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  #16 (permalink)  
Old Thu Aug 23, 2007, 11:41pm
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To me, one of the toughest calls is in games being played under the lights. After dark, one can see flashes (not bolts) from storms much farther away. It becomes harder to discern whether it is from a nearby storm or not.

I do have a great respect for lightning. About three years ago, my partner and I cleared the field during a thunderstorm. Most people took shelter in the vehicles, or in the entryway of a nearby establishment that overlooks the field. Not five minutes later, we saw a bolt of lightning strike the field in foul territory just beyond third base.
  #17 (permalink)  
Old Thu Aug 23, 2007, 11:49pm
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I usually call for lightening when it's too dark to see the ball well.
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Old Fri Aug 24, 2007, 12:41am
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If the poster is correct on how they handle weather games up north, plus other sich's given in other posts, I think its in our northern neighbors best interest if we just attack and make Canada a US state.

A 10 minute delay? Lightning is seen but its not BU's call? I'm always amazed........
  #19 (permalink)  
Old Fri Aug 24, 2007, 01:07am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DG
30 seconds means the lightning is 5 miles away. Even if a storm is moving at a slow 10 MPH it will be on you in 6 minutes. And a lightning bolt traveled from cloud to earth over a distance of maybe 4 miles or more, so 6 miles away ain't squat.

If I see a lightning bolt the game stops, regardless of what I hear or when I hear it. 30 minute rule applies as well. It is rare around my part of NC, to stop a game due to lightning and it get started back up. It would have to be some kind of tournament game where a 2 hour delay is better than waiting another day.
The 30/30 rule is recommended by the NOAA. We feel pretty confident using it.
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Old Fri Aug 24, 2007, 01:08am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAump
If your partner didn't see it, keep playing the game.
Another tie for the dumbest post on the internet.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old Fri Aug 24, 2007, 01:27am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarthB
Another tie for the dumbest post on the internet.
Garth, I'm going to climb out onto that lonely tree limb and say that SA was being tongue-in-cheek with his answer on this one. As soon as I read it I dismissed it at an attempt at very dark humor.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old Fri Aug 24, 2007, 05:52am
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Our HS association says that any of the umpires on the game can stop the game due dangerous conditions. Lightning sighted is an automatic 20 minute delay. If another bolt is sighted, the clock starts from the time of the sighting. Upon the first sighting, we are to inform the coaches that we are suspending the game and how it will work. We then inform them that we are going to shelter or out cars and suggest that they do the same. We then leave the field together.

I also check the weather before I leave home. If there are impending storms, I will check the radar on my cell phone just before my partner(s) and I lock up the cars. If something is coming, I inform the coaches when we get to the field and ask them to help us keep an eye out.

Now I still get arguments about daytime storms from coaches. "Yeah Blue, we heard the thunder but we didn't see any lightning so why are we stopping the game?" Even after I explain that lightning is what generates thunder and it's just too bright to see the lightning yet, they still ask "why are we stopping the game?"
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old Fri Aug 24, 2007, 07:05am
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1) if you see a BOLT, it's close enough to stop things. Period. (Heat lightning is something different, and the 30 second rule is good for that ... as stated above, 30 seconds is about 5 miles, and lightning can travel laterally for about that distance)
2) 10 minutes is DEFINITELY not long enough. 20 around here is the standard (25 in football, and no, I don't know why the difference). 30 to be safe is prudent.
3) BU has EQUAL responsibility to PU regarding stopping a game for lightning. PU has authority over whether you're waiting or packing it up ... but EITHER umpire should stop things - no one has 360 degree sight.
4) If Partner Deathwish doesn't want to get off the field, refer him to the article(s) on the Jr. High football team here in Texas 2 years ago that didn't leave the field when they saw lightning. Lightning struck the FIELD (not even a player), but killed several and injured many many more.
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Old Fri Aug 24, 2007, 07:13am
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In Michigan, we recieved a memo from the state athletic association about lightning and thunder and how to handle them when they occur.

They said lightning is lightning and thunder is thunder. We have to stop the game for 30 minutes and wait. We must be lightning and thunder free during that 30 minutes or we have to keep resetting the 30 minutes each time either or is observed.

