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Junior Deputy Baseball Lightning Detection System and Procedures

Junior Deputy Baseball exists to provide Little Rock youth baseball opportunities. A primary goal of operating the baseball program is to provide a safe environment for the parents, volunteers, and especially the children as they practice and play. JD is constantly examining how we serve our community and what investments we can make as an organization to better meet our goals and the needs of our community. Most recently, JD invested in the installation of a state-of-the-art lightning detection system. The system can accurately detect lightning strikes within a 10-mile radius of our baseball park located at 2500 Cantrell Road. The procedures outlined below are consistent with those used by the Arkansas Activities Association, the National Weather Service, and Little League International. The use of this system will provide a clear signal and plan of action that should result in consistent action by coaches to protect the safety of themselves and their players. It is the expectation of JD that all of our game officials and volunteer coaches follow the procedures as stated below.


When a lightning strike is detected within a 10-mile radius of the park:

●      The system will sound a warning horn for 15 seconds.

●      A strobe light will be activated where the system is mounted on the shop located in the northeast corner of the park.

●    The strobe light will continue to flash as long as the lightning warning is in effect.

1.    When the horn sounds, all activities, practices, or games shall be suspended immediately, and all participants and spectators should return to their vehicles. One major advantage of the system is that it gives advanced warning allowing participants adequate time to return to their vehicles without getting caught in a storm.

2.    In the case of a game in progress, the game should be suspended as soon as any active play ends unless the game officials determine that the warning horn itself caused interference with the play.

●     Example: The horn sounds as a pitcher releases the ball and the batter is startled by the horn. The game official may rule a “no pitch” and game play should then be suspended.

3.    As soon as a lightning strike is detected within a 10-mile radius of the park the system will begin a 30-minute countdown timer. The countdown timer will start over every time another lightning strike is detected within a 10-mile radius of the park.

4.    When the 30-minute countdown timer ends with no lightning strikes detected within a 10-mile radius of the park, the system will sound 3 blasts of the horn for 5 seconds each and the strobe light will shut off to signal all clear to resume game play or practice. Parents, volunteers, and children should remain in their vehicles until the strobe light shuts off.

5.    The lightning detection system at JD will be activated one hour prior to the first scheduled activity of the day and will remain activated until one hour after the last scheduled activity of the day.

●        Example: Practice is scheduled to start at 6:00 PM. The lightning system sounded the warning horn at 5:15. The last lightning strike was detected at 5:35 PM. The 30-minute countdown timer does not expire until 6:05 PM. Parents, volunteers, and children should remain in their vehicles until the strobe light shuts off at 6:05 PM.

6.     In addition to the horn and strobe light, players, parents, and volunteers can view the 30-minute countdown timer on the JD website ( and through Earth Networks (

7.     JD may choose to keep the park closed in certain situations even after all clear is given if field or weather conditions are deemed unsafe for practice or play to resume.

References for Lightning Safety

1.    Little League's Appendix A - Lightning Safety Guidelines.

2.    National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Guidelines on Handling Practices and Contests During Lightning or Thunder Disturbances.


Junior Deputy Baseball
P.O. Box 250709 
Little Rock, Arkansas 72225

Phone: 501-291-0272
Email: [email protected]

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