Severe Weather / Lightning Policy
1. Leaving the field of play (practice/game).
During a game, rule books put the authority in the hands of the referee to make the call to leave the field in inclement weather. However, it is important that members of the coaching staff and parents (via the Head Coach or Team Manager) give appropriate input to the officials prior to the decision to seek safe shelter. At a practice, coaches and On Field Parents are urged to use common sense to provide a safe environment for their players.
2. Outside weather observer.
A parent, Team Manager or member of the coaching staff who has few responsibilities during practice/games should be designated to keep an eye on changing weather conditions and alert the Head Coach and On Field Parent immediately. Parents, fans and like individuals with varied vested interests shall not be involved in this action.
3. Local Forecast.
The Team Manager should monitor the weather forecast during the day of any practices or games.
Changing weather conditions may make it necessary to postpone or suspend practices. During practices and games, parents are advised to stay close by when weather conditions are iffy so they can help coaches and On Field Parents get all players to safe shelter in the event of severe weather. Please note that lacrosse practice fields and most game locations do not have access to appropriate shelter for large groups of people. Also note that per LTYL policy, it is the parent or guardian’s responsibility to pick up child at termination or end of practice and games.
Every coach, Team Parent and board member will be required to download and use a mobile device app to inform them of lightning strikes relative to their location. We encourage parents to do so as well. The mobile device apps can be such as the following.
LTYL administrators will notify the Head Coach or Team Manager of any changes that affect the game schedules as soon as possible. Parents are encouraged to enable the “TEXT MESSAGING” option on our website so that the club or coach can notify you via the website of any last minute changes.
When it becomes evident that shelter may be necessary, the coaching staff and Team Manager should employ the "30-30 Rule." That is, when one sees lightning – one begins counting in seconds until one hears thunder. If one hears thunder in 30 seconds or less, terminate practice or game and go quickly to shelter. Keep in mind that this rule cannot prevent against the first lightning strike. And, outdoor activities which require moving large groups of people to a distant shelter will require more time than that allotted by the "30-30 Rule".
Safe shelter shall be inside a substantial building, away from doorways, windows. Baseball/Softball dugouts are not appropriate. The shelter shall be able to keep the athletes and fans comfortable for up to 1 hour or more. While less than ideal, an enclosed motor vehicle will suffice. Avoid contact with the steering wheel, ignition, keys and/or radio.
If one cannot get inside to a safe shelter, go to a lower elevation to minimize the risk. Stay away from fields, bleachers, trees, poles, light posts. Avoid unprotected open shelters, metal fences and structures.
If still trapped outside where there is imminent risk of being struck, there are steps one may take. Imminent risk may be noted by the hair on arms and neck standing straight up, skin tingling, hearing a crackling sound. Move several feet away from another person and use the "lightning crouch" to minimize one’s risk. Put the feet together, squat down, tuck the head and cover the ears. When immediate threat of lightning has subsided go to a safe shelter.
5. Suspension of Play.
LTYL adopts the recommendation of the NWS, the NATA and the NFHS that all athlete and fans shall remain in shelter for 30 minutes past the last lightning observed (which is also the waiting period advised by US Lacrosse).
Bottom line, the best detection may be the old dictum, "If you hear it, fear it; if you see it, flee it." Watch the sky, be ready to vacate the fields immediately should thunderstorms start to develop and avoid the threat of lightning strikes altogether.
LTYL Boys participate in the Central Texas Youth Lacrosse Association (“CLTYL”) for games. CLTYL is made up of other youth lacrosse associations with their own policies. As the policies may differ between all these associations, LTYL tries balance being a developmental program while still being competitive. Playing time in games will ultimately be up to the coach and Team Manager, but the following are rough guidelines LTYL encourages.
Bantam (1st-2nd grades) & Lighting age groups (3rd-4th grade): All players receive equal playing time.
For the Juniors (5-6th grades) and Senior of (7-8th grades) playing time may vary depending on the division the team is in Division I is the competitive division and playing time will be solely determined by the. Playing time in Division II and or III will be much more balanced as they are the developing and beginning player divisions.
These are guidelines, will vary and will not apply to teams in Division I end of season playoff options.
Child Pick up and Drop off
It is the responsibility of each player’s parent or guardian to get player to field and to pick player up from field when practice or games are over, cancelled or terminated. It is not the responsibility of LTYL, its coaches or parent volunteers to manage how children get home after practice is over. This includes unexpected shortened practices from cancellation due to weather.
Players will not be allowed to participate in any lacrosse activities without ALL the required protective equipment. For list of required equipment, please look under Lacrosse Equipment page on the Lake Travis youth lacrosse website.