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High School football: Rain or shine, but not lightning


POSTED: Friday, September 14, 2012 - 4:27pm

UPDATED: Friday, September 14, 2012 - 4:43pm

The weather is a constant game changer for outdoor sports.

Here in East Texas, it's really important that Friday night skies remain clear.

We spoke with the local athletic director who told KETK football is the type of sport where you play in the rain, until its too dangerous.

So unlike rain outs in baseball, the athletic director in Tyler told KETK, "Usually football is played in many different types of conditions so we go ahead and play unless theres severe lightning or a tornado or a hail storm, something like that."

The NFL website states that an NFL official makes the calls for suspending a game due to inclement weather, unless unavailable, then the referee makes the call.

So what about in High School games?

Rod Kaspar told KETK, "The referee does but we also keep the coaches involved."

We also spoke with John Tyler's coach, Ricklan Holmes who told KETK that he receives a text message through the University Interscholastic League once lightening strikes.

The rules vary for lightning delays between the NFL and High School. The NFL rules are based on how far away the lightning is, whereas, High School is based on timing.

Kaspar said, "When we have the first indication of lightning, we clear the field for thirty minutes and if we have no more lightning strikes within that thirty minutes we get the kids back out let them warm up start playing again, but within that thirty minutes if theres another strike of lightning we start that thirty minutes over again, so it's a continuous rotation of time."

All the rules regarding weather are to insure safety.

"The purpose is to make sure the lightning is out of the area so we don't put our kids or our fans in any harms way," said Kaspar.

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