Prescott High School Lightning Safety Protocol

Prescott High School

Protocol and Procedure for Lightning Safety for Athletics

 

Introduction: Every year, approximately 100 people are injured and even killed by lightning. Lightning is a large hazard to the physically active population due to the fact that many sports take place outdoors. At Prescott High School, all necessary precautions, preventative measures, protocols and procedures will be followed. This document outlines the specific procedures that are followed by the Prescott High School Athletic and Sports Medicine Teams.

Protocols and Procedures:

Prevention

  • The Prescott High School Certified Athletic Trainer, Trent James will be designated to make decisions to remove athletes and event attendees from the activity.
  • The PHS Athletic Trainer is designated the “weather watcher,” which will be monitored with use of “Weather Bug, or any other weather related app/website.
  • The athletic trainer will inform the Coaches and the Athletic Director of any dangers
  • Designated safe lighting locations will be in either gymnasium on campus, or anywhere inside the main campus building.
  • If there are signs of an imminent thunderstorm, the Athletic Trainer has the option of postponing or suspending activity regardless of the measured distance of the lightning.
  • In the event of a thunderstorm, the administrator on duty also has the responsibility to inform spectators, athletes, and attendees to go to one of the safe locations, or to their cars/bus.
  • Individuals should be instructed by any of the Prescott High School Staff to avoid standing on fields, or under trees, flagpoles or any other tall objects.
  • The certified Athletic Trainer will maintain current CPR and AED training. It is recommended that all coaches do the same.
  • All individuals have the right to leave an athletic site or activity without fear of repercussions or penalties, in order to seek a safe structure or location if they feel they are in danger from lightning activity.

 

First-Aid Procedures of a Lightning Strike Victim

  1. The Sports Medicine Team will survey the scene.
  2. The highest skilled First-Aid provider, likely the athletic trainer, will lead the emergency situation. They will assign someone to activate EMS and to summon any other skilled providers who can help.
  3. The victim will be moved to a safer location.
  4. The victim will be treated for apnea, asystole, hypothermia, shock, fractures, and burns.

 

AIA bylaw; article 14.5/ Protocol for football weather related issues of delay, suspension or cancellation: 

 

14.6 SUSPENDED FOOTBALL GAME PROTOCOLS – After further review of AIA bylaws, policy and NFHS rules, the AIA Executive Board on 13 September 2011 reviewed and addressed concerns related to games being interrupted because of event beyond the control of the responsible administrative authority. Games shall be continued from the point of interruption unless the teams agree to terminate the game. In the event of a cancellation, postponement, termination, or forfeiture of a game due to inclement weather, the following guidelines will be applied and put in place to promote cooperation between the school administrators, coaches and officials promoting the safest environment at all AIA events.

 

CATASTROPHIC OR POTENTIAL CATASTROPHIC INJURY

(Game is stopped and player has a defined catastrophic injury, or evaluation is in process)

  1. Official(s) have determined that either a catastrophic injury has occurred, or that the injury sustained is potentially catastrophic (Decision reached following consultation with available medical personnel or trainers).
  2. FB: Rule 3.3 and/or Rule 3.4 will be invoked. All other sports shall be handled as per the rulebook.

 

FOOTBALL WEATHER RELATED SCENARIO

  1. In all sports, the NFHS “Guidelines on Handling Contests During Lightning Disturbances”, found in all sports rulebooks for outdoor sports, will be followed (Located in Rule Book Appendixes).
  2. The decision to stop play and resume play is determined by the officials. This decision can and should be made in consultation with school administrators and/or coaches.
  3. Pressure to complete or resume a game should never outweigh the safety of the players or fans.
  4. In the event that a Football Game has been suspended and is in a lightning delay, the following options are available for conclusion of the event:
  5. Wait out the delay and complete the game when conditions warrant.
  6. Complete the suspended game from the point of interruption at a later date.
  7. One team forfeits to the other and statistics are nullified.
  8. The teams agree to terminate the contest at the point of interruption, keep the score, and the statistics up to the point of interruption shall count. The game is entered on www.aiaonline.orgwith the score of the game.
  9. In the case where a game is tied and terminated during regulation play or OT, teams may elect to split power points. The game is entered on www.aiaonline.orgas a tie.
  10. Game is “cancelled”, and games counted for computation of power points is reduced by one for the affected teams. The game is entered on www.aiaonline.orgas a cancelled.

(AIA constitution bylaws policies and procedures book, 2018-2019)

References

AIA constitution bylaws policies and procedures book. (2018-2019). Retrieved from AIA Online: http://aiaonline.org/files/14046/2018-2019-aia-constitution-bylaws-policies-and-procedures-book.pdf