Thunderstorms and Lightning

Subject: Thunderstorms and Lightning – Guidance for the Safety of Players and Officials

In view of thunderstorms in the last few days, and possibly this weekend, I have enquired from Gordon Robinson, a qualified umpire, the current ECB guidance, which is below.

Lightning: What Should You Do?

GO INDOORS IMMEDIATELY if:

• There is sudden thunder without lightning

• You see lightning in the clouds

• Flash to bang time is 30 seconds or less *

• You see lightning strike the ground or building etc nearby

DO NOT

• Waste time covering the pitch

• Go near or move metal-framed pitch covers or machinery

• Bunch together – spread out as you move indoors

• Shelter under a tree especially a single tall tree

• Stay outside if you can get into a building (or a car). [Sheltering inside a permanent metal-skinned or –roofed building is usually OK but avoid small sheds etc]

 

WHEN TO RESUME

• Keep watching and listening 30 minutes after the last thunder it should be safe to go out * – but: if in doubt – stay indoors!!

 

DANGER SIGNS

There is imminent danger of a lightning strike if:

• You feel your hair standing on end

• There is crackling in the air

• There is sudden thunder without lightning

 

REMEMBER – THERE IS NO SAFE PLACE OUTSIDE IN A THUNDER STORM

Never lie flat on the ground during a lightning storm. Although the ‘Lightning Squat’ (crouching low with hands over head and ears and elbows on knees) has been mentioned by some as a last resort it doesn’t work. If you can get into a sturdy building or a car do this at once.

* the ’30/30 Rule’ – by no means infallible but a good guideline. Get indoors when thunder is audible within 30 seconds after you see the associated flash (the ‘flash to bang time’) and don’t venture out until thunder has not been heard for 30 minutes.

Roger Montgomery,

Acting Hon Secretary, Fuller’s Brewery Surrey County League