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The Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)


The high school football season is underway and through the early stages of the season teams will learn that heat will probably be a bigger opponent that the one on the opposite sideline.

The weather service has been issuing excessive heat warnings for the area since the start of practice in late July.

One of the biggest questions for coaches, players and trainers is how to beat the triple digits while preparing for games.

The answer at least for now may have come from the South Carolina High School League.

With the growing concern of athletes coming down with a heat-related illness, the South Carolina High School League just recently issued stricter rules to prevent heat strokes.

Every school must now have a device called a wet-bulb globe temperature monitor (WBGT). It is a device used to measure heat, humidity, wind speed and solar radiation.

Rob Roth has been the trainer at Barnwell High School for seven years. He's been using the device since the start of football practice.

"Coach Dwayne Garrick checks with me before and during practices to make sure we're doing the right thing by our players. If I say we need to take more water breaks, he gives the players more breaks," Roth said.

Roth said he supports the new safety measures implemented by the league.

"If it's safety for the kids then I'm all for it," Roth said. "With this device we have guidelines that we have to abide by. This device is not just for football. It is for all sports and it will help prevent players getting over-heated."

Roth said there's not an exception to the rule, no matter what sport.

"If it's a Friday night football game and the reading goes higher than 92 wet bulb, then we will stop until the reading goes down," Roth said.

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August 22, 2018


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