If thunder follows a lightning flash by thirty seconds or less, people in the open are at risk of being struck by lightning. (This is based on the fact that in 30 seconds, the sound travels about 10km, so, in these circumstances; the lightning is less than 10km away). (A) Play shall cease immediately, in the event that a lightning flash is followed by thunder less than 40 seconds later. Play shall not resume until 30 minutes after the l...ast lightning flash. (B) Immediately following the suspension of play, persons may enter the field of play in order to lay pitch covers. However, no person may remain on, or enter, the field of play in the event a lightning flash is followed by thunder less than 30 seconds later (where the thunder is within 30 seconds), or for 30 minutes thereafter. (C) ALL players, officials and other participants shall remain off the field of play for the duration of the period that play is suspended under this Playing Condition. If there are no covers available, the extra allowance of time is not required Rationale: To avoid the odd circumstance of people leaving the field, then running back out to cover the pitch!!
For guidance only as from ACU.
From umpire secretary Paul Massey
This is covered under the general requirements that the match is played with strict regard to the health and safety of the players. If there is lighting around, then the teams should leave the field. There is also the issue that the players are not covered by the normal club insurance should there be a lighting strike and the teams or umpires were aware of the possibility of lighting - which they usually are.