BASA Severe Weather Policy:

Severe Weather - Lightning

When you consider both risk potential and frequency, lightning is far and away the greatest safety risk to youth players, coaches, game officials, and spectators at BASA.


The Bay Area Soccer Association has the ultimate authority for assuring player safety is maintained. The BASA board member in charge will intervene and stop any and all soccer matches that they feel present an undue risk to players, coaches, and spectators, and this includes weather related risk. An air horn will be used by the BASA board member in charge to communicate the need to clear the fields and seek shelter. The signal to shelter in place is two long blasts on the air horn. The signal may be repeated after a short period of time. Once the horn is sounded all personnel should immediately seek shelter. Match Officials, or referees, have a responsibility to stop a match if severe weather presents an unacceptable risk to players during a match. However, Match Officials will only make that determination during the official match period. Coaches are responsible for player safety during those time periods before and after the match. Coaches can and should consult with BASA board members and Match Officials regarding player safety if severe weather is present.. There may be times when a BASA board member is not present before, during, or after a match. In the event of severe weather player safety is first and foremost and we are all responsible to intervene if players are at risk.

The 30/30 Rule

All players, coaches, game officials, and spectators at BASA should understand the 30/30 rule of lightning safety. 30 seconds: From flash to sound of thunder, if the time from seeing the flash to when it is heard is less than 30 seconds the source is within 6 miles and players are at risk. 30 minutes: Once lighting risk is present, all personnel should seek shelter and NOT resume play until 30 minutes after the last lighting strike.

Safe locations to Shelter in Place

The safest place for players, spectators, and coaches to seek shelter in the event of lightning is in a car with a metal roof. Note that it is the metal frame of the car, not the rubber wheels that provide the protection. Players should not seek shelter in any open areas including under trees or under the BASA pavilion. High current surface arc’s can radiate from the lightning strike point like spokes of a wheel for up to 20-30 yards from the strike point. This is what makes standing under a tall tree, in a pavilion, or out in the open extremely dangerous.

Match Resumption or Rescheduling

Parents and players should be reminded not to leave the premises in the event sheltering is required as games will be resumed if possible. The BASA board member in charge will use an air horn to notify sheltered personnel of communication updates including the resumption or cancellation of games. The signal for all clear will be three short blasts on the air horn. Again, the signal may be repeated after a short period of time. In the event the severe weather is prolonged or matches cannot be resumed, it is the responsibility of the coaches to coordinate rescheduling the match if necessary.

Severe Weather - Tornados

Severe weather in the form of tornados is also a potential safety risk to youth players, coaches, game officials, and spectators. BASA will do it's best to monitor severe weather activity.  Depending on the level of activity at the complex the decision will be made by an attending board member or board member in charge to evacuate the premises. In the event no board member is in attendance, evacuation is the only safe alternative. Once an evacuation is required, it is important that all vehicles leave the premises in a safe and orderly manner. It is critically important that you drive slowly and watch for pedestrians who may be seeking shelter in neighboring vehicles.

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