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Minnesota Youth Athletics Services



Lightning and Thunder Guidelines


MYAS and the Gopher State Baseball League (GSBL) follow the National Federation of State High School Assocations' rules when it comes to Lightning or Thunder disturbances. If you have not reviewed the rules on this, please take the time to do so. You can follow the link below or look on page 78 of the NFHS rule book all GSBL coaches were provided.

Remember, the safety of your players, coaches, and fans should always come FIRST. Lightning is very dangerous, unpredictable and can be quite random as well. Knowingly risking the safety of the individuals at your field is unacceptable.

Below are the NFHS rules.




National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC)


These guidelines provide a default policy to those responsible or sharing duties for making decisions concerning the suspension and restarting of practices and contests based on the presence of lightning or thunder. The preferred sources from which to request such a policy for your facility would include your state high school activities association and the nearest office of the National Weather Service.


Proactive Planning


  1. Assign staff to monitor local weather conditions before and during practices and contests.
  2. Develop an evacuation plan, including identification of appropriate nearby safe areas.
  3. Develop criteria for suspension and resumption of play:


  1. When thunder is heard within 30 seconds of a visible lightning strike, or a

cloud-to-ground lightning bolt is seen, the thunderstorm is close enough to

strike your location with lightning. Suspend play for thirty minutes and take

shelter immediately.

  1. Thirty-minute rule. Once play has been suspended, wait at least 30 minutes

after the last thunder is heard or flash of lightning is witnessed prior to

resuming play.

  1. Any subsequent thunder or lightning after the beginning of the 30-minute

count will reset the clock and another 30-minute count should begin.


  1. Review annually with all administrators, coaches and game personnel.
  2. Inform student athletes of the lightning policy at start of season.


For more detailed information, refer to the "Lightning and Thunder Safety" section contained in the NFHS Sports Medicine Handbook.

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