Severe Weather Policy
EVACUATION/SEVERE WEATHER PLAN
Lightning Policy: The purpose of this lightning policy is to provide
a uniform code of procedures to follow during weather where the risk
of lightning strike is high. This is done to protect the health and
well-being of the student-athletes.
Ceasing Activity: The SkyScan Lightning Detector (portable, electronic)
and internet Doppler radar will be used to determine the proximity of
storm cells and when to pull teams off of the field. The flash-to-bang
method will also be utilized as a visual reference.
To use the flash-to-bang method, begin counting on the lightning flash,
and stop counting when the associated thunder is heard. Divide this number
(in seconds) by five to determine the distance (in miles) to the lightning
flash. For example, if the time in seconds between the lightning being
spotted and the thunder being heard is equal to 30, divide that by five,
and you get six (30÷5=6). Therefore, that lightning flash was
approximately six miles away from the observer.
If the count is 30 seconds or less, teams must seek shelter immediately.
Most teams will be linked by radio to the sports medicine staff. This
will be the primary method of communicating the recommendation to move
student-athletes out of the weather. For those teams that do not have
a radio connection, a member of the sports medicine staff will relay
the message to seek shelter. Do not wait for notification. If a storm
cell is approaching, take the initiative to remove the team and ensure
It is the responsibility of the administrator and the ATC to coordinate
with officiating crews during home meets to determine when the race will
Resuming Race: After 30 minutes has elapsed with no further lightning
strikes, it is safe to resume race. The SkyScan Lightning Detector and
internet Doppler radar can indicate if the storm is still overhead or
moving away from the area. Please wait until a member of the sports medicine
staff relays that it is safe to return to the course.
Severe Weather Policy for 2010 NCAA
Cross Country Regional Championships
For the safety of all spectators, student-athletes, officials and coaches
the following will be used in case of severe weather (e.g., cold temperatures
and/or heavy snow):
1. The meet director and NCAA Cross Country / Track and Field committee
will monitor the weather during the week and morning of the championships.
2. A central information location and/or phone number to call for information
on delays and/or postponement to Monday. Then the host can leave a message
at that number alerting coaches of different start times or a delay in
course inspection times due to inclement weather. This number 616-395-7888
will be placed in the information with the coaches’ packets and
on the meet website.
3. The games committee will determine whether the start of the meet
should be delayed or if the meet should be postponed until Monday,
4. If the race has already begun and would have to be suspended in the
middle of the competition, the NCAA Cross Country / Track and Field committee
would recommend the following:
Men’s 8,000 meter - If competition is suspended before the 3,000
meters mark you may run the same day with a two hour delay. If competition
is suspended after 3,000 meters we would recommend postponement until
Monday, November 15.
Women’s 6,000 meter - If competition is suspended before the
2,000 meters mark you may run the same day with a two hour delay. If
competition is suspended after 2,000 meters we would recommend postponement
until Monday, November 15.
5. If necessary, competition may be postponed until Monday,
November 15, per NCAA policy, with competition not starting prior to noon. This
information will be communicated to all involved institutions.
6. If the meet is postponed to Monday because of severe weather, the
following time schedule may be used:
1:00 p.m. Men’s 8,000 meter race
2:00 p.m. Women’s 6,000 meter race
** Appropriate provisions will be made to the facility to ensure the
safety of competitors and spectators. The games committee reserves the
right to make changes to the above policies and schedules as they see