Lightning Protocol

Participants are responsible for their own safety, but referees play an important role in minimizing risks.

Have a Plan

Develop a plan ahead of time that applies to all activities, warm-ups, and the game. Include details about:

  • Who is in charge
  • When to stop play
  • Where to go
  • When to resume play

When to Stop Play

Use common sense / good judgment and postpone / suspend if a thunderstorm is imminent. Signs of an imminent storm can include:

  • Darkening Clouds
  • High Winds
  • Sudden Increases in Humidity


Lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from a storm as such, you should seek shelter as soon as you hear thunder or see lightning.

Where to Go / avoid

  • Use:
    • Large, enclosed structures
    • Vehicle IF...
      • Metal Roof
      • All interior metal surfaces are avoided
      • Fully Enclosed
      • Not a Golf Cart / Convertable
  • Avoid:
    • Areas of high elevation
    • Wide-open areas
    • Tall, isolated objects (trees, poles, etc.)
    • Metal fences / bleachers
    • Unprotected buildings (dugouts, picnic pavilions, etc.)

When to Resume Play

Wait at least 30 minutes after lightning is seen or thunder is heard. If at 25 minutes more activity is seen / heard, start the count over. Even if the storm has moved on, lightning still remains a risk.

DO NOT rely on a clear sky or lack of rain or shorten the 30-minute rule and do not resume play if a threat remains.