Teams follow strict rules in summer heat - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Teams follow strict rules in summer heat

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Temperatures hit triple digits in Albany Wednesday.

For student athletes, that means tough conditions, but the Georgia high School Association has strict heat safety policies. Coaches must pay close attention to avoid heat illnesses.

Football is known for its tough players and hard hits, but under the South Georgia sun... the most important safety precaution could be water.

“You get water in between every drill and every break, sometimes more than that," said Cameron Hines, who is a center on the football team at Albany High School. "He makes you drink water. If you refuse to drink water then you’ll be in trouble.”

Coaches must have a thermometer to measure the wet bulb globe temperature.

“According to the wet bulb reading every 30 minutes I must document the current temperature, as well as the wet bulb reading, as well as the humidity,” explained head coach Felton Williams.

He matches the readings to a chart which tells him how long and intense the practices can be.

“With Georgia having the highest number of heat-related deaths in the country the Georgia High School Association implemented this.”

Hines is thankful for the frequent breaks to rehydrate. He had an incident dealing with the heat before.

“I just was feeling light headed. But coach made sure I got off the field get in the air conditioning and didn’t come back out here,” he said.

Dougherty high coach Corey Joyner even adjusts the times he practices to keep the kids from heat exhaustion.

“First and foremost is safety," he said. "I give a darn about football when it comes to child’s safety.

He uses plenty of water breaks, ice towels and cool zones.

“The main thing about kids is not having someone die or pass on you or go through some type of extreme exhaustion due to heat," said Joyner. "So it’s all about safety."

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