Letter to the Editor

Dear Me,

We recently had the pleasure of having our son play football in EJRT.  He had the pleasure of playing for the Pioneer Colts and head coach Mark Timberlake.  It was a great group of kids who had a great year.

I’m writing today mostly to express concern over EJRT policy during bad weather.  I refer not to rain or snow.  But lightning.  During both baseball and football seasons, I, and many other parents have observed lightning and games proceed.  And yes, before the question is asked, officials did see the lightning.

LighteningI know in football, EJRT follows OSSAA rules and recommendations.  On the OSSAA website, they state that when lightning is seen, “suspend play and take shelter immediately.”  Further, they state that there should be a minimum of a 30-minute delay after the last bolt is seen.  During the recent playoff games held Tuesday November 5th, lightening was seen before the game was started and throughout the entire game until it was halted.  The game was not halted for lightning, rather a pregame agreement that the game would be called if a team got up by a certain score.

I have spoken with Garfield County and Enid Emergency Manager Mike Honigsberg regarding this situation.  He unequivocally states that anytime you even hear thunder, you are in danger of being struck by lightning.  He also has expressed frustration about this situation of kids and crowds being left out in these weather situations.

In football, really the only option is to postpone the game as there simply is no shelter at Government Springs South.  Crosslin is a challenge, but I believe people could be shoved in the EJRT building and concession stands.  Hopefully.

I am not writing this to simply call just EJRT out.  I hope all sports organizations are following weather safety in our parks.  Let’s not let a death become the reason we address this issue.

Respectfully,

Mark Keefer