Lightning/Threatening Weather Policy

  • MSHSL Board Policy: Lightning/Threatening Weather

    Prior to the start of a contest, the host school is responsible for determining whether or not the conditions present a threat to the safety of participants and spectators, and will determine whether or not the contest will begin. Once the contest begins, the officials have the authority to postpone or suspend a contest due to unsafe weather conditions--that decisions may not be over-ruled. School officials also still have this authority. The Superintendent or his/her designee may over-rule an official and suspend or postpone a contest once it has begun. In other words, once a contest has begun either the officials or school authorities may postpone or suspend a contest, and cannot be over-ruled by the other party. When in doubt, error the side of safety.

    While lightning on the horizon should warn of potential danger, lightning associated with thunder or thunder alone means that there is immediate danger to athletes, officials, and spectators. The adage -- "If you can hear it, clear it." -- should be used to make decisions to postpone or cancel the activity. Lightning can strike 10 miles ahead of or behind the storm front and thunderhead clouds.

    When considering resumption of an athletic activity, the MSHSL recommends that everyone should wait at least 30 minutes after the last flash of lightning or sound of thunder before returning to the field or activity.