When the game day heat is of concern, below is guidance we will put in place along with guidance to the referee teams who manage the games.
All games even the early ones before the heat increases will have increased water breaks. For example, a U10 match has two 25 minute halves, so the quarters are at the 12.5 minute mark. We will instruct the referee managing the game to give a water break at the 10 minute mark and break for 5 minutes. There will obviously be less playing time but more time to drink fluids.
- Basically, all games will have extra water break per quarter, but do not stop the clock.
- Please bring plenty of water.
In the event games are suspended, we will continue on with the season and call the games a draw. There will be no rescheduling.
Please bring lots of water for your players and ensure they’re hydrated even if the temperature is in the high 80’s or low 90’s. Hydration is essential regardless, so please ensure your players are staying hydrated.
We may have some visiting teams for our U12 and above divisions. Board members will be monitoring these games and will be the one to talk to the visiting coaches and their region coordinators in the event we suspend games. Visiting regions will most likely be checking our field conditions since as you know, the weather can be different across the valley.
Below is some additional information for you. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are all serious (in some cases fatal) heat-induced conditions. It is imperative for the safety of your players and volunteers that you and your coaches know how to identify and treat them.
When a body loses too much water and salt through sweat, muscles tend to cramp (particularly in the abdomen and legs). Players suffering from these painful "heat cramps" should:
- Rest in a shady spot.
- Sip one glass of cool water every 15 minutes until the pain relents.
- If the player's parents are on hand, have them help by:
- Massaging the affected muscles.
- Applying cool, wet cloths to help relax the muscles.
Players with cool, moist, or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, or muscle cramps may be experiencing heat exhaustion. This condition occurs when, because of high humidity or restrictive clothing, sweat is not properly evaporated and the body cannot cool down. To assist a player experiencing heat exhaustion
- Have the player lie down in a shady spot and elevate his or her feet.
- Remove the child's shoes, shin guards, and socks.
- Apply cold packs to the armpit and scalp areas.
- Have the player drink water or an electrolyte solution.
- Dampen the player's skin with cool cloths.
- Fan the player to help evaporate excess sweat.
If the player's parents are on hand, have them:
Remove the player's shirt.
Apply cold packs to the groin area.
When a body completely loses the ability to cool itself, the internal temperature continues to rise resulting in heat stroke. If a player's temperature rises too quickly, brain damage and/or death may result. Players suffering from heat stroke may have hot, dry skin -- those with fair complexions may appear red, while darker-skinned individuals may appear gray. Victims may also experience a very rapid pulse and extremely high body temperature. In some cases, victims of heat stroke may seem confused, unresponsive, or even suffer from seizures. Recovery from heatstroke depends on the amount of time it takes to return the body temperature to normal, so immediate medical attention is imperative.
If you suspect that a player is suffering from heat stroke
- Call 911 immediately.
- Follow the recommended treatment for heat exhaustion.
- DO NOT attempt to give any liquids.
- Contact the player's parents.
Professional soccer players lose seven and a half pounds of sweat during a game. In order to avoid serious heat-induced conditions, players must drink enough fluids to replace that sweat. Every player should carry his or her own sports bottle to practice, and coaches need to stop for drink breaks every 15 minutes during the summer. Symptoms of dehydration may include:
- Dry lips and tongue.
- Sunken eyes.
- Dizziness or a loss of energy.
Parents, please make sure your players are drinking LOTS of water the day before especially the night before. Continue hydrating the morning/day of match. The child should be hydrated enough to sweat and not become so thirsty during a game where they "chug" water down. If they are feeling thirsty, their bodies are already starting to dehydrate.
I make sure my kiddos start hydrating their bodies the day before as well as morning/day of their games.
Bananas and/or apple about 15 minutes before they start warming up provides good sugars for energy and helps maintain hydration. On hot days, fruit smoothies are also a great cool down treat.
In addition to staying hydrated, wearing loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in light colors will help keep the body cool. Coaches must remember to conduct shorter, easier practices in the summer.