The athletic trainer and all coaches are to be aware of oncoming inclement weather. If a coach sees a flash of lightning, he is to notify the athletic trainer immediately. A flash-to-bang count of 30 seconds or less should be used as the minimal determinant of when to suspend activities- all athletes and coaches are to be removed from the field and seek shelter indoors or under the bleachers. Lightning safety strategies include avoiding shelter under trees and avoiding open fields and spaces. Waiting 30 minutes after the last flash of lightning or sound of thunder is recommended before athletic or recreational activities are resumed. The athletic trainer will notify coaches when it is safe to return to play.
Flash-to-Bang Method: Begin counting seconds after a flash of lightning is seen. Stop counting when thunder is heard. Divide this count by 5 to determine the distance of the lightning (in miles). For example, a flash-to-bang count of 30 seconds equates to a distance of 6 miles (National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Lightning Safety for Athletics and Recreation).