BASD Lightning Policy
Bellefonte Area School Districit's lightning related protocols and procedures have been created in order to establish base criteria for the suspension of athletic competition for outdoor events. This plan aims to establish a chain of command (ie. Athletic Trainer, Athletic Director, Officials, Coaches) that identifies a specific person who is to make the decision to remove individuals from the field of activity. The athletic training staff at BASD have effective tools in order to detect at the earliest possible moment when lightning is present and could possibly strike. Safe shelters for each BASD venue have been established in the Emergency Action Plan located on the athletic training web page.
The athletic training staff at BASD will assist game personnel in determining when competition should be suspended. General criteria for game postponement is any lightning strike (air to ground or air to air) within a 10 mile radius of the playing surface is presumed "unsafe" for athletes, coaches, and spectators. At this time everyone will be asked to exit the field of play and move themselves into the safe shelters listed in the Emergency Action Plan. After the last lightning strike or sound of thunder, a 30 minute clock will start. Once that clock reaches zero and there have been no more signs of lightning in the area, play may resume.
The general rule of thumb for coaches, officials, and parents when an athletic trainer is not present is if lightning is observed, move the athletes under any sort of cover (ie. pavillion, building, car or team bus) and wait 30 minutes after the last observable strike.
Listed below is a position statement from the National Athletic Trainer's Association, which aims to determine specific protocols for lightning safety and other outdoor inclement weather scenarios that may become a danger for student athletes and spectators.