OK Schools Prepared When Weather Threatens At Football Games

Friday, September 9th 2016, 6:12 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

Kick-off at the Broken Arrow-Owasso game will be one hour earlier tonight because of the threat of severe weather.

Schools across Green Country are prepared for a familiar sight from last year's football season with the potential for thunderstorms Friday night.

"Something always comes up at the last minute, you know, that you have to deal with," said TPS Athletic Director Gil Cloud.

Cloud said when lightning strikes, there's a plan in place. 

"Every time there's a lightning strike, it’s another 30 minutes. So if we're at 29 minutes and there hasn't been a lightning strike and it strikes again, we have another 30 minutes. And at that point, sometimes we have to make a decision - are we gonna continue if it gets to be 9, 10, 11 on a Friday night," Cloud said.

He said the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association put that 30-minute rule in place; but if the storm doesn't give up, players and fans can't wait forever.

"Usually, our drop-dead time is 10:00. If we get to 10:00 because of a lightning delay, we're not gonna finish the game that night," Cloud said.

He said each high school in the Tulsa Public School district has a lightning detection system with a siren alerting everyone lightning is nearby - some even have a blinking light.

But no matter what each school district's plan is, Cloud said the priority is the same. 

"The game is important, but it's not near as important as those kids’ lives," he said.

At Broken Arrow, athletic leaders say they use a combination of different apps to learn if lightning will be nearby.

9/9/2016 Related Story: Owasso-Broken Arrow Football Game Moved Up Due To Weather