Severe Weather Warning

The protection of Ohio South members and participants is of paramount importance.  Every member should recognize the danger presented by lightning, tornadoes and other hazardous weather. The following items represent generally accepted principles regarding the dangers involved with lightning and tornadoes.


  • All thunderstorms produce lightning and are dangerous.
  • Lightning often strikes as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall. You are in danger from lightning if you can hear thunder. You are in danger if you can see lightning.
  • Lightning injuries can lead to permanent disabilities or death. Look for dark cloud bases and increasing wind.
  • Lightning can travel sideways for up to 10 miles and strike when skies are blue.
  • Soccer fields are a dangerous place to be during a lightning storm. When lightning is seen or thunder is heard, or when dark threatening clouds are observed, quickly suspend the game and/or practice and move to a safe location.
  • Avoid standing in an open area, near soccer goals, under a tent, near trees or in water. The safest place during a thunderstorm with or without visible lightning is in a car, but not a convertible.


  • Watch for rapidly darkening skies.
  • The sound of an approaching tornado is often described as that of an approaching train.
  • The funnel of a tornado does not have to touch down to cause extensive damage and injuries.
  • Tornadoes can produce winds of 300 miles per hour or more.
  • Most people who are hurt during a tornado are hurt when they are struck by flying debris.
  • Seek safety in a solid structure, preferably in a basement or in an interior room.  If no building is available, lay down in a ditch.


In any of the circumstances outlined below occurs, the referee should immediately suspend the game.

1. If thunder is heard, the game should be suspended and the fields cleared. Everyone should immediately go to a safe shelter.

2. If lightning is seen, the game should be suspended and the fields cleared. Everyone should immediately go to a safe shelter.

3. If a thunderstorm is heard or seen coming or your hair stands on end, the game should be suspended and the fields cleared. Everyone should immediately go to a safe shelter. Do not wait until it rains.

If the game official does not immediately suspend the game when any one of the points above have occurred, the head coach from each team can agree that one of the four criteria listed above have occurred they are to withdraw their teams from the field. If this action is taken, then both coaches must submit a written report to their league outlining the circumstances, the facts concerning the weather conditions at that time, the fact that the two coaches were in agreement and the name of the officials at the game.

If an official and one of the coaches do not reach the conclusion to suspend the game and any one of the four points listed above are believed to have occurred, the coach that supported the suspension of the game is to send a written report to their league outlining the facts and the names of the officials.

No one should retake the field or re-start the game until all of the lightning and thunder or other hazardous weather has left the area. Specifically, no one should retake the field for a minimum of 30 minutes after the last lightning is seen or thunder is heard, or the dangerously high winds have passed.

Each league should establish their own procedures for replaying of any games suspended due to lightning or tornadoes.

M.O.S.S.L.’s  Bylaws  Regarding  Lightning and  Hazardous  Weather  Conditions:

7.17  Any game in league or tournament play that has begun and has proceeded to the conclusion of the first half shall be considered a complete game, if the remainder of the game can not be played in a timely manner, due to inclement weather, including but not limited to, the presence of lightning, the immediate threat of lightning or other circumstances beyond the control of the game’s participants. The score of the game at the time that the game is declared a complete game shall stand as the final score for the game.

7.17.1  If the first half of the game has not concluded  and the game must be terminated due to inclement weather or other circumstances, then the game is an incomplete game and when rescheduled, must be replayed in its entirety.

7.18  If the center referee in any game believes there is a hazardous condition present, the center referee shall immediately suspend play.  If there are hazardous weather related conditions present and the center referee does not immediately suspend play and if the coaches of the teams involved in the game mutually agree that the game should be suspended due to those hazardous conditions, then the game shall be suspended.  If any game is suspended, either as a completed game or as an incomplete game, due to a hazardous condition, then the center referee and the coaches are required to complete a post game report and submit that report to the MOSSL office within 48 hours on the game.

7.18.1  A game shall be immediately suspended if is seen or if thunder is heard.  Any game that is suspended due to lighting or thunder shall not be restarted until at least 30 minutes has passed after the lightning has moved away or that thunder is heard.

7.19  If an assigned or scheduled referee or assistant referee arrives at a game field prior to the designated start time and the game can not be played due to inclement or hazardous weather conditions, unplayable field conditions, closed fields, or any other reason, or is an incomplete game, the referee and assistant referees shall be paid their full game fees as outlined in section 7.1.  This section shall not be applicable if the home team has made a reasonable and timely attempt to contact the referee or assistant referee to report the cancellation of the game. Any dispute arising in reference to this section shall be referred to the Vice-President – Competition for his determination as to the proper resolution of the matter.