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Hot Weather Policy

LISD Athletic Department Hot Weather Policy

Practice or competition in hot and humid environmental conditions poses special problems for the student-athlete.  Heat stress and resulting heat illness is a primary concern in these conditions.  Although deaths from heat related illnesses are rare, constant surveillance and education are necessary to prevent heat-related problems.  Based on the written literature and anecdotal evidence pertaining to this matter, the following guidelines should be observed during all LISD outdoors events.

General Considerations for Risk Reductions

  1. The LISD Athletic Department will encourage proper education of coaches and student-athletes regarding heat illnesses. Education regarding risk factors should focus on hydration needs, acclimatization, work: rest ratio, signs and symptoms of exertional-heat illnesses, treatment, nutritional issues, and fitness status.
  2. The Sports Medicine Staff has the authority to alter work: rest ratios, practice schedules, amount of equipment, and withdrawal of individuals from participation based on environmental and/or medical conditions.

General Guidelines

  1. An initial complete and updated yearly medical history and physical examination is needed before any child will be allowed to participate.
  2. Gradual acclimatization of the athlete to hot/humid conditions is a must. We advise that student-athletes should gradually increase exposure to hot and/or humid environmental conditions over a period of 3 weeks to achieve acclimatization. It is important for both athlete and the parents to understand that the LISD Athletic Department is an advocate of physical preparation before entering into any sport. We strongly encourage all athletes to be in shape before entering their chosen sport(s). This is the purpose behind the summer strength and conditioning camp and off-season programming.
  3. All LISD coaches will gradually increase the duration and intensity of their workouts in the heat with a combination of strenuous interval training and continuous exercise.
  4. Athletes will maintain proper hydration during the heat acclimatization process. The athlete should be allowed to take frequent water breaks during the course of any practice.
  5. All LISD athletes who participate in a hot and humid environment will be instructed to drink water as well as sodium –containing sports drinks to keep their urine clear to light yellow to improve hydration status and to replace fluids between practices on the same day and on successive days to maintain hydration status.
  6. All LISD athletes will be encouraged to sleep at least 6-9 hours at night in a cool environment and eat a well-balanced diet that follows the New Food Guide Pyramid, US Dietary Guidelines and Leopard Nutrition. The LISD athlete will also be strongly encouraged to maintain proper hydration status (especially during twice-a-day practices) during the course of the day.  LHS and LMS administration have allowed all students to carry water bottles with them during the course of the day. This privilege will aid the student-athlete in staying hydrated during the day in preparation for afternoon practices.  All student-athletes who participate in the morning should make sure that they are well-hydrated before coming to practice.  Prior to practice or competition, the student-athlete should consume 500-600 mL (17-20 oz) of water or sports drink 2-3 hours before exercise and 200-300 mL (7-10 oz) every 10- 20 minutes before exercise.
  1. All athletes are encouraged to lightly salt their foods and/or consume sodium containing re-hydration drinks (Gatorade) while recovering from practices and competitions. If there are conditions that contradict this guideline please discuss this with the Sports Medicine staff.
  1. The Sport Medicine Department will strongly urge all athletes who participate in hot and humid conditions to drink 1-2 liters of water or water/sports drink mixture (i.e., diluted sports drink) at the conclusion of practice or games. We will attempt to measure bodyweight before and after practices (for football players during two-a-days and afternoon practices) so that we can have a rough estimate of how much fluid the athlete needs to replace during his or her recovery period.

LISD Athletic Department Specific Guidelines for the Hot and Humid Environment

  1. All decisions pertaining to outdoor practices will be determined by the LISD Athletic Director and the Sports Medicine Department.
  2. Event and practice guidelines will be based on the wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) reading from a sling psychrometer. This tool provides current and up to date information pertaining to heat and humidity.   The LISD Head Athletic Trainer/Assistant Athletic Trainer will perform a daily check of current weather conditions via news reports and a daily check of the heat/humidity readings as aforementioned above. The LISD Sports Medicine staff will also use the DTN Weather Sentry to alert key individuals (i.e., coaches and athletic trainers) heat advisories. It is important to note that many of these recommendations are based on the risk of environmental stress for athletes wearing shorts and T-shirt.  If the athlete is wearing additional clothing, a lower WBGT value could result in comparable risk of environmental heat stress. The following risk chart will be used in determining event and practice schedules:
WGBT Level Level of Risk Comments
<65oF Green Low Risk is low but still exists on the basis of risk factors
65-73oF Yellow Moderate Risk level increases as event progresses through the day
73-82oF Red High Everyone should be aware of injury/illness potential; individuals at risk should not compete
>82oF Black Extreme or Hazardous Consider re-scheduling or delaying the event until safer conditions prevail, if the event must take place, be on high alert

 

  1. All LISD coaches and the athletic training staff will monitor student-athletes in the hot and humid environment and be proactive in taking preventive steps to prevent heat-related illnesses.

The LISD Athletic Department (in cooperation with the Sports Medicine Department) will implement the following guidelines for all outdoor sports in order to decrease the probability of incurring a heat-related illness:

Heat Index of <100oF

The student-athlete shall have unrestricted access to water (and/or sodium-containing sports drinks) at all times.  Asthmatic athletes may remove themselves from workout without penalties or repercussions. These individuals should report to the Athletic Training staff for further evaluation and treatment.

