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COUNTY THUNDER & LIGHTNING GUIDELINES

STAFFORD COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PARKS, RECREATION AND COMMUNITY FACILITIES

INCLEMENT WEATHER, THUNDER AND LIGHTNING GUIDELINES

When inclement weather is forecast all staff on duty at any park or county facility should be observant of weather conditions. When severe weather that includes thunder or lightning is expected these general guidelines will be followed. Safety of park patrons is paramount.

  • Sports Fields
    Upon hearing thunder or seeing lightning the officials (coaches, umpires and referees) shall suspend the game and clear the field.
  • Officials (coaches, umpires and referees)  shall direct participants and spectators to go to their vehicles or some other enclosed substantial structure. (Dugouts and picnic shelters are not suitable, safe structures during a lightning storm.)
  • Persons will not be permitted to reenter the facilities until 30 minutes after the last time thunder was heard or lightning was seen.
  • If staff is on site and inclement weather is likely, before games start staff shall confirm with the officials (coaches, umpires and referees)the department policy on thunder and lightning.
  • Upon observing thunder or lightning staff shall notify the officials  (coaches, umpires and referees)and identify the direction it came from.
  • Staff shall give the officials the opportunity to suspend or terminate the game.
  • If the officials (coaches, umpires and referees) take no action in a reasonable amount of time (within minutes) and severe weather persists, staff shall blow one long, 2 second, blast on an air horn to notify all park patrons of the need to proceed to their vehicles or other enclosed substantial structure.

General Park Areas

If staff is on site and upon hearing thunder or seeing lightning, staff shall notify patrons that they need to proceed to their vehicles or other enclosed substantial structure. (Dugouts and picnic shelters are not suitable, safe structures during a lightning storm.)

Field Closure procedure:

Stafford County Parks and Rec will let the club know by 2:00 pm if the fields are open or closed for the day. 

If there are field closures we will post closed field status on the website, on the weather hotline (540-657-2010) and on social media outlets. The Stafford County Alert system is utilized by County Staff only. County Staff will post messages/email/text to the Alert if fields are closed. 

Coaches, please note, it is at your discretion to cancel any practice if inclement weather occurs after Stafford County has established open field status for the day.

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