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Blistering heat unavoidable for summer football practice


Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:36 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - As critical as summer practice is for high school football teams, there is more to worry about on weeks like this than just Xs and Os.

Heat indexes often in the triple digits are forcing coaches and players to follow strict rules dedicated to keep young athletes from overheating.

For Hillsboro High School, that means setting the alarm a little earlier.

“I think a lot of people don’t understand that football is kind of year-round,” Hillsboro High head coach Anthony Brown said. “Getting out here, getting adjusted to the heat, which is why we’re practicing in the morning to kind of beat the heat.”

The TSSAA has a heat policy that requires coaches provide at least three breaks each hour if the heat index is between 90 and 95 degrees.

As it gets hotter, the policy requires longer breaks each hour, and if the heat index goes over 104 degrees, coaches can’t hold practice outdoors.

At a 7-on-7 tournament at Hillsboro High on Thursday, some parents were in the bleachers with umbrellas.

“I told my son I’m his number one fan. I’m going to be here regardless; sun, sleet, snow. I’m going to be here,” Lashanda Joyner said. “We’ve got our umbrella, my feet under the bleachers. We’re good.”

Click to view the TSSAA’s heat policy.

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