Heat Index 100-105oF

The student-athlete shall have unrestricted access to water and/or sodium-containing sports drinks at all times.  Asthmatics may remove themselves from workout without penalties or repercussions.

High School Football Other High School / Middle School
Outdoors Sports
Middle School Football
Football attire should be shells, shorts, shoulder pads, helmets. (Light colors).  Rubberized clothing shall be forbidden in all sports as a means to decrease bodyweight.Can take helmets off when not actively participating.Outdoor work will be limited to 2 hours in duration with 5-10 minute rest and water breaks every 15-20 minutes.Conditioning should take place without equipment.

Cooling fans (if available) shall be used on the sideline or during rest periods during games.

Cross-Country will be advised to stay on campus and limit runs to ½ the length of normal run.Practice should not exceed 2 hours in durationRubberized clothing shall be forbidden in all sports as a means to decrease bodyweight.  The student-athlete should wear shorts, shoulder pads, and helmet outside (Light colors). Rubberized clothing shall be forbidden in all sports as a means to decrease bodyweight.Outdoor work will be limited to 1.5 to 2 hours in duration with breaks every 15-20 minutes.Conditioning should take place with no equipment.

 

Heat Index of 106-110oF

The student-athlete shall have unrestricted access to water and/or sodium-containing sports drinks at all times.  Asthmatics may remove themselves from workout without penalties or repercussions. These individuals should report to the Athletic Training staff for further evaluation and treatment.

High School Football Other High School / Middle School Outdoors Sports Middle School Football
Light colored shorts, t-shirts, no extraneous equipment. Rubberized clothing shall be forbidden in all sports as a means to decrease bodyweightOutdoor work will be limited to 1-2 hours in duration with rest and water breaks every 15-20 minutesImplement a 5 minute rest break in the middle of practices (in the shade)

If at all possible, practice and condition indoors (or no conditioning at all)

Minimize warm-up time

Possible postponement or cancellation of games and practices will be discussed with the Athletic Director/Head Football Coach.

Cooling fans (if available) shall be used on the sideline or during rest periods.

Implement ice towels as a method of cooling down

Delay or rescheduling of practices (if needed)

No extra equipment     Condition indoorsThe workout shall be limited to 1.5 hours in durationWear light colored clothing

Minimize warm up time

Rubberized clothing shall be forbidden in all sports as a means to decrease bodyweight.

Delay or rescheduling of practices (if needed)

Shorts, t-shirt, light colored clothing.  Rubberized clothing shall be forbidden in all sports as a means to decrease bodyweight.·         Workouts should be limited to 1-2 hours in duration with rest/water breaks every 15 minutesImplement a 5 minute rest break in the middle of practices (in the shade)If at all possible, practice and indoors (or no conditioning at all)

Possible postponement or cancellation of games and practices will be discussed with the Athletic Director/Head Football Coach.

Minimize warm up time

Implement ice towels as a method to cool down.

Delay or rescheduling of practices (if needed)

 

Heat Index >110oF

Unrestricted access to water and/or sodium-containing sports drinks at all times.  Asthmatic athletes may remove themselves from workout without penalties or repercussions. These individuals should report to the Athletic Training staff for further evaluation and treatment.

High School Football Other High School / Middle School
Outdoors Sports
Middle School Football
Light colored shorts, t-shirts, no extraneous equipment.

Rubberized clothing shall be forbidden in all sports as a means to decrease bodyweight.
Minimize warm up time

Outdoor work will be limited to 1 hour in duration with rest and water breaks every 15 minutes

Only walkthrough practice.  No full practices will be allowed

If the Athletic trainer deems unsafe exposure then he/she has the right to call off practices.

Delay or postponement of games and/or practices will be discussed with the Athletic Director/Head Football Coach

Cooling fans (if accessible) shall be used on the sideline or during rest periods.

Implement ice towels as a method of cooling down

Athletic Trainers discretion.  The Athletic trainer will speak with the Head Coach and Strength and Conditioning Coach about other alternatives for conditioning.
Possible cancellation of event or practice

Rubberized clothing shall be forbidden in all sports as a means to decrease bodyweight.

Light colored shorts, t-shirts, no extraneous equipment.

Rubberized clothing shall be forbidden in all sports as a means to decrease bodyweight.

Minimize warm up time

Outdoor work will be limited to 1 hour in duration with rest and water breaks every 15 minutes

Only walkthrough practice.  No full practices will be allowed

If the Athletic trainer deems unsafe exposure then he/she has the right to call off practices.

Delay or postponement of games and/or practices will be discussed with the Athletic Director/Head Football Coach

Cooling fans shall be used on the sideline or during rest periods.

Implement ice towels as a method of cooling down

Please keep in mind that this is a working document and is subject to change as a result of current research on how to better prevent and treat heat-related illnesses. If there are any questions concerning this document please feel free to contact the Department of Sports Medicine at (469) 742-8745 or e-mail Susan Smiley (Head Athletic Trainer) at susan_smiley@lovejoyisd.net.