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WRSL LIGHTNING AND SEVERE WEATHER POLICY
The safety of players, coaches, referees, management and spectators is a
primary concern in any weather event that occurs during all matches sanctioned
by the WRSL. The WRSL is formally adopting the policy stated in this document
and will endeavor to ensure that it is followed at all times. Referees are
expected to act responsibly when dealing with severe weather during matches
they are controlling as waiting to stop play or not waiting to start play may
result in serious injury or loss of life. However, it must be clearly
understood that ultimately the referee has the final say over delaying or
restarting a match due to weather. Teams directed to take proper shelter must
remain in location until the referee restarts the game or declares a
postponement. Failure to adhere to the referees directions during severe
weather will result in forfeiture of the game by the team failing to follow the
The existence of blue sky and absence of rain are not protection from lightning
as lightning can and does strike as far as ten (10) miles away from the rain
shaft (i.e. it does not have to be raining for lightning to strike). Thunder
always accompanies lightning, even though its audible range can be diminished
due to background noise in the immediate environment and its distance from the
observer. Generally, the lightning threat diminishes with time after the last
sound of thunder, but may persist for thirty (30) minutes or more.
When lightning is detected, the distance to the
lightning can be determined by counting the time between the flash and the
first sound of the thunder and dividing this time by five (5).
When lightning is seen, count the time until thunder is heard. If this time is
thirty (30) seconds of less, seek proper shelter. Wait thirty (30) minutes or
more after hearing the last thunder before leaving the shelter.
Proper shelter is a safe structure or location. A
safe structure is any building normally occupied or frequently used by people
(i.e. a building with plumbing and/or electrical wiring that acts to
electrically ground the structure). Avoid using shower facilities as a safe
structure, whether stand alone or in a building.
In the absence of a sturdy, frequently used building,
any vehicle with a hard metal roof (not a convertible or golf cart) and
rolled-up windows can provide a measure of safety and is definitely better than
If unable to reach safe shelter, stay away from the
tallest trees or objects such as light poles or flag poles, metal objects,
individual trees, standing pools of water and open fields. Avoid being the
highest object in a field. Do not take shelter under a single, tall tree.
Minimize contact with the ground.
For additional information refer to the CSA Lightning Safety/Severe Weather
Policy which can be found on the OSA or CSA websites. Additional information
can also be found on the following website: www.weatheroffice.gc.ca