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Old Mon Jul 28, 2003, 02:01pm
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 18
Treat lightning & thunderstorms the same. At first sound or sight clear the playing fields. Direct coaches to use secure shelter. Wait 15 minutes after the last thunder or lightning to bring teams back on the field. Forget the many myths about lightning & thunder. Be firm in dealing with coaches and others who want to assert that "it is far away" or "I will take responsibility for injuries". Yes, those irresponsible things are routinely stated to officials and many are intimidated into going along. My experiences with lightning & thunderstorms has been devastating. I haven't been struck, but my exposures have really shook me. Enough that I started to research the subjects. SO far results are frightening..... and it's not just the lightning. Ignorance about the disastrous consequences of lightning indicates many lives will be lost, injuries sustained, and psyches distorted before we come to grips with it on playing & practice fields. Across 4 outdoor sports, I find officials taking a casual attitude about lightning. NF shares blame for the ignorance level of officials. Few or no references in rule books and manuals. No points of emphasis. Statement at only one of four of our state rules clinics (WV). At least in we get an excellent information bulletin from
WVSSAC, but it is now outdated, based on what I’ve learned. No test questions on Part II Exams. No sense of recognizing that there is potential disaster and liability risk.

HELP! I need incident reports to continue the following study:
Unsafe Playing Conditions, Specifically Lightning and Thunder Storms, In Outdoor Sports.
A Review of available references on lightning and thunder storms from: encyclopedia; technical journals; incident reports; newspaper and media reports; website reports; electrical engineer opinions; rule book references, case book references, officials manuals, NFHS, and WVSSAC bulletins. Recommendations outlined as specific steps and procedures for the management of games where lightning and thunderstorms.
are an imminent threat.
By Pat O’Reilly, Sports Official, Sports Researcher, Freelance Writer July 26, 2003
copies available by request from [email protected] (304) 727-7955 NO CHARGE
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