The DOLLS organization is committed to the safety and welfare of our players and the Downers Grove Park District has spent considerable time and money installing a lightning prediction system for the protection of people at the parks in Downers Grove. Therefore, the DOLLS board is requiring all coaches, players, and spectators to vacate all playing fields when the lightning protection system indicates that lightning may be present.
The current system sounds a 15 second horn blast and flashes a strobe light when conditions are conducive to lightning strikes. During these times, or at any time lightning is apparent, coaches, players, and spectators should vacate the field IMMEDIATELY and seek shelter in their vehicle. Do not wait for the end of the inning or the end of the game. Do not take shelter under or around any park structure, including shelters, restrooms, or dugouts as they are not protected from lightning strikes. Similarly, avoid trees and fences. After the threat of lightning has passed, an all-clear signal of two short horn blasts (three at the golf course) will sound and the strobe light will stop flashing. The system is active daily between 8:30 AM and 11:00 PM, from March through November, and is tested on the first Tuesday of each month at approximately 9:55 AM.
Lightning kills 80 people annually in the United States and injures many more. With the system currently in place at the softball fields, the risk of injury can be greatly diminished. The Park District has made a commitment to make the parks a safer place, and the DOLLS Board believes that these gestures are in the best interest of the players. Therefore, any coach that knowingly ignores the signs of danger and continues to play may be removed as a coach by the board.