Little League Officials Take Necessary Precautions for Lightning
Many thunderstorms have rolled through Central Georgia this year and have disrupted some sporting events in the area. Organizers at one sporting location said they are taking the necessary precautions to keep the athletes and fans safe.
“We don't shrug it off, that is our number one concern is the lighting,” Southeastern Regional Little League Baseball/Softball Director Jen Colvin said.
Colvin and her staff keep an eye out for lighting strikes with many devices.
"NOAH Radar, local radar, any radar we can get a hold of as well as the local law enforcement who is also constantly in contact with the base as far as their meteorologist, and we also use lightning detectors."
The detectors inside the press box can pick up strikes as far as 40 miles away and when it ranges between eight to ten miles, Colvin said event organizers take necessary precautions.
"Put the children in the dugouts,” she said.”If things start moving in, get the players out of the dugout. “We put them over in our administration building. We let the folks in the stands know that we do have weather in the area, though we may not have rain we have lightning in the area. We recommend going to their vehicles until such time has passes."
However, some spectators said they don't always listen.
"I usually just sit and see how bad it is and if it gets bad enough I'll go to the restroom or the gift shop," spectator Ralph Bowen said.
The little league staff will wait 30 minutes after the last lighting strike to restart a game. During the softball tournament two weeks ago, a game was cancelled because the lightning didn't clear out in time and Colvin said the safety of the athletes is the number one concern.
"We're not going to risk anybody's health, well being, or safety because of the weather that we have."
Rain dates are added to the schedule to make-up any games cancelled because of lightning.
One little league game not affected by weather on Monday was Georgia and Alabama. The Warner Robins Little League All Stars beat them 4-1 and will be playing again on Wednesday.