March 18, 2018

Sports on heat hold

High temps sideline CVU athletes

By Lauren Read

Observer correspondent

While the recent heat wave has many people reveling in a few extra days of summer, it has caused a few hiccups for the fall athletes at Champlain Valley Union High School.

With temperatures veering close to the 90s early this week, CVU Activities Director Dan Shepardson cancelled all games (except volleyball, an indoor sport) through Wednesday.

“It’s about the safety and wellbeing of students,” Shepardson said. “Why would you want to put students in a bad situation?”

The Vermont Principals’ Association Heat Guidelines, introduced in 2014, rely on an index called the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT), which takes into account temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle and cloud cover. According to the VPA, whenever the WBGT hits 86.1 or above, there can be no outdoor workouts.

Monday at 3 p.m. — the time when most practices or games would be scheduled to start — the reading at the Hinesburg high school was 88, Shepardson said. 

“If we have cloud cover or wind cover, that would drop it a lot,” Shepardson said. “But we are 0-for-two on that.”

With the temperature readings that high and teams only able to get on the field around 5:30 p.m., Shepardson talked to athletic directors across the state and decided to reschedule the games. With long trips to St. Johnsbury and Mount Anthony on the slate for the soccer teams, late starts would have made it hard to fit games in before daylight ran out and get students back home at a reasonable time, Shepardson said.

Teams were only allowed to practice in the morning or after 5:30 p.m. With the heat, though, there are still modifications that need to be made, like more water breaks and no equipment for football.

With the high temperatures expected to dissipate on Thursday, practice and games should return to normal for the Redhawks.

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