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GHSA practice policy for heat and humidity

(a) Schools must follow the statewide policy for conducting practices and voluntary conditioning workouts (including during the summer) in all sports during times of extremely high heat and/or humidity that will be signed by each head coach at the beginning of each season and distributed to all players and their parents or guardians. The policy shall follow modified guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine in regard to:

(1) The scheduling of practices at various heat/humidity levels.
(2) The ratio of workout time to time allotted for rest and hydration at various heat/humidity levels.
(3) The heat/humidity levels that will result in practice being terminated.

(b) A scientifically-approved instrument that measures the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature must be utilized at each practice to ensure that the written policy is being followed properly. WBGT readings should be taken every hour, beginning 30 minutes before the beginning of practice.

(c) Practices are defined as: the period of time that a participant engages in a coach-supervised, school-approved sport or conditioning-related activity. Practices are timed from the time the players report to the practice or workout area until players leave that area. If a practice is interrupted for a weather-related reason, the “clock” on that practice will stop and will begin again when the practice resumes.

(d) Conditioning activities include such things as weight training, wind-sprints, timed runs for distance, etc., and may be a part of the practice time or included in “voluntary workouts.”

(e) A walk-through is not a part of the practice time regulation, and may last no longer than one hour. This activity may not include conditioning activities or contact drills. No protective equipment may be worn during a walk-through, and no full-speed drills may be held.

(f) Rest breaks may not be combined with any other type of activity and players must be given unlimited access to hydration. These breaks must be held in a “cool zone” where players are out of direct sunlight.

PENALTIES: Schools violating the heat policy shall be fined a minimum of $500.00 and a maximum of $1,000.00.

Activity and rest break guidelines

Under 82.0, Normal Activities - Provide at least three separate rest breaks each hour with a minimum duration of three minutes each during the workout.

82.0 - 86.9, Use discretion for intense or prolonged exercise; watch at-risk players carefully. Provide at least three separate rest breaks each hour with a minimum duration of 4 minutes each.

87.0 - 89.9, Maximum practice time is two hours.
For football: Players are restricted to helmet, shoulder pads and shorts during practice, and all protective equipment must be removed during conditioning activities. If the WBGT rises to this level during practice, players may continue to work out wearing football pants without changing to shorts. For all sports: Provide at least four separate rest breaks each hour with a minimum duration of four minutes each.

90.0 - 92.0, Maximum practice time is one hour. For football: No protective equipment may be worn during practice, and there may be no conditioning activities. For all sports: There must be 20 minutes of rest breaks distributed throughout the hour of practice.

Over 92.1, No outdoor workouts. Delay practice until a cooler WBGT level is reached.

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