All of my supervisors have stated follow the policy or you will not be working for them anymore period.
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Old Fri Aug 24, 2007, 07:24am
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I hasten to state that the OP from CanadaUmp6 has been made without reference to any rules or practice in Ontario. The issue of lightning has been of concern for a number of years and after a number of conversations with lawyers/insurers etc the OBA have adopted the 30/30 rule. This has been posted on the website and has been part of the communication with local organizations.
1. Lightning: Please remember, the baseball season is a prime time for thunder storms, so be aware of lightning and remember the 30-30 Rule.
o • 30-30 Rule:
Determine the threat of lightning in your area.
o • 30 Seconds:
Count the seconds between seeing lightning and hearing thunder. If this time is less than 30 seconds, lightning is still a potential threat. Seek shelter immediately.
o • 30 minutes:
After the last lightning flash, wait 30 minutes before leaving shelter. Half of all lightning deaths occur after the storm passes. Stay in a safe area until you are sure the threat has passed.
If an umpire in Ontario wishes to avoid liability they must follow this rule. So far as the OP’s statement that “The base umpire has nothing to say about weather or darkness. But I decided to follow his directions as he is crew chief”. I’m not sure what rule book this comes from, but certainly not from anywhere that I’m aware of anywhere in Canada or the USA (following the good neighbour policy).

Just my two cents worth….
  #26 (permalink)  
Old Fri Aug 24, 2007, 08:13am
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I'm not sure where canadaump gets his information but where I am in Canada we use the 30 minute rule.

As soon as you see lightning you halt the game for 30 minutes at which point you reassess the situation and if it is still dangerous the game is suspended or called.
  #27 (permalink)  
Old Fri Aug 24, 2007, 08:49am
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There is no such thing as heat lightning. It's lightning to far a way to hear the thunder as light travels faster than sound. Lightning can strike up to 30 miles away from the center of a storm. If lightning is seen, get the heck off the field. I had a Dixie Pre majors State Tourney gameback in 93 that I stopped because I saw lightning but heard no thunder. The Tournament Director tried to make me get the teams back on the field as he deemed it "heat lightning." I stood my ground and within 10 minutes we were in the midst of a micro burststorm along with a tornado warning. My Rule of thumb is I see lightning I get off the field. Better to be safe than sorry
  #28 (permalink)  
Old Fri Aug 24, 2007, 08:59am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnSandlin
They said lightning is lightning and thunder is thunder.
This is an odd statement, considering that A) one causes the other and B) since the speed of sound and the speed of light are constants, you can relatively easily determine the distance between you and the lightning by counting the time to the thunder.

Like I said earlier - if you see a bolt, it's within your 7-mile sight line (the clouds you see right at the horizon, if you're in a flat area, is directly above ground that is 7 miles away). If you just see "a flash", it could VERY easily be reflected light through the clouds from quite a distance away - which is why the 30 second rule helps you. It could also be heat lightning (which has nothing to do with the type of lightning that strikes the ground), which produces that low-level rolling thunder sound.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old Fri Aug 24, 2007, 09:05am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azscump9
There is no such thing as heat lightning.
Why would you say such a thing? What nonsense.

It's true that what is called "heat lightning" has nothing to do with temperature ... but there is such a thing - it refers to lightning that is far enough away that the light is reflected, refracted, etc enough to appear to be just one big area of light, instead of a bolt - and unless the thunderclap is within 30 seconds, it's pretty far away (could be 30-50 miles if conditions are right). The "rolling" sound you hear is actually the sound of the thunder rebounding between the clouds and ground before it reaches you, so you hear it in a wave of sound instead of a short burst.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old Fri Aug 24, 2007, 09:36am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrowder
Why would you say such a thing? What nonsense.

It's true that what is called "heat lightning" has nothing to do with temperature ... but there is such a thing - it refers to lightning that is far enough away that the light is reflected, refracted, etc enough to appear to be just one big area of light, instead of a bolt - and unless the thunderclap is within 30 seconds, it's pretty far away (could be 30-50 miles if conditions are right). The "rolling" sound you hear is actually the sound of the thunder rebounding between the clouds and ground before it reaches you, so you hear it in a wave of sound instead of a short burst.

He was responding toa "it's only heat lightning" and I don't think he meant it the way you seem to have taken it. He meant it really is lightning, not some harmless light in the sky as the "heat lightning" believers seem to think.

It may be reflected and refracted and far away but it is still lightning.
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