Is there an official Little League rule regarding what to do when you hear thunder and/or see lightning?
In our of my boys' games last night there were several visible streaks of lightning and the umpire continued to let the teams play. Apparently the umpire and the coaches thought it was more important to get through the 4th inning than to think about the safety of the boys.
The LL lightning safety guidelines are all spelled out in the 2011 rulebook---APPENDIX "A". You wll find APPENDIX "A" following page T-30-->[baseball tournament section].
Oftentimes supplemented by a leagues local rules and/or Safety Plan.
By all that is holy.....your umpire's/coach's desire in completing the inning was ill-advised!
BTW---re your report that the "COACHES" and umpire decided to continue playing.
Under Rules 3.10(b) & 4.01(d) ...once the home team's batting order is handed to the umpire... ONLY the umpire has the SOLE authority to suspend a game because of unsuitsble weatrher. Not that it matters in your situation. The umpire probably (wrongfully) asked for the managers input.
Also, not that it matters.
If my grandson, or in my case, great-grandson was rostered on one of those two teams, I'm pulling him off the field and into my car.....and pray that other parental adults, so inclined, do the same.
In the subject situation always best to err on the side of caution.
I have had coaches argue about me suspending play for lightning. I simply ask what part of,"You see it or hear it, suspend" were they confused about. I had an adult wooden bat coach say he didn't want us calling youth rules in an adult game. I told him the rule was lighting, game suspended. He asked me to bring you a written interp saying that. So I brought him one the next day. He was fine with it after that. My question was did he think because they are adults they are less likely to get hit by lightning?
Michael S. Taylor
The LL guidance is that a league should have a lightning plan in it's safety plan and that a "lightning monitor" have the authority to enforce it.
Bottom line is that the "lightning moniitor" can override the umpires when it comes time to suspend the games and restart the games.
Excerpt from APPENDIX A:
"Here are some criteria that could be used to halt activities.
1. If lightning is observed. ...
2. If thunder is heard. ...
3. If the time between lightning and corresponding thunder is 30 seconds or less. ..."
As others have said, this should be addressed in your Safety Plan.
Around here the parks are equipped with Lightning Detectors.
Siren goes off - clear the field.
We've cleared the field under sunny skies several times (only to have a storm blow through minutes after we cleared the fields).
No one allowed back until the All Clear sounds.
I have no problem with a lightning detector picking up a stoppage before me, but there is no way it is going to shortcircuit a restart without my sayso. It can extend it past what I can see, but I will not restart before the prescribed time. If a league insists then they start without me.
Michael S. Taylor
1) You don't understand the lightning system Lou has. It costs 10's of thousands and is used extensively and is much smarter than we are. It's no $250 portable lightning detector.
2) LL doesnt have a rule - it only has a guideline and suggests leagues have a lightning plan. Lou's system qualifies.
Coming from a coach's perspective. If I see lightening we're done. If the lightening detector goes off, we're done. I don’t care what the other coach or the ump says. The kids safety is my primary concern. If they say I have to forfeit a game because i pulled my kids off the field for a safety issue so be it. Winning is not important as keeping the kids safe.
Not sure where the op is at but in our area the league can be fined for ignoring the lightening detection systems or letting the kids play when there is visible lightening in the area. All the cities around here have specific laws and guidelines regarding lightening.
About the only thing I am willing to ignore is a slight rumble in the far off distance. And that is sometimes pushing it.
Rich - they're not quite that expensive but they surely aren't the $250 - $500 hand held systems.
Lightning is a biggie in Florida so the detectors are set to 10 or 15 miles, just to be on the safe side.
We play on County Fields and we are "required" to abide by the System Sirens.
I have NEVER seen lightning prior to the Siren going off.
I have NEVER seen lightning after the All Clear going off.
On a few occasions the siren has sounded and then 30-40 minutes the All Clear has sounded and we never did get any lightning (better safe than sorry).
On a few occasions the clouds got pretty dark but the Siren didn't go off and the clouds passed by and we never got any lightning.
We have "Thor Guard" but I'm sure there are many other Lightning Detection/Alarm Systems out there.
I went searching a couple of years back and the only places I could find cost mentioned was in some news articles about golf courses and colleges and they were well into 5 digits. I guess they are a bit more exensive.
We have twp of the $250 detectors. We set them at 8-20 miles.
Most of the time it seems to work OK but a couple of times we've had a lightning bolt in the distance with no alarm. We're in a hills and valleys area so anything we see should be close enought o trigger it.
"Tens of thousands of dollars", is that what you think. You had better check before spouting untruths like that. Do you really think it costs $30-$40-$50-$90K to place a system.. You are shopping in the wrong store. And BTW, you just might get a big reduction in league insurance rates, not to mention the kid that wont DIE because of your UNTRUE assertion. Wake up and get the protection. It just might save YOUR KID.