Share This Page

PIAA board approves 3-day heat acclimatization program for football

| Thursday, March 21, 2013, 9:42 p.m.

Every high school football program in Pennsylvania must go through a three-day heat acclimatization process this fall before regular practice can begin.

Thursday afternoon, the PIAA Board of Directors, by a 22-8 vote, approved a heat acclimatization program for football only starting with the 2013 season.

Earlier in the day at the Hershey Lodge, the PIAA football steering committee, by a 17-2 vote, approved the heat acclimatization program with an added option.

The option allows schools to either complete the three-day heat acclimatization process the week prior to the official start of practice or spend the initial three days of practice completing this process.

“The board and all the committees involved in this, the football steering committee, athletic directors, sports medicine and football coaches association, did a great job of carving out a process that puts athletes safety first,” PIAA Executive Director Bob Lombardi said.

During the heat acclimatization process, football players are permitted to wear helmets and shoulder pads the first two days. On the third day full protective equipment is permitted.

Contact is not permitted during the first two days of heat acclimatization, but full contact can take place on the third day.

No practice session during the heat acclimatization process can last more than three hours. And it must be followed by a break of at least two hours. And football teams are limited to a maximum of five hours of practice a day regardless of the length of each session.

Each head football coach must come up with a heat acclimatization proposal and submit it to the school principal for approval.

“It's going to be a little bit of a work in progress, but I think it's important we address heat,” Lombardi said. “This has been an issue for at least the last decade across the country with a number of heat-related deaths that were preventable.

“And this is a step in the right direction.”

Andrew P. Shay is a staff writer for Pennlive.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.