Lightning delays keep players, fans safe

Lightning delays keep players, fans safe
Johnny Seabrooks
Johnny Seabrooks

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Across the country, games have been getting canceled due to stormy weather.

While it may be frustrating for players and fans, it's all done with safety in mind.

For many south Georgians, fall Fridays mean football. Rain or shine.

But Dougherty County Schools Director of Athletics Johnny Seabrooks said every game can be replayed, but a life can't be replaced.

The Georgia High School Association's lightning policy says whenever lightning strikes, the game must be delayed for 30 minutes following each strike.

Coach Seabrooks said when lightning is within a 5 mile radius of Hugh Mills Stadium, all players, coaches, and fans are evacuated.

"If you hear thunder, there's lightning," said Coach Seabrooks.  "We use that as a concept.  When we get the rumble, we begin to check the sky to check for lightning and if we see a flash.  But then again, we go back to the devices that we trust to give us a reading on the lightning."

Coaches and trainers use a Skyscan device, which can detect lightning from up to 40 miles away.

He said, fortunately, they haven't had to cancel many games due to lightning during his 15 years as Athletic Director.

If you're heading to a game, you can download our WALB Weather app, which will show lightning detected in your area.

Just search for 'WALB weather' in your app store.

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