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Disc Golf Pro Tour Severe Weather Policy

The Disc Golf Pro Tour (DGPT) holds the safety and security of all who attend our events as a top priority.  Monitoring for inclement weather patterns and responding in a timely and coordinated way can lower negative weather-related impacts and increase the safety of all staff, players, and attendees.

In the event of inclement weather, The DGPT follows policy, “1.07 Suspension of Play,” enacted by the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) in the “Competition Manual For Disc Golf Events, “ and the “PDGA Mid-Event Weather and Suspension Guidelines.”  

DGPT events are highly attended with large numbers of competitors, staff, and spectators on the course at any given time.  The DGPT has additional inclement weather policy guidelines that we believe strengthen the current PDGA policy and guidelines. This will help with expedited and orderly egress off the course and allow everyone to seek shelter.

General Policy

  1. The designated DGPT Safety Officer has sole authority to suspend tournament play in the event of dangerous inclement weather, or for any other reason that is deemed to be unsafe to continue play.  The Safety Officer may confer with the TD and any additional DGPT or Tournament staff in making these decisions, however, the final decision of when to suspend and resume play is the sole responsibility of the Safety Officer. 
  2. The TD and Assistant TD will review and acknowledge this Inclement Weather  Policy prior to the start of the event.  
  3. A minimum of three air horns will be onsite and staged in strategic locations that ensure all areas of the course will hear all warning blasts in the event of tournament suspension. One horn will be kept at tournament central and additional horns will be in the possession of willing and capable volunteers that are on the course in strategic locations.  These locations should be identified by the Safety Officer, TD, Assistant TD. or the tournament-designated Safety Coordinator. 
  4. TD’s must designate a Safety Coordinator that is a point of contact for the DGPT Safety Officer.  In the event of dangerous inclement weather, the Safety Coordinator will assist the Safety Officer in making notifications and ensuring the course and tournament central are cleared.

Lightning

The DGPT lightning policy outlines when tournament play should be suspended and when it can be safely resumed in the event of a lightning storm.  The Safety Officer has the ability to enforce a more conservative interpretation of the policy if deemed necessary based on current or predicted weather conditions. 

  1. Tournament play is suspended immediately and the course is evacuated if lightning enters a 12 mile radius of the course and the cell appears to be heading in the direction of the course.  The DGPT Safety Officer can suspend the tournament beyond the 12 mile radius if conditions warrant.
  2. If any lightning cells are tracking parallel to the course and do not enter a 10 mile radius, tournament play is not suspended.  If the edge of the storm that contains lightning enters a 10 mile radius from the course, then tournament play is suspended immediately and the course is evacuated. 
  3. Play may resume 30 minutes after the lightning cell has passed the tournament location and the last lightning strike was not within a 10 mile radius of the course. 
  4. A meteorologist and the safety officer will re-evaluate the lightning after 10 minutes since the last strike within the 10 mile radius to determine whether or not players may begin back to their last played position. If the conditions are expected to improve then players may return to their last played position to begin play 30 minutes after the last lightning strike. The safety director will announce when it is safe to return back to the course. 
  5. If conditions are not expected to get better after the 10 minute evaluation then play will continue to be suspended in 10 minute intervals after the initial 30 minute waiting period. 
  6. Spectators may return 30 minutes after the last strike within a 10 mile radius of the course. This will also be determined by the Safety Director. 
  7. All persons must clear the course and tournament central. 
  8. Being on the course or at tournament central during suspension of play can lead to a courtesy warning, followed by removal from tournament. 

Lightning Safety Tips 

  • There should be no contact with metal objects 
  • Avoid standing next to tall objects (single trees) and in groups.
  • If there is no other shelter, you may seek refuge in a hardtop vehicle. It is not the rubber tires that protect from lightning; it is the hardtop metal roof that dissipates the lightning around the vehicle.
  • UNSAFE LIGHTNING SHELTER AREAS include all outdoor metal objects like flag poles, fences and gates, high mast light poles, metal bleachers, golf carts, machinery, etc. AVOID trees. AVOID water. AVOID open fields. AVOID the high ground.
  • Pavilions and gazebos that do not have four walls are unsafe and do not qualify as appropriate shelter.
  • The existence of blue skies and/or absence of rain are not protection from lightning. Lightning can strike 10 miles or more from any given cell (storm).
  • DO NOT LIE FLAT ON THE GROUND.
  • If you feel your hair standing on end, and/or hear “crackling noises” – you are in lightning’s electrical field, which means lighting may be very close to you or about to strike you. If caught outside during close-in lightning, immediately remove metal objects (including baseball cap), place your feet together, duck your head, and crouch down low in a baseball catcher’s stance with hands on knees.
  • Find a place to shelter until lightning has passed. 
  • Persons who have been struck by lightning do not carry an electrical charge. You can provide care. Move the victim to a safe location to provide care.
  • If in a forest, seek shelter in a low area under a thick grove of small trees and remain away from the base of trees. 

Tornado

  1. If a tornado watch has been issued, the DGPT Safety Director and meteorologist will analyze the forecast and determine when preventive action should be taken.
  2. If deemed necessary, spectators will be asked to evacuate the course immediately until the tornado watch has expired for the area. Once the watch has expired spectators may return to the course as long as no other inclement weather is anticipated within 30 minutes preceding the tornado watch expiration. Delays will continue in 30 minute intervals until it is safe to return. 
  3. Players may continue to play during a tornado watch unless an active tornado warning is issued within 50 miles of the course and tracking towards the tournament location. 
  4. In the event of a tornado warning, tournament play will be immediately suspended with 3 horn blasts along with guidance on where to seek appropriate shelter. 
  5. The Safety Officer will work with local event staff and city/county emergency management teams to identify appropriate shelters prior to the event start. 
  6. If tornado warning is rescinded and weather forecasting is not predicting future tornado warnings within the remaining daylight hours, then play can be reinstated. 

Excessive Heat and Cold Temperatures

  1. Heat related illness brings significant risk to the health of anyone participating in outdoor activities.  This includes players, spectators, staff, and volunteers. 
  2. Local temperature readings will be monitored by the Safety Officer.  Tournament play can be suspended in the event of temperature readings that are deemed unsafe, or if the event or players are not properly prepared for excessive temperatures.  

Air Quality Index (AQI) 

  1. AQI 101-150: Competitors will be notified that air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups and that if they fall into this group it is recommended to wear a mask. 
  2. AQI 151-200: N95 masks are required to be carried but not mandatory to be worn.
    1. N95 Masks will be handed to each competitor at the starters tent. 
  3. Suspension of play will be triggered if AQI exceeds 201 ppm. 
  • Restart of play will be triggered when AQI drops below 201 ppm. 
  • If AQI does not drop below 201 ppm or is not predicted to drop, the round will be canceled.

References

Lightning Safety Standard in Outdoor Sport and Industry NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance

Personal Lightning Safety National Lightning Safety Institute 

Guide For Lightning Protective Measures For Personnel US Army Training And Doctrine Command

Lightning Safety Tips Center For Disease Control

Lightning Safety National Lightning Safety Council

Lightning Safety When Working Outdoors OSHA

Air Quality Index Basics Airnow.gov

Particulate Matter Pollution EPA