Monday, August 15, 2016

Steamy Times at Blair High

Its August 15.  Most of us in Montgomery County are enjoying the last few days of a very hot summer before school begins.

Unless you play high school sports.

Yes, the sports teams are back - and we have the pictures!  Here is a picture of Blair's football team taken last Friday, August 12.

But, you may ask, isn't it hot on the fields?  How hot?  On Friday, Reagan National reported a high of 99 degrees and a low of 93 degrees between noon and 6 pm, with 50 percent humidity.

And on the artificial turf?  Here is a picture recorded of actual field temperatures.

Our not so very sophisticated weather gauge on the left indicated that at a little after 3 pm, the air temperature was 98 degrees, while the temp on the Blair artificial turf field was a sizzling 151 degrees.

How would our regular grass fields fare in the heat?

A few minutes later, our weather gauges recorded a more modest 84 degrees on the natural grass surrounding the Blair field.

What a difference (a few) chemicals can make.

MCPS supposedly is enforcing rules related to the heat on the fields.  According to the webpage:
Schools shall monitor prevailing weather conditions, including the current heat index, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and make appropriate practice and activity accommodations. The heat index on the Athletics webpage applies to the 20877 zip code, the most central site in Montgomery County.
And once the heat index is calculated, coaches are instructed to follow the following guidelines:
Temperature Guidelines
Heat IndexRestrictions  
0-90° F  Normal practice guidelines and restrictions
91–104° F  Exercise caution; observe players carefully; frequent water breaks;
  limit time in which players are wearing full equipment
105° F +  No outside activities; activities limited to air-conditioned school facilities
If you calculate the heat index from the rubric on the webpage, the heat index on Friday at Blair HS was an outstanding 113 degrees!  Factor in the artificial turf, and ouch - it was really hot on that field.

Did Blair's football coach really hold a practice OUTSIDE when the heat index was 113 degrees? And on a turf field that registered 151 degrees?

Blair HS is known for its brains, not its athletic abilities, but it seems as if neither is back from vacation just yet.

How hot is it on your MoCo football field?

Parents - Its not just football that is subject to the restrictions when temperatures go soaring. Pay attention, and let your coaches know you are monitoring the heat index over the next few weeks.

For those of you lucky/unlucky enough to have an artificial turf field - watch out or your student may find themselves burnt out before school begins.

And good luck to all the Blazers sports teams - assuming you don't wilt in the heat!

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