Inclement Weather Safety
The chances of encountering one of the following during a game are possible, so therefore we will have a plan in place for each of these occurrences.
Light rain that does not create an unsafe environment may not be cause to stop a game or practice.
Heavy rain that leads to pooling or soaking wet field conditions may cause stoppage of a game or practice. Besides pooling and slick field conditions, heavy downpours can also cause very poor visibility putting players, coaches, and spectators in danger from batted or thrown balls. Therefore it is the responsibility of the umpire to stop the game. It is the coach’s responsibility to stop practice as soon as possible to avoid injuries. NOTE: If a game or practice is stopped, coaches are to remain with the players until their parents have picked them up.
If it has been raining prior to a game or practice, then coaches and umpire must carefully inspect the field for safety prior to the beginning of any activity. NOTE: The League President will determine whether or not the fields are playable prior to the start of the game. An announcement will be made at the fields, and on the SLPLL website.
According to the NOAA, over the last 20 years, the United States averaged 51 annual lightning strike fatalities, placing it in the second position, just behind floods for deadly weather.The chance of an average person living in the US being struck by lightning in a given year is estimated at 1 in 960,000.
If a game or practice is in progress and there is lightning or thunder (with or without rain), or if the lightning warning alarm sounds, the umpire or coach will immediately stop play and move everyone to a safe area. Practice and games are not permitted to continue until 30 minutes after a flash of lightning or the sound of thunder. Players may not remain on the field. Practices and games may not resume until the ‘all-clear’ is given by the umpire or coaches. If a game is ready to begin or is already in progress, please wait in your safe area until your manager, coach, or umpire gives you details on whether the game will be continued or postponed. The lead person working the concession stands is responsible for notifying the umpires when the lightning indicator located within the concession stand registers nearby lightning strikes.
Heavy winds can cause dust particles to obstruct a player’s ability to focus on the game and can even hamper a player’s ability to see clearly. Heavy winds can also cause serious safety risk to spectators. Therefore in the event of heavy winds, any wind registering 25 mph or greater, the game or practice must be immediately stopped. The game or practice may resume if the wind velocity reduces to below 25 mph or stops altogether. It is the responsibility of the umpires and coaches to makes this call.
At any point in a game or practice, if there is a tornado, the game or practice must be cancelled immediately. The manager and coaches should gather all of the members of the team and remain at a safe area near the field, if possible. The manager or coaches should remain near the field, if possible, for at least 30 minutes after a tornado for parents or guardians to pick up their player. If it is unsafe to remain near the field, the manager or coach should gather all the players and go to an area away from the field that is safe. If after 30 minutes all of the players are not picked up, the manager or coach must contact the Safety Officer or League President for further instructions.
Very hot/humid/sunny days
During the summer, the temperatures can rise to very uncomfortable levels. It is the coach’s responsibility to make sure that all players have sufficient amount of water for drinking. If a player does not have a way to stay hydrated it will be the policy of SLP Little League not to allow that player to play or participate in practice. Additionally, all coaches should review this policy and the importance of adequate hydration and wet cloths with parents at the team’s parent meeting.