Division of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Services Lightning Policy

Lightning is the most consistent and significant weather hazard that may affect outdoor activities. The following safety precautions and protocol should be followed by any divisional group participating in outdoor activities:

  1. Chain of Command:The persons filling the roles listed below are responsible for making the decision to remove a group or individuals from the playing field, stopping the activity, and determining when/if it is safe to resume:
  2. a) Athletics:
    Practices: Athletic Trainer
    Pre and post game: Event Manager
    During competition: Officials

    b) Intramurals:
    Intramural Professional or Sport Supervisor

    c) Club Sports:
    Practices: Club President or Coach
    During Competition: Officials

    d) Outdoor Rec Trips:
    Trip Leader

    e) Ropes Course:

    f) Outside Rentals:
    Facility Monitor

    g) Camps:
    Camp Director

  3. Detection: Be aware of how close lightning is occurring by using the "flash to bang method".
    • Count the seconds from the time the lightning is sighted to when the clap of thunder is heard.
    • For every 5 seconds you count, the storm is 1 mile away from you.
    • At 6 miles out (or 30 seconds) or if you feel your hair stand on end or skin tingle, CEASE ACTIVITY AND SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY.
  4. Shelter: Safe shelter is defined as a building such as Delaware Field House, Bob Carpenter Center, Carpenter Sports Building, Hartshorn Hall or the Student Health Center. If access to a building is not available, seek shelter in a car with the windows up, but do not touch the sides of the vehicle (a golf cart or transport vehicle are NOT appropriate shelter).
    • Avoid being near large trees or poles (choose a small tree in a wooded area, if possible).
  5. Last Resort: If no safe shelter is available, crouch on the ground with your arms wrapped around your knees and only the balls of you feet touching the ground. DO NOT LIE FLAT ON THE GROUND.

Activity should not resume until 30 minutes after the last lightning or clap of thunder.