Heat is a problem when it prevents the body from cooling itself. The hotter the body gets, the more likely it is to increase fatigue levels, develop cramps and increase the possibility of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The hotter and more humid the weather, the faster these problems can develop. Temperatures as low as 65 degrees, with a relative humidity of 100%, can be serious.

1. A heat index chart should be given to every coach and referee (www.nws.noaa.gov)
2. Games need to be adjusted as the heat index rises:

a. Mandatory water breaks
b. Go to quarters
c. Shorten the games

3. Provide training to coaches to teach the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Club administrators and tournament officials are responsible for monitoring the heat index (by weather radio, online or the Weather Channel) and keeping the participating teams and game officials informed of the heat index. Coaches are encouraged to also monitor the conditions.The following are recommended when there is a possibility of dangerous high heat index:

Heat Index Recommendations
Up to 89° Normal Play
90° - 99° Mandatory two-minute water breaks per half with running time. Each half shortened by five minutes.
100° - 105° Mandatory two-minute water breaks per half with running time. Each half shortened by ten minutes.
105°+ Suspend Play

For further information, please check the NOAA website for additional information in regards to how temperature and humidity combine to make it feel hotter.

Special Heat Rules for TOPSoccer

If the heat index exceeds 95 degrees, the practice or game is immediately suspended. If the National Weather Service issues a heat index warning that will exceed 95 degrees, the MYSA TOPSoccer Committee Chairperson (or designee) will notify TOPSoccer administrators by 1:00 p.m. on practice/game day that practices/games are suspended. Parents and/or legal guardians should also listen for heat warnings and take appropriate action.