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Youth Sports Organizations Need Bad Weather Policies

Lightning Safety Is Critical

Have a Plan in Place

Chances are wherever you live the weather is probably subject to change at a moment's notice. Squalls, tornadoes, or electrical storms can occur with little warning. If your child is playing or practicing in less than ideal weather conditions, you need to be aware of the possible hazards and have a plan worked out ahead of time to avoid the kind of potentially dangerous situation that developed at the lacrosse game.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Learn about lightning and how to prevent being hit

  • Ask your child's club or league to establish and enforce a policy to follow at every practice and game in the event of bad weather.

  • If the club won't set a policy, suggest to the coach at the first preseason parent's meeting to agree to follow a set weather policy.

  • Educate your kids too. You not only need to educate your son's or daughter's coach, club and league, but your own kids need to understand the policy.


Taking Matters into Your Own Hands

When all else fails, you need to have your own family weather policy. Not having a policy about when to call a game because of bad weather is not only foolish, it could be deadly!


I educated my sons about the dangers of playing sports during an electrical storm when they were four years old and a 13-year old neighbor in Virginia was struck by lightning and killed because he did not leave the baseball field soon enough during a thunderstorm.

If a family weather policy becomes necessary:

  • Explain in advance to your child the circumstances that will prompt you to take them off a playing field out of fear for their safety, even if their coach won't!

  • Stay calm. If you need to take them off the field, choose your words carefully so as not to insult the coach or embarrass your child.

  • Don't back down! Remember, no matter what, your child's safety is more important than any game.