Practice Policy for Heat & Humidity
- Practice or competition in hot and/or humid conditions poses specific problems that must be recognized. The prevention of heat-related illnesses should be a major concern during these activities.
- As per GPISD policy, all participants must have a yearly physical examination on file before being allowed to participate in any athletic activity.
- Gradual acclimatization of the student-athlete to hot/humid conditions is a must. This process usually takes 5-7 days of gradual increase in workout intensity.
- Student-athletes should be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after workouts/games.
- Practices are defined as the period of time a participant engages in a coach-supervised, school-approved sport or conditioning related activity.
- High School Athletic Trainers or designated coaches will take a WBGT reading 30 minutes prior to practice and a minimum of every hour during the practice. (If a WBGT reading is not possible a Heat Index reading at the practice location will be taken)
- WBGT average taken on site at each high school will be used to determine high school practice modifications. National Athletic Trainers Association WBGT guidelines for Zone 3 will be used (see Chart) On Site WBGT reading from a device such as a Kestrel 5400 Heat Stress Tracker is the most accurate way to determine WBGT.
- Rest breaks may not be combined with any other type of activity and players must be given unlimited access to hydration. These breaks should be held in a “cool zone” if possible where players are out of direct sunlight.
- High School Athletic Trainers of Designee will send an email or text to middle school coaches between 1:00 pm & 3:00 pm advising them what the WBGT color of the day is and how to proceed with practice and/or when to suspend practice. Forecasted Heat Index, temperature, and broadcasted heat watches or warnings from reliable weather sources including Perry Weather will also be taken into account.
- All athletes with asthma or any other know medical condition should be monitored more closely if the heat index is in the orange, red, & black levels. These athletes may need to have additional practice modifications.
- Cooling tubs will be at outdoor practice sites and filled with water each day. A 10 gallon cooler of ice will be next to tub for emergency cooling.
- Athletic trainers will monitor the WBGT and take appropriate measures to prevent heat-related illnesses. The athletic trainers will gain approval of coaches and game officials to give extra time when needed to hydrate the athletes during injury time-outs, change of quarters, etc.
- During Middle School Contests, Coaches will be responsible for monitoring the Heat Index and to take the appropriate measures to prevent heat-related illnesses to the athletes. Follow same guidelines as above. Coaches should contact the district athletic trainers if help is needed.
References Include: National Athletic Trainers Association, Georgia State High School Association, American College Sports Medicine, NCHSAA.org, Korey Stringer Institute