PMBA follows Baseball Alberta guidelines for inclement weather.
BASEBALL ALBERTA WEATHER POLICY
The safety of players, coaches, umpires, volunteers, and spectators is the primary concern in
any weather event that occurs during games sanctioned by Baseball Alberta.
By understanding and following the below information provided and endorsed by
Environment Canada and/or Alberta Environment, the safety of everyone shall be greatly
increased. During Baseball Alberta league play, the host / home team and the umpire in chief
have specific responsibilities as outlined in the Official Rules of Baseball in deciding to delay or
restart a game due to weather related factors. At Baseball Alberta Provincial Championship
events, the umpire in chief and the Baseball Alberta Tournament Director, if applicable, have
the final decision over delaying or restarting a game due to weather related factors. Umpires
and Baseball Alberta Tournament Directors are expected to act responsibly when dealing with
such events during games they are controlling.
This policy applies to all games sanctioned by Baseball Alberta including, league games,
exhibition games, and Provincial Championship games.
LIGHTNING AND SEVERE WEATHER
When thunder roars, go indoors.
You can determine the approximate distance of lightning from your area by counting the
number of seconds between the flash and the first sound of the thunder and dividing by three
(3). This will give you the distance in kilometers from your location.
The problem lies in that people need to be in a safe location (not a dugout!) before the count
reaches 30. For instance if one counts 35 seconds, people should be finding a safe location to
Please note the following recommendations from Environment Canada:
The existence of blue sky and absence of rain are not protection from lightning. Lightning can
and does strike as far as fifteen (15) kilometers away from the rain shaft. It does not have to be
raining for lightning to strike. Many lightning casualties occur in the beginning, as the storm approaches, because many people ignore initial precursors of high winds, some rainfall and
cloud cover, or after the system moves past. The risk of being struck by lightning may persist
for more than thirty (30) minutes so shelter in place until 30 minutes after the last rumble of
Lightning can strike ahead or behind the parent cloud – take action even if the thunderstorm is
Be aware of how close lightning is occurring. The flash-to-bang method is the easiest and most
convenient way to estimate how far away lightning is occurring. Thunder always accompanies
lightning, even though its audible range can be diminished due to background noise in the
immediate environment and its distance from the observer.
Lightning awareness should be increased with the first flash of lightning or the first clap of
thunder, no matter how far away. This activity must be treated as a wake-up call to all. The
most important aspect to monitor is how far away the lightning is occurring, and how fast the
storm is approaching, relative to the distance of a safe shelter for everyone.
Recognize that personal observation of lightning may not be sufficient. Additional weather
information may be required to ensure consistency, accuracy and adequate advance warning.
There is a Canadian Lightning Danger Map available at
http://weather.gc.ca/lightning/index_e.html that can help identify where recent lightning has
When larger groups are involved, the time needed to properly evacuate an area increases. As
time requirements change, the distance at which lightning is noted and considered a threat to
move into the area must be increased. Extending the range used to determine threat potential
also increases the chance that a localized cell or thunderstorm may not reach the area giving the
impression of a “false alarm”.
Know where the closest “safe structure or location” is to the field or playing area and know
how long it takes to get to that safe structure or location.
Safe structure or location is defined as:
Any building normally occupied or frequently used by people, i.e., a building with plumbing
and / or electrical wiring that acts to electrically ground the structure. Avoid using the showers
or plumbing facilities during a thunderstorm.
In the absence of a sturdy, frequently inhabited building, any vehicle with a hard metal roof
(not a convertible or golf cart) and rolled-up windows can provide a measure of safety. A
vehicle is certainly better than remaining outdoors. It is not the rubber tires that make a vehicle
a safe shelter, but the hard metal roof which dissipates the lightning strike around the vehicle.
Do not touch the sides of any vehicle!
Avoid using the telephone, except in emergency situations. People have been struck by
lightning while using a land-line telephone. A cellular phone or a portable remote phone is a
safe alternative to land-line phones, if the person and the antenna are located within a safe
structure or location, and if all other precautions are followed.
When considering resumption of any athletics activity, it is recommended that everyone should
ideally wait at least thirty (30) minutes after the last sound of thunder before returning to the
People who have been struck by lightning do not carry an electrical charge. Therefore,
cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is safe for the responder. If possible, an injured person
should be moved to a safer location before starting CPR. Lightning-strike victims who show
signs of cardiac or respiratory arrest need emergency help quickly. Prompt, aggressive CPR has
been highly effective for the survival of victims of lightning strikes.
For additional information, the following websites are helpful:
Canadian Lightning Danger Map: https://weather.gc.ca/lightning/index_e.html
Lightning safety for soccer video: http://www.ec.gc.ca/foudrelightning/default.asp?lang=En&n=54B219E5-1
Lightning safety for large outdoors venue: http://www.ec.gc.ca/foudrelightning/default.asp?lang=En&n=90CC153A-1
Lightning in Canada: http://www.ec.gc.ca/foudrelightning/default.asp?lang=En&n=BEC25F94-1
AQHI of 7 or higher means that play should be stopped immediately.
The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is a recognized risk management measurement which
describes a local reading of air quality as it relates to human health. The AQHI is not real time
reporting and can have a lag-time of over one hour. If air quality is changing during athletic
activity, be aware of the common symptoms of irritated eyes, coughing, and difficulty breathing
in addition to the reported AQHI index.
An AQHI index of over 7 indicates a “high risk” from air pollutants.
An AQHI index of between 4 and 6 indicates ongoing AQHI air monitoring should be initiated
in order to identify to the umpire and Tournament Director if the index should reach 7 or
higher. In practice situations, athletic activity should be adjusted through reduced intensity,
educed duration, and providing rest periods.
In order to obtain the AQHI, go to https://weather.gc.ca/mainmenu/airquality_menu_e.html
or http://environment.alberta.ca/apps/aqhi/aqhi.aspx. Baseball Alberta recommends using
the Alberta website as it lists more specific stations. Air quality can be variable within a
localized region like the greater Edmonton area even though stations such as Edmonton and St.
Albert are in proximity to each other. The Alberta website information is also available as an
app. Use the index value that is within one hour of the scheduled start time for the game or
In addition to the AQHI, be aware of weather and other conditions. Conditions such as forest
fires located some distance away, local burning of agricultural stubble, and sudden changes in
wind direction and strength can all affect local air quality.
The AQHI is calculated differently for Alberta in two significant ways. First, in the rest of
Canada, the AQHI only measures ground-level ozone, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and
nitrogen dioxide. In addition to these three pollutants, Alberta is more comprehensive by also
including sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, total reduced sulphur and carbon monoxide in
its AQHI reporting. Second, for the rest of Canada the AQHI is calculated on a 3-hour rolling
average and so is less responsive to dramatic changes in air quality. It is for these reasons that
the Alberta AQHI website is the best source of AQHI index values.
Individuals tend to rely on sensory perception to evaluate air quality when, in fact, the
pollutants that present the greatest harm to human health are difficult to see or smell such as
ground level ozone.
The AQHI treats an index value above 10+ as “Very High” with health messages for the
“general” and “at risk” populations to reschedule all outdoor activities – strenuous or not.
Athletes are in the “at-risk” population because of the intensity and duration of exposure to
outdoor air quality.
For additional information, the following websites are helpful:
Environment Canada Air Quality: https://weather.gc.ca/mainmenu/airquality_menu_e.html
Alberta Environment AQHI: http://environment.alberta.ca/apps/aqhi/aqhi.aspx
Air Health: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/air-qualityhealth-index.html
Alberta Air Quality Advisory Site: http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/air.aspx