GMYFL Lightning Policy
Lightning is a dangerous phenomenon. Athletic teams that practice and compete outdoors are at risk when the weather is inclement. The Greater Metropolitan Youth Football League has developed the following lightning safety policy, which must be followed, to minimize the risk of injury from a lightning strike to its athletes, coaches, and fans. This policy will be strictly enforced as the safety of the player is paramount.
Responsibility for Removing Athletes
The responsibility for removing athletes from a practice or playing area in a timely manner lies with the head coach of the respective GMYFL team(s). If the head coach is not present, an assistant coach will assume responsibility. In the event that no coaches are present, the parents of the players will be responsible for the evacuation of the of the area.
Suspension of play
If at any time lightning is seen or thunder is heard at the field, all play must be stopped immediately and all players, coaches, and fans need evacuate the area and seek shelter. Play cannot continue until there has been a 30-minute waiting period after the last lightning flash is seen. Even if weather conditions appear to have improved within the 30-minute window, you must wait the required time. Lightning can strike from as far as 10 miles away.
At the GMYFL practice/game field, the proper evacuation area is in your personal vehicle, there are no other safe areas! At other facilities, in the school area, please evacuate to your vehicles for the required 30-minute waiting period. If unable to reach safe shelter or a parked vehicle, persons should stay away from tall poles or trees, metal objects (i.e. fences, bleachers, etc.), standing pools of water, and open fields.
The onus of removing a team or individual from an athletic site in the event of lightning activity is on the coach supervising the activity. The safety of all team members rests with that coach. Coaches who do not comply with the above are subject to immediate disciplinary action by the GMYFL Board of Directors.
Coach of Outdoor Sports Team
You coach a little league team and have a game this evening at the local recreational park. The weather forecast for the day calls for partly cloudy skies, with a chance of thunderstorms by early evening. You arrive in your vehicle while the kids arrive with their parents. When you get to the park, you notice the only buildings are the restrooms (an enclosed building with plumbing and electricity). Shortly after sunset, the skies start to cloud up and you see bright flashes in the sky to the west.Â What should you do?
In this case, you should get everyone into vehicles or the restrooms. Do NOT stay on the field or dugout; they are not safe during lightning activity. Once at a safe place, wait 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder before going back and resuming play.
Greater Metropolitan Youth Football League’s
Heat Advisory and Hot Weather Conditions
To establish guidelines for when the outdoor temperatures are unhealthy and place individuals at risk of exposure to heat related illnesses or conditions.
When the heat index is 100 degrees Fahrenheit or the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity is above 60%, all Coaches and Football Commissioners of the Greater Metropolitan Youth Football League will take precautions to ensure that individuals are not placed at risk for heat related illnesses or conditions.
If the temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or above and the humidity is 60% or above, the commissioner or designated club representative shall issue a heat advisory until the temperature/humidity drops below 90 degrees Fahrenheit/60% humidity (Heat Index of 100 degrees Fahrenheit).
During a heat advisory, head coaches and members of the coaching staff should implement the following heat precautions:
Avoid heavy physical exertion during outdoor practices and, if possible, provide coaching instructions either indoors or in an area with less severe conditions.
Coaching staff should stop all activities to allow individuals to drink water every half hour (at least 3 ounces of water per hour) or more frequently.
When the heat index is high, several illnesses such as heat stroke, heat cramps, or heat exhaustion are possible with physical activity or prolonged exposure. The heat may overcome the body’s ability to regulate internal body temperature at a safe level.
Some signs of heat illness include nausea, weakness, fainting, and pale clammy skin. A warning signal before heat illness occurs may be red dry skin. Prompt action can prevent the most serious heat illness or heat stroke, which is fatal 50% of the time.
Team staff will immediately initiate emergency first aid procedures, which include:
• stop the activity
• improve air circulation with a fan or air conditioner
• sponge the body with cool water
• a conscious person should be given sips of cold water or sports drink
Water is the best for rehydration; soft drinks and juice should be avoided, especially fruit juice with 8% or greater carbohydrate (CHO) content.
Heat illness is an emergency situation and requires medical care.
Call 911 immediately as well as calling the parent(s).
One simple guideline to follow before exercise is to drink 17-20 ounces of water or sports drink with less than eight percent CHO content, two to three hours before exercise.
ACTIONS REQUIRED BY CLUBS:
Football Commissioners or a designated representative should
monitor the outdoor weather conditions on an hourly basis by
calling the Verizon Weather Line at 301-936-1212.
Washington Council of Governments Warning System
OZONE POLLUTION WARNING SYSTEM
Air Quality Index (AQI) Code Weather Conditions
Unhealthy AQI Level: 100 or more Hot, hazy humid and stagnant air;
little chance of precipitation
Approaching unhealthy AQI Level: 89-990 Temperatures in upper 80s to low 90s;
Moderate AQI Level: 51-88 Temperatures in upper 70s to mid-80s;
light to moderate winds
Good AQI Level: 0 – 50 Mild temperatures; wind, rain or cool front throughout area
We bring these guidelines to your attention that all coaches and Commissioners are responsible for their players' safety and good health. These guidelines are a supplement to the existing “2010 Guidelines for Football Practice Sessions” and each Football Commissioner and Coach is responsible for the administration and implementation of these Guidelines.
REMEMBER – THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR COMMON SENSE.