PENNSYLVANIA'S #1 WEEKLY NEWSPAPER • locally owned since 1854

MAHS football kicks off with heat acclimatization

Posted 8/7/19

The Middletown football team started its preseason heat-acclimatization activities Monday at Middletown Area High School.

The Blue Raiders have played in three straight Pennsylvania 3A state …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

MAHS football kicks off with heat acclimatization

Posted

The Middletown football team started its preseason heat-acclimatization activities Monday at Middletown Area High School.

The Blue Raiders have played in three straight Pennsylvania 3A state championship games under head coach Brett Myers, losing all three — in 2016 to Beaver Falls, in 2017 to Quaker Valley, and in 2018 to Aliquippa.

According to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association website, practice or competition in hot and/or humid environmental conditions poses special problems for student-athletes.

“Heat illness is a primary concern in these conditions. Having a scripted practice plan with breaks from activity as well as scheduled hydration and cooling off periods will be of great assistance in preparing student-athletes for the football season,” the website states.

Monday was the first day such activities could take place in Pennsylvania.

The intent, according to PIAA, is to have all members of the team participate in all five consecutive days of the heat acclimatization period, but minimally, a player must be present for three consecutive days of these first five days of heat acclimatization to satisfy the requirement.

A school must have five consecutive days of heat acclimatization prior to their first contact drills, and contact drills may not be initiated before Monday, Aug. 12, the first practice date allowed for fall sports.

Helmets and shoulder pads with shorts are permitted during the first five days of heat acclimatization. Full gear and contact may not be worn until Aug. 12, after the completion of the five consecutive days of heat acclimatization.

For the five days of heat acclimatization, practice sessions may be no longer than three hours, and teams must have two hours of rest (recovery period) between sessions.

Days 1, 3 and 5 are limited to five hours per day. Days 2 and 4 are limited to three hours per day.

Only balls and field markers (cones) may be used this week, according to PIAA regulations.

Teams may not “scrimmage” or conduct “inter-school practices” this week, either.