• A sunset at a football game


    It is the position of the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) Section 41.4.1 that prevention is the best way to deal with heat illness.

    Prevention includes educating athletes and coaches regarding:

    • Recognition and treatment of heat illness
    • Risks associated with exercising in hot, humid environmental conditions
    • The need for gradual acclimatization over a 10 to 14 day period
    • Guidelines for proper hydration
    • Following practice/competition modifications based on the local temperature and relative humidity readings.

    In determining safe competition, the air temperature and relative humidity (RH) must be identified and used to determine whether or not practice/competition should be modified, postponed or cancelled. There are three different zones:

    • Below danger zone
    • Danger zone
    • Critical zone

    If the source of the temperature readings is in question, it is advised to be conservative and follow the modifications of the higher zone. Temperature measurements can be obtained by using a sling psychomotor or from various Internet weather-related sites such as: www.weather.com or www.noaa.gov .

    Example: 105 deg. F + 35% Relative Humidity = 140 (danger zone)

    • Below Danger Zone is (Temp + RH under 135), or if the air temperature is under 105
      Practice/Competition as normal
      Full pads
      Regular running schedule
    • Danger Zone is (Temp + RH = 136-145), or if the air temperature is 106-110
      Practice/Competition with modifications
      Reduced amount of equipment
      Adjust start times
      Reduced running schedule
      Water breaks every 10-15 minutes or as needed
    • Critical Zone is (Temp + RH = 146 and above), or if the air temperature is 111 or above
      Practices modified; Competition postponed or canceled /rescheduled
      No equipment worn
      No running
      Water breaks every 10-15 minutes or as needed
      Practice moved indoors