New heat restriction policy aims to keep student athletes safe

New wet bulb measuring device accurately measures intense heat

Alex Hau, Media Editor

Heat restrictions are set requirements and policies schools have to follow in order to prevent students from overheating.

There have been a few different things over the past three years. This year the MIAA League put together a working group to find a new process and procedure to keep student athletes healthy during excessively hot days.

The league had schools start to use the Chestral S400 Heat Measuring Device. The device uses a wet bulb to effectively measure the effect of the heat on the human body.

“The device was hard to understand at first, but now we have gotten the hang of it,” said Athletic Trainer Mr. Erik Fabriziani.

There are five basic readings the athletic trainers look for when determining how practices will go. Anything under 82 degrees read on the wet bulb means practice as normal. If the temperature reads between 82 and 86.9 degrees, then coaches and athletic trainers must start to be observant and careful.

Once the temperature reaches between 87 and 89.9 degrees, practice is restricted to a maximum of two hours; football players are restricted to helmet and shoulder pads and shorts.

When the temperature starts to get extremely high, severe restrictions start to be made.

“Last year we had a few really hot days; with this new policy we would have had more restrictions,” said Mr. Fabriziani.

When the wet bulb temperature reaches between 90 and 92 degrees, practice is reduced to one hour, and no one is allowed to wear any protective gear. In addition, coaches are not allowed to run conditioning drills.

When the temperature reaches 92.1 degrees on the wet bulb, all outdoor practices and workouts are canceled or delayed until the temperature cools down.

When a coach is told that they will have to limit a practice, the expected response is rebuttal from the coach. At JC, that is the opposite.
“Coaches are very understanding, with some even texting me throughout the day asking what practice is going to look like,” said Mr. Fabriziani.

It is good to know that the JC coaches are concerned about how the heat will affect the athletes.
It is important to understand why athletic trainers in the MIAA League and beyond are starting to have stricter guidelines in terms of practice.

“Worst case scenario, a student could suffer from severe dehydration and organ failure,” said Mr. Fabriziani.
When it is hot outside, it is important to be careful when participating in outdoor workouts in practice.