Lightning Policy

NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area!!

Lightning: What You Need to Know

Source: NOAA

Studies have shown most people struck by lightning are struck not at the height of a thunderstorm, but before and after the storm has peaked. This is because lightning can strike as far as 10 miles from the area where it is raining and many people are unaware of how far lightning can strike from its parent thunderstorm.

Therefore, if you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance. Seek safe shelter immediately. Remember this lightning safety rule...When thunder roars, go indoors and stay there until 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder. DO NOT wait for the rain to start before seeking shelter, and do not leave shelter just because the rain has ended.

• If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.

• When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter.


Lightning Safety Myths and Truths

Source: NOAA

Myth: If it’s not raining or there aren’t clouds overhead, you’re safe from lightning. Fact: Lightning often strikes more than three miles from the center of the thunderstorm, far outside the rain or thunderstorm cloud. “Bolts from the blue” can strike 10-15 miles from the thunderstorm.

Myth: If outside in a thunderstorm, you should seek shelter under a tree to stay dry. Fact: Being underneath a tree is the second leading cause of lightning casualties. Better to get wet than fried!

Myth: If thunderstorms threaten while you are outside playing a game, it is okay to finish it before seeking shelter. Fact: Many lightning casualties occur because people do not seek shelter soon enough. No game is worth death or life-long injuries. Seek proper shelter immediately if you hear thunder. Adults are responsible for the safety of children.

Myth: If trapped outside and lightning is about to strike, I should lie flat on the ground. Fact: Lying flat increases your chance of being affected by potentially deadly ground current. If you are caught outside in a thunderstorm, you keep moving toward a safe shelter.


Protocols Boulder Valley School District coaches use to keep student-athletes safe

  • Assign a staff member to monitor weather conditions before, during and after practice/games.
  • Develop an evacuation plan, including identifying where students should go when told to evacuate.
  • Review criteria for suspension and resumption of practice or play:
    • When thunder is heard, or a cloud-to-ground lightning bolt is seen, the thunderstorm is close enough to strike your location. SUSPEND PLAY and take shelter IMMEDIATELY.
    • Thirty-minute rule. Once practice or play has been suspended, wait at least 30 minutes after the LAST thunder is heard or flash of lightning is witnessed prior to resuming outdoor activity.
    • Any subsequent thunder after the beginning of the 20 minute count RESET the clock and another 30 minute count should begin.