The heat is forcing some Connecticut high schools to postpone sporting events
Thursday was the opening day of high school sports in Connecticut, but due to the extreme heat, some schools ended up postponing the games.
“I much prefer this (weather) in the middle of summer when I’m sitting on the beach somewhere,” said Jason Segal, West Hartford Schools athletic director. “Not opening day for high school sports.”
Cunard and Hall had early expulsions Thursday due to the heat, so all after-school activities, including athletics, have been postponed. The Hall-Wethersfield football game has been moved to Friday night. Siegal also had to reschedule field hockey, golf, and boys’ volleyball at Cunard and boys’ soccer at the Hall.
Newington also moved two football games and a field hockey game to later in the season. Newington’s field hockey opponents were sent off early so sporting director Chris Myers chose to cancel all of Newington’s games.
“We were basically lucky because it was the first competition, so there were dates available that we were able to move to,” Myers said. “So instead of putting our kids in a situation where they would be heat-challenged, it seemed easier to move them to a place that fit both our schedules.”
Newington had practice instead but moved practices on Thursday until after 6:30pm and while the Nor’easters had no games on Friday the teams were planning to practice even though the National Weather Service issued a severe storm warning Thunderstorms for northern Connecticut on Friday at 1 p.m. Before a thunderstorm with hail moves through the area.
“We will continue to monitor temperatures with our medical guidance just to decide what to do,” Myers said. “We looked at our wet bulb temperature, and after 6:30, the numbers really seem to go down. We’re still doing extra water breaks every 15 minutes but we were able to do mostly normal practices (Thursday). It’s been going well. We’ve got what “Enough fields to spread people out under the lights.”
Newington, like other schools, uses wet lamp temperature, which measures heat stress in sunlight, taking into account temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle and cloud cover, to monitor athletes’ conditions.
“We have a blueprint that guides us to the adjustments we need to make,” Segal said. “Tuesday and Wednesday, we adjusted everything. Football wasn’t about pads and helmets. We did shorter periods of physical activity with long water breaks. “We were able to continue to make adjustments.”
As of Friday morning, West Hartford’s high school games were on Friday afternoon and evening. The heat warning, issued by the National Weather Service for parts of Connecticut, was scheduled to expire at 8 p.m. Friday.
“I don’t expect anything other than some scattered storms later today which could put our games on hold temporarily,” Segal said.
Next week, of course, it could be a different story, with Hurricane Lee moving into the Atlantic and forecasters uncertain about its path.
“It’s not ideal to have to move things, but this isn’t the last week of the season for us to be able to do that,” Myers said. “It’s been a busy week, but I think we’ve got through it.
“Now, hopefully we can get started quickly – unfortunately it looks a bit damp next week, but we’ll see what happens.”
(tags for translation) High School Sports