Jun 24, 2016
Illinois Adopts Heat Safety Rules

In order to protect athletes from intense heat, The Illinois High School Association adopted new safety measures involving whether to postpone or cancel games due to dangerous levels of heat.

According to Pantagraph, the rules, which will apply to state playoff games, will use a system known as Wet Bulb Globe Temperature, which not only measures the temperature, but also other factors, such as humidity. If a WBGT measurement reaches between 87.6 and 88.9 degrees, games must have four water breaks every hour, and if the measurement exceeds 90 degrees, the event must be postponed until the temperature lowers.

“We believe we now have a policy that is very effective in safeguarding student-athletes, however schools are certainly welcome to impose even more stringent guidelines related to regular-season athletic competition in extreme heat if they choose to do so,” Craig Anderson, the IHSA’s executive director, said.

The new rules were tested on June 10 and 11, at the Class 3A and Class 4A baseball and softball state finals.

“Even with the extreme temperatures we saw on June 10 and 11, the WBGT never reached the threshold where we had to suspend or postpone play,” Anderson said. “Much of this policy is really aimed at common sense precautions, or making measures like in-game water breaks that schools were already [using] in hot temperatures a requirement instead of a suggestion.”

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