Lightning causes many high school varsity games in the area to be suspended and/or cancelled.
Dotson’s Note: We had a very interesting night of football last Friday evening due to the thunderstorms in the area. I have received many questions as to how the officials handle this kind of situation at a high school game. Of the 19 games scheduled by our area teams, 4 were played to completion, 15 were postponed, suspended and/or declared “No Contest.” The referee is the final authority as to if and when the game will be suspended, for how long, and if the game will or will not be played later that same day. Of course, the referee discusses the matter with the coaches and school administrators before making his decisions. A Referee’s salute to Aaron for his yeomen’s service on last Friday’s scoreboard show. By tri/quad tasking he keep the listener’s up to date on the status of all of the games in the area. U DUN GUD!
Lightning Strike at a Texas High School Stadium
Here’s an excerpt from the NCAA Football Rules Book and our instruction to the Referees.
The following specific lightning safety guidelines have been developed with
the assistance of lightning safety experts. Design your lightning safety plan to
consider local safety needs, weather patterns and thunderstorm types.
a. As a minimum, lightning safety experts strongly recommend that by the
time the monitor observes 30 seconds between seeing the lightning flash
and hearing its associated thunder, all individuals should have left the
athletics site and reached a safer structure or location.
b. Please note that thunder may be hard to hear if there is an athletic event
going on, particularly in stadiums with large crowds. Implement your
lightning safety plan accordingly. After a game is suspended, it will be suspended for no less than 30 minutes and after that play shall not be resumed until there is no sound of thunder. If lightening detectors are available they will be used to assist the Referee in making his determinations.
Referees’ Note: If you suspend your game and it is not resumed that date, you are to file an incident report with the Corpus Christi Football Chapter, the Texas Association of Sports Officials and the University Interscholastic League. The incident report form is available on the websites of the associations listed above.