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Lightning delays Northwestern lacrosse's first round NCAA Tournament game

The game has been delayed with the score tied 4-4 at halftime.

After 30 minutes without a lightning strike, the teams came back onto the field at 6:25 and are set to resume play at approximately 6:55 after a delay of almost three hours.

Northwestern lacrosse's first round NCAA Tournament game against Louisville at Lakeside Field has been delayed due to lightning.

The first lightning strike in the area was seen during halftime, and shortly thereafter, it was announced that the game would be delayed for at least 30 minutes. The two teams and fans had to clear out of the stadium and head to the nearby Henry Crown Sports Pavilion until it was safe to return to the field.

Due to official rules, the game cannot be restarted within 30 minutes of the latest lightening strike. From the NCAA Health and Safety Guidelines:

To resume athletics activities, lightning safety experts recommend waiting 30 minutes after both the last sound of thunder and after the last flash of lightning is at least six miles away, and moving away from the venue.

Use both the sound of thunder and seeing the lightning channel itself to decide on when to reset the 30-minute return-to-play clock before resuming outdoor athletics activities.

Thunderstorms are expected to continue throughout the evening though, so the delay could be lengthy.


With this being the NCAA Tournament, and with a second game, Ohio State vs. Notre Dame, scheduled to be played at Lakeside tonight, organizers have been put in a tough situation:

Update: Officials say the plan is to do everything possible to get both games in tonight. However, rain is now pouring down here in Evanston, and it was announced that the game would not restart until around 6:20 p.m. CT at the earliest.

Update (5:45 CT): The rain has lightened up, but there was lightning less than ten minutes ago and officials say the games will be played "practically no matter what." The thinking is the coaches would prefer their players go to bed late tonight and have all day tomorrow to recuperate as opposed to playing tomorrow and Sunday back-to-back with zero days to rest. We're looking at at least another 60 minutes before play resumes.

Update: (6:23 CT): The teams will be coming out in eight minutes if there are no more lightning strikes, officials say. That will be followed by a 20 minute warm up and then the game will resume. This is all presuming no more lightning is sighted.

Update (6:27 CT): We forgot to knock on wood after that last update; a lightning strike was just spotted and the resumption clock has been reset to thirty minutes. The teams won't come out before 7 pm.

Update (6:29 CT): Turns out that strike was too far away to register and the original resumption schedule is back on track.

Here are some more pictures from David Gernon:

Lakeside rain 2

Lakeside rain 3

We'll have more updates as they come...