Lightning Safety and Organized Outdoor Sports Activities

Organized outdoor sports activities are a great way to bring people together, enjoy the fresh air, and get active, all at the same time. However, spending time outside means being at nature’s mercy. Lightning can quickly turn a fun game of tennis or softball into a dangerous situation. Whether you are a coach, athlete, or spectator, find out all you need to know about lightning safety and organized outdoor sports activities to stay prepared out on the field, court, or stands.

Understanding the Risk

Outdoor sports fields and areas are susceptible to multiple lightning risks. Many outdoor sports activities are held in open fields or courts, making them vulnerable to direct lightning strikes as nothing is blocking the lightning’s pathway. Such strikes can cause multiple injuries and lead to fatalities. Another potential outdoor sports lightning risk is the side flash—when lightning strikes a taller object, like a score stand, and part of the current jumps to a nearby person.

Ground currents, one of the most common lightning-related risks, happen when lightning strikes an object, resulting in electrical energy spreading along the ground and impacting anyone in the area. Lightning can also increase electrocution risks as its currents can travel and spread through metal objects and conductive surfaces, such as fences, sporting equipment, or even wet grass. Between direct strikes and electrically charged surfaces and objects, outdoor sports activity areas are vulnerable to multiple lightning danger risks.

Developing a Lightning Safety Protocol

A comprehensive lightning safety protocol is vital for any organization or person involved in outdoor sports. This plan should include a clear set of criteria for suspending and resuming play, as well as specific evacuation procedures. Safety protocols enhance proactive responses, allowing for swift implementation of safety measures, which, in turn, mitigates injury risks.

Identifying Safe Shelters and Evacuations

Seeking shelter is one of the most effective ways to stay safe from lightning. However, many outdoor spaces come with very limited shelter options. If possible, fully enclosed structures are the best places to shelter during lightning risks. The second-best shelters to seek include hard-cover cars and pavilions. If no easily accessible shelter is available, the safest thing to do is to stay clear from any conductive objects and surfaces, high ground, and trees.

With ample weather monitoring and lightning detection technology, anyone participating in or watching organized outdoor sports activities can become aware of danger and evacuate in a timely manner. Coaches, athletes, and spectators equipped with personal lightning detectors can be notified of approaching lightning, giving them plenty of time to seek shelter. TALOS personal lightning detection devices are compact and portable, making them easy to carry around outdoors so that people can stay notified about lightning in the immediate area.

Now that you know everything there is to understand about lightning safety and organized outdoor sports activities, you can enhance your time outside. Order yourself a personal lightning detector and remain cautious when hitting the outdoor fields and courts.

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Looks and works great!

Easy to set up and install on our boat. It provides assurance knowing we have an advanced warning system in place for storm fronts.

John G. - TALOS Lightning Detector
Looks and works great!

Easy to set up and install on our boat. It provides assurance knowing we have an advanced warning system in place for storm fronts.

John G. - TALOS Lightning Detector