For high school athletics directors, Friday night football games usually involve making sure fan behavior is good, the visiting team is accommodated and order is kept so spectators have an enjoyable experience.
This past Friday, they also had a greater responsibility of public safety.
Bad weather in the area brought lightning during many of the area games. For example, Columbus North’s home game was halted with 7:37 remaining in the first half when lightning strikes were seen. After a 40-minute wait, the game was suspended until Saturday.
Additionally, Columbus East’s home game was at halftime when lightning became an issue, and the decision to suspend the game until the following day was made.
When the well-being of athletes, team personnel and the fans is at risk, there is no other primary consideration than safety. The school’s administrators made sound decisions in deciding to resume play the next day, when conditions would be better. It’s also notable that they didn’t wait hours to suspend the games, hoping to finish the games while making everyone endure the bad weather.
The events that night also showed how well the schools work together. Because of a band competition at North’s field Saturday, the North team needed a place to finish the game. Columbus East allowed North to conclude its game the following night on East’s field.
The level of collaboration and regard for public safety demonstrated by the schools Friday is to be commended.