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When should an athletic event be stopped because of lightning?

It is not safe to participate in athletic events when the amount of time between thunder and a lightning strike (the "flash to bang") is less than 30 seconds. It is safe to return to play if there has been at least 30 minutes since the last lightning strike.

(This answer provided for NATA by the Washington State University Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.