operations@centralleague.org P.O. Box 832 Devon, PA 19333

or Central League Soccer, safety is of paramount importance.  This includes players, match officials, coaches, club officials and spectators.  With that in mind, CLS has adopted the following Lightning Policy.

Adopted from:




Thunderstorms pose a serious threat to players, match officials, coaches and spectators.  This policy has been created to help guide clubs with regard to playing games when there is threatening weather.

Always think safety first—- If you see it, flee it; if you can hear it, clear it.

Within the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that 40 fatalities and about 10 times that many injuries occur from lightning strikes every year. NOAA estimates that as many as 62 percent of lightning strike fatalities occur during outdoor organized sport activities. While the probability of being struck by lightning is low, the odds are significantly greater when a storm is in the area and proper safety precautions are not followed.


· No place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area. All activity should be suspended, even if lightning or thunder has not yet been observed, and everyone should get indoors. Communicate this information completely and quickly to all participants.

· For each game, each club/team should designate a person to monitor threatening weather (via radar, weather reports, media outlets, etc.) and notify participating teams as the situation warrants.

· Consult the National Weather Service, the Storm Prediction Center or local media outlets for severe weather watches and warnings. Alerts can even be sent directly to your mobile device while you are on the field.

· Each club should identify appropriate nearby safer areas and ensure access for players, coaches, and match officials in the event of threatening weather during a match.

· Safe locations should be available with enough capacity to hold all who may need safe shelter. A primary location would be a fully enclosed building with wiring and plumbing. A fully enclosed vehicle with a solid metal roof, like a school bus, would be a safe secondary option. Open fields and open-sided shelters are not safe. If there are no adequate safe shelters close to the field, play must be stopped well in advance of the storm to allow everyone to travel to a safe place or their home.

· If thunder is heard or lightning is witnessed, play should be suspended for 30-minutes. Once play has been suspended, wait at least 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard or lightning is witnessed prior to resuming play.

· Any subsequent thunder or lightning after the beginning of the 30-minute count will reset the clock and another 30-minute count should begin.

· Termination of a match- If the delay due to thunder/lightning has been or will be more than 60 minutes, the match officials can terminate the match.  If the match is terminated in the second half, this will become an official game, if it is terminated in the first half of the match, the game should be rescheduled and replayed.

Warning signs of a lightning strike:

· Feeling the hair stand on end

· Skin tingling

· Hearing crackling noises

If these occur, assume the lightning safe position: