahead of the storm because people try and wait to the last minute before seeking shelter.

·       You are in danger from lightning if you can hear thunder. If you can hear thunder, lightning is close enough that it could strike your location at any moment. Even when the sky looks blue and clear, be cautious.  At least 10% of lightning occurs without visible clouds in the sky. The average distance from one lightning flash to the next in the same thunderstorm is approximately 2 to 3 miles. Therefore, if you are within 2 to 3 miles of a lightning flash, it is conceivable that the next lightning flash could be at your location.

·       Look for dark cloud bases and increasing wind. Every flash of lightning is dangerous, even the first. Head to safety before that first flash. If you hear thunder, head to safety!

Each RYSI Board member and/or coach should read and become familiar with this Lightning Safety policy, as well as the full contents of the Coaches Safety and Awareness Packet. This will help everyone understand the dangers and precautions included in lightning awareness.

It is the policy of Ridge Youth Sports that the following requirements and procedures be followed with regard to ensuring the safety of everyone attending or participating in a Ridge Youth Sports game in the event of lightning:

Lightning Safety Procedure:

1.     Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of lightning, or increasing wind, which may be signs of an approaching thunderstorm.

2.     Listen for the sound of thunder. If you can hear thunder, go to a safe shelter immediately. If you “See it, Flee it” and if you “Hear it, Clear it”

3.      Postpone activities promptly. Don't wait for rain. Many people take shelter from the rain, but most people struck by lightning are not in the rain!

4.     Go quickly inside a completely enclosed building. An open garage, baseball dugout or picnic shelter does not provide safety. If no enclosed building is convenient, get inside a hard-topped all-metal vehicle.

5.     Stay away from tall or individual trees, lone objects (eg, light or flag poles), metal objects (eg, metal fences or bleachers), standing pools of water, and open fields.  Avoid being the tallest object in a field. Do not take shelter under a single tall tree.

6.     Be the lowest point. Lightning hits the tallest object. If you are above tree line, you ARE the highest object around. Quickly get below tree line and get into a grove of small trees. Don't be the second tallest object during a lightning storm! Crouch down if you are in an exposed area.

7.     If there is no safe shelter within a reasonable distance, crouch in a thick grove of small trees surrounded by taller trees or in a dry ditch. Crouching with only your feet touching the ground and keeping your feet close together, wrap your arms around your knees and lower your head to minimize your body's surface area. Do not lie flat!

8.     If you feel your hair stand on end or your skin tingle or hear crackling noises, immediately crouch (as in Rule 8) to minimize your body surface area.

9.     Avoid leaning against vehicles. Get off bicycles and motorcycles.

10.  Avoid metal! Drop metal backpacks, stay away from clothes lines, fences, exposed sheds and electrically conductive elevated objects. Don't hold on to metal items such golf clubs, fishing rods, tennis rackets or tools. Large metal objects can conduct lightning. Small metal objects can cause burns.

11.  Move away from a group of people. Stay several yards away from other people. Don't share a bleacher bench or huddle in a group.

Decision to Postpone and Resume Game:

·       Allow 30 minutes to pass after the last sound of thunder or flash of lightning before resuming any athletic activity.

·       No consideration will be given to completing the game when making the decision to postpone or resume the game. The only factor that will be considered is the presence/absence of lightning/thunder/threatening skies.

·       The safety of any team or player ultimately rests with that coach. Whenever possible, any onsite RYSI Board or Staff Member will advise the coach supervising the activity as to the danger and proximity of the lightning threat. However, the responsibility still remains with supervising coaches to remove their teams or individuals from a field or event site as there may be too many children for the one RYSI Board Member to supervise.

What to do if someone is struck by lightning:

·       Call 9-1-1 or your local ambulance service for help.

·       Get medical attention as quickly as possible.

·       People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge that can shock other people. You can examine them without risk.

·       Give first aid. If the victim has stopped breathing, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR or should administer the use of an AED. If the person has a pulse and is breathing, address any other injuries.

·       Check for burns in two places. The injured person has received an electric shock and may be burned. Being struck by lightning can also cause nervous system damage, broken bones, and loss of hearing or eyesight.


Ridge Youth Sports Inc.
65 South Maple Avenue, 2nd Floor
Basking Ridge, New Jersey 07920

Phone: 908-766-1311
Email: [email protected]

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