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 TYLA 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.
a. Spark from Weatherbug: http://weather.weatherbug.com/spark-alert.html?region=4®ion_name=Asia&country=JA&country_name=Japan&city=69159&city_name=Tokyo&units=0&stat=RJTD
b. Lightning Cast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lightning-cast-push-notifications/id628531466?mt=8
TYLA 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.
Murchison Middle School Field Note: There are awnings at the school entrances on either Hart Drive or North Hills Drive.
5. Suspension of Play.
TYLA 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.
TYLA Boys participate in the Central Texas Youth Lacrosse Association (“CTYLA”) for games. CTYLA is made up of other youth lacrosse associations with their own policies. As the policies may differ between all these associations, TYLA 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 TYLA encourages.
Bantam: All players receive equal playing time
Lightning: 90% of game time is distributed equally
Juniors: 80% of game time is distributed equally
Seniors: 70% of game time is distributed equally
These are guidelines, will vary and will not apply to teams in Red divisions with 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 TYLA, 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.
TYLA does not have access to any restroom or toilet facilities at Murchison Middle School. It is therefore important that families and players address this prior to coming to the fields. If a player needs access to a restroom during practice, the player’s parent will be called to come to the practice field and take the player to appropriate facilities.
Please note that a player using any place on the Murchison grounds as a toilet will be immediately suspended from TYLA indefinitely only to be reinstated by the TYLA board. Players and parents must understand that actions such as this jeopardize TYLA’s access to the fields and hence TYLA as a going concern.
On Field Parents
It is the policy of TYLA to have a parent volunteer on field at every practice and behind the bench at every game. The On Field Parent’s primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Help manage any disciplinary issues and help maintain order / control among children
- Assist in running drills as necessary
- Be another set of eyes and ears for the Team Manager, Coach and TYLA Administration
- Be the one to make adult decisions as a parent that ensure the well being of all players.
If it is brought to the attention to TYLA’s administration that a team is not supplying On Field Parents, lacrosse activities for that specific team will cease until a schedule can be made that ensures parents are fulfilling this role.
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 101 tab.