Int J Exerc Sci 3(2) : 55-63, 2010. The purpose was to describe practice conditions influencing the risk of heat stress to athletes in summer football training in South Texas high schools, and to compare these conditions to ACSM recommendations for heat stress/injury risk reduction in this population. Thirty (N=30) high school summer football practices were observed. Wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) was measured before/after practices and practices were observed for: duration/ structure; athlete clothing; and rest break frequency/duration/content. Practices averaged 125+31 min and WBGT (pre- to post-practice) was 29.7+2.1°C to 31.2+2.2°C for morning, and 31.2+1.6°C to 28.9+1.2°C for evening practices. Most practices included contact (93%), and a majority were full-contact (53%). Most athletes wore full pads (83%) and medium/dark colored clothing (73%). Outside of scheduled breaks athletes removed helmets (63%), sat/knelt (63%), and had access to fluid (90%). Athletic trainers were present at 93% of the practices. A typical practice had 3 rest breaks, each lasting approximately 5 min. During breaks, athletes were provided fluid (93%), removed helmets (89%), and sat/knelt (76%), but were rarely provided shade (2%). While none of the practice sessions were conducted in conditions warranting the cancellation of outside activity (WBGT>33.1°C), the environmental data confirms that this region presents athletes with a very high risk of heat stress/injury. While a majority of the schools were taking many of the precautionary measures recommended by ACSM, many of the guidelines were not being followed. Governing bodies of high school athletics need to encourage compliance with recommendations for the reduction of heat stress/injury in this population.
Hearon‡, Christopher M.; Ruiz‡, Alberto; and Taylor†, Zachary J.
"Heat Stress and Injury Prevention Practices During Summer High School Football Training in South Texas,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 3
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol3/iss2/2