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Raising Expectations for Managing Heat and Humidity

The MHSAA Representative Council is scheduled to vote on March 22, 2013, to approve a “Model Policy for Managing Heat and Humidity” that would appear in the 2013-14 MHSAA Handbook.

The policy, patterned after a mandatory policy of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, requires that temperature and humidity readings be taken at the site of activities 30 minutes before the start of the practice or competition and again 60 minutes after the start of that activity.  The readings must be recorded in writing and kept in the files of school administration.  Inexpensive devices may be used that automatically calculate the “heat index.”

If the heat index is below 95 degrees, only normal precautions are required.  However, readings of 95 to 99 degrees and then 100 to 104 degrees require additional precautions; and all activity must be postponed or suspended if the heat index climbs above 104 degrees.

When the air temperature is below 80 degrees, there is no combination of heat and humidity that will result in need to curtail activity.

This is being proposed as a model policy for 2013-14.  The MHSAA will monitor school districts’ acceptance of this policy or adoption of similar policies before considering a mandate of this or similar policies.

The model policy will be mandatory for MHSAA tournaments. 

Posted in: Health & Safety

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About the Author

Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts has been at the helm of the MHSAA as its Executive Director since 1986, implementing programs and overseeing tournament administration and regulations for the Association which boasts 1,500 member schools, 11,000 registered officials and 13,000 head coaches.

During the last 43 years, Roberts has spoken to educator and athletic groups, business leaders and civic groups in almost every state and five Canadian provinces. He is one of the nation's most articulate advocates for educational athletics.

Roberts has served on several national association boards and is the first chairman of the NFHS Network board of directors. He has been board president for the Refugee Development Center: for six years, and is past-chair of the board of directors of the Michigan Society of Association Executives. He was selected to the board of trustees for the Capital Region Community Foundation in December.

He is a 1970 graduate of Dartmouth College, where he played defensive safety for the Ivy League's winningest football team during that span, and he sang in Dartmouth's close harmony vocal group.

His wife, Peggy, has recently retired from a 30-year career in social services, and is serving as president of the board of the Fenner Nature Conservancy in Lansing. 

Jack and Peggy are passionate world travelers and have two grown sons: John, who - with his partner, Liliana Garces - are on the school of education faculty at Penn State University; and Luke, who - with his wife, Alison - are international school educators in Wuxi, China.