Heat, Hydration and Performance | Health & Well-being | Sports Medicine | Resources | IHSA

Heat, Hydration and Performance

Heat Acclimatization Policy

Monday, June 10, 2019 at their annually scheduled Board of Directors' Meeting, the IHSA Board of Directors approved the Fall Sports Heat Acclimatization Policy. This policy will go into effect on July 1, 2019 making it the policy for the start of the fall sports season in August, 2019.

Acclimatization Policy
Acclimatization Chart for Cross Country, Girls Volleyball, Girls Swimming & Diving, Boys Soccer, Girls Tennis
Acclimatization Chart for Football

Types of Heat Illness

Managing Heat and Heat Illness

Wet Bulb Globe Temperature Purchasing Links:


Vendors Member Schools have purchased from:

Vendor Name Website
Medco https://www.medco-athletics.com/
Henry Schein Athletics and Schools https://www.henryschein.com/
Kestrel https://kestrelinstruments.com/


The NFHS Foundation proudly presents this video on how to use the Kestrel 5400 Heat Stress Tracker

Kestrel 5400 WBGT Heat Stress Tracker | Tips for Taking Accurate Measurements


Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) for Warm-Weather Exercise | Korey Stringer

Cold Therapy Guides

Practical Guidelines For Implementing Cold Water Immersion​ | Korey Stringer

Cold Therapy Guide to Heat Illness | Zach Martin Foundation

How the Chicago Marathon utilizes Wet Bulb Globe Temperatures | INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR RACE MEDICINE

Heat Cramps
Heat cramps are severe cramping of the skeletal muscles, particularly those most heavily used during exercise. Heat cramps are treated by moving the individual to a cooler location and administering fluids or a saline solution.

Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion, accompanied by such symptoms as fatigue, dizziness, and vomiting, is caused by the body’s cardiovascular system not meeting the body’s needs; heat exhaustion typically occurs when your blood volume decreases, by either excessive fluid loss or mineral loss from sweating.

Heat Stroke
The most dangerous type of heat illness, heat stroke is characterized by a rise in internal body temperature, cessation of sweating, hot and dry skin, rapid pulse and respiration, high blood pressure, confusion, and unconsciousness.

In addition to immediately contacting medical personnel, individuals can treat heat stroke by cooling the person’s body in a bath of water or ice or wrapping the body in a wet sheet and fanning the victim.

Hydration Guidelines

Prevention of Heat Illness

Although deaths from heat illness are rare, constant surveillance and education are necessary in order to maintain the safety and health of student-athletes.

The following practices should be observed in order to prevent any form of heat illness:

Prior to participating, an initial and complete medical history and physical examination should be performed for each student-athlete.

Prevention of heat illness begins with aerobic conditioning, which provides partial acclimatization to the heat. In order to achieve heat acclimatization, student-athletes should gradually increase their exposure to hot and/or humid environmental conditions over a period of 10 to 14 days. Hydration should be maintained during training and acclimatization.

Clothing and protective gear can increase heat stress. Frequent rest periods should be scheduled so that the gear and clothing can be loosened to allow heat loss. During the acclimatization period, it may be advisable to use a minimum of protective gear and clothing and to practice in T-shirts, shorts, socks, and shoes.

To identify heat stress conditions, regular measurements of environmental conditions are recommended.

Dehydration must be avoided. Fluid replacement must be readily available. Student-athletes should be encouraged to drink as much and as frequently as comfort allows. This includes both before and after practice.

Recording the body weight of each student-athlete before and after practice(s), progressive loss of body fluids can be detected and overcome.

Some student-athletes may be more susceptible to heat illness than others, and coaches need to be aware of such situations. Susceptible individuals include those who have inadequate aerobic fitness, excess body fat, history of heat illness, poor rehydration habits, and a tendency to push themselves to capacity without proper fluid rehydration.