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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: Too hot for sports? School's out so you decide

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Too hot for sports? School's out so you decide

Students both young and old rejoice when the final bell has rung on their school year. They are free from the direction of faceless tones shuffling them from one room, one assignment to another. They are free to sleep and play, indoors and out, but is it the best thing?

The Capital Region will be in a depths of a heat wave by the end of today, Tuesday, July 6 and athletes are in danger. A heat wave is official when temperatures reach 90 degrees three consecutive days.

When school is in session the New York State Public High School Athletic Association has issued competition guidelines for its athletes as when practices need to be monitored or at times, even cancelled.

According to the NYSPHSAA heat advisory, updated as early at May 27, (see below) states that when the heat index or "real feel" temperature according to www.accuweather.com reaches 96 degrees practices and competitions are halted. A "real feel" of 91 to 95 requires scheduled water breaks every 15 minutes and equal rest periods for time practicing/competing.

That will be put to the test Tuesday and Wednesday as the "real feel" temperature is forecast to reach as high as 105 degrees today and 101 on Wednesday as the Coopers Cave Tournament gets into full swing and summer camps return to their high points after the July 4th holiday.

For Tuesday, according to www.accuweather.com as of 7 a.m. this morning the 9 a.m. "real feel" is 94 amping up to 96 at 10 a.m. 99 at 11 a.m. with a 3-hour peak of 105 from noon to 2 p.m. and a slight decrease to 104 at 3 p.m. A little more humane? of 99 at 4 p.m., dropping to 96 at 5 p.m. and 93 at 6 p.m.

Wednesday provides a small break, but may force another break in activities.
9 a.m. is out of the danger zone at a "real feel" of 95 before creeping to 96 at 10 a.m., 98 at 11 a.m. and a three-digit peak of 101 and 100 from noon to 2 p.m. It dips back to 99 at 3 p.m. 96 at 4 p.m. and out of danger at 5 p.m. with a "real feel" of 90.

NYSPHSAA Heat Index guidelines

In a season where rain is considered a four-letter word for the boys and girls of summer, it appears that "heat" is another team to be added to our coaches, officials and parents watch-list.

If you are out, enjoy, stay in the shade, stay hydrated and keep an eye on your athletes on and off the field so they can stay in the game.

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