BREAKDOWN: Why lightning delays outdoor sporting events

BREAKDOWN: Why lightning delays outdoor sporting events

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - According to the National Lightning Safety Institute (NLSI), Lightning is the most frequent weather hazard impacting athletic events.

Baseball, football, lacrosse, skiing, swimming, soccer, tennis, track and field events, all these and other outdoor events have been visited by lightning.

According to the NLSI, education is the most important means to achieve lightning safety, and a program is encouraged by every facility that partakes in outdoor sporting events.

According to the national weather service, the odds of getting struck by lightning is one in 1,190,000.

Nearly, 75 percent of all lightning fatalities happen between May and September and the most vulnerable time is between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Which doe coincide with hours for many athletic events, especially football.

The current NCAA policy requires that play is suspended if there is lightning within 8 miles of the stadium. It then requires a 30-minute delay, but that may vary because the time count will restart if the lightning strike occurs within the 8-mile radius.

Not every sport has the same policy, the NCAA has the strictest policy for its sporting events.

This is all done as a sign of safety, as most stadiums are full of metal and other materials that are conductive for lightning. So, evacuations of stadiums and a lightning delay is all done for the safety of fans.

If you are interested in learning more about lightning and its facts check the previous breakdown titled How the 2nd most deadly natural phenomenon is formed at

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