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Heat Index Guidelines for Lake Zurich Flames

Heat Index Guidelines for Lake Zurich Flames

The Lake Zurich Flames Youth Football & Cheer Organization has implemented the following guidelines to deal with extreme heat at all youth football games and practices. It is designed to provide participants with a standard for safe play in situations of extreme heat.

The two factors that will be taken into account when modifying or canceling games/practices are:

1. Air temperature

2. Relative humidity

The combination of these two elements reflects the heat index. We will rely on the heat index reading that is updated hourly by the National Weather Service at the OHARE Executive Airport.

GENERAL HEAT GUIDELINES

Heat index under 99 degrees:

  • Provide ample amounts of water. This means water should always be available and athletes should take in as much water as they desire.
  • Optional water breaks every 30 minutes for 10 minutes duration.
  • Ice-down towels for cooling
  • Watch/monitor athletes carefully for necessary action

There are THREE heat index zones. These zones are based on recommended guidelines published by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) for participation in sports activities during periods of extreme heat. Because the heat index does not take into account wind and direct sunlight, two degrees will be added to the stated heat index on sunny and still days. Likewise, two degrees will be subtracted on cloudy and windy days.

YELLOW Zone

Heat index of 99-105 degrees. In this range, the FLAMES will implement the following:

  • Provide ample amounts of water. This means water should always be available and athletes should take in as much water as they desire.
  • Mandatory water breaks every 30 minutes.
  • Ice-down towels for cooling
  • Watch/monitor athletes carefully for necessary action
  • Reduce time of outside activity.
  • Reduce the amount of practice time.
  • Consider postponing practice to later in the day
  • Players to wear lightweight material shirt over pads.
  • Helmets and other possible equipment removed if not involved in contact.
  • Re-check temperature and humidity every 30 minutes to monitor for increased Heat Index

ORANGE Zone

Heat index ranging of 106 to 115 degrees. In this range, the FLAMES will implement the following:

  • Provide ample amounts of water. This means water should always be available and athletes should take in as much water as they desire.
  • Mandatory water breaks every 30 minutes for 10 minutes duration.
  • Ice-down towels for cooling
  • Watch/monitor athletes carefully for necessary action
  • Reduce time of outside activity
  • Reduce practice time as well as indoor activity if air conditioning unavailable
  • Postpone practice to later in day if possible
  • Players to wear lightweight material shirt.
  • Helmets and other possible equipment removed if not involved in contact or necessary for safety. If necessary for safety, suspend activity.
  • Alter uniform by removing items if possible. Consider practice without pads and helmets.
  • Re-check temperature and humidity every 30 minutes to monitor for increased Heat Index

RED Zone

Heat index above 115.

In this range, the FLAMES will cancel all games and practices. Stop all outside activity and indoor non air conditioned activity until the heat index returns to 115 or below. Notification will be given through the Reps and website as well as other sources.

Note- During the course of the day, the heat index will rise and fall depending upon the time of day, amount of wind, cloud cover, etc. The above program modifications could also change throughout the course of the day, especially on a weekend. For example, a 1pm game on Saturday could be played under the Orange Zone guidelines and a 4pm game could be played under Red Zone guidelines. Coaches and parents will be informed of the appropriate zone of play through signage or other notification at the game fields.

These heat guidelines will be in effect for fall Football season. The above are merely guidelines and it is the responsibility of parents to make the ultimate decision as to the participation of their child in FLAMES events when heat may be a factor, taking into consideration the age and physical condition of their child. Parents also have the ultimate responsibility to inform their child about the dangers of heat and need for protection, including sunscreen and proper hydration.