When Is It Too Hot To Play High School Football in Michigan?
UPDATE: For Changes in local sports schedules, visit WWMT's list of games affected.
As someone who grew up in states that regularly saw temperatures in the triple digits during the summer, heat is no stranger to me. When I played in athletics in my younger years, we'd sweat it out in those 90-100 degree days, and just hydrate like crazy.
But, those were different times, and now High School athletics are holding themselves to a different, and safer standard. Which is why this week's heat wave in west Michigan could affect High School football's return in 2023.
How Hot is Too Hot for football?
Thankfully, administrators and athletic personnel have learned a lot about health and safety when it comes to sports in the past few decades. Pads and helmets are safer, practices are better monitored, and protocols are stricter. These safer practices also apply to conditions surrounding team activity.
According to policy written by the Michigan High School Athletics Association:
"If the Heat Index is above 99 degrees to 104 degrees, sports involving helmets and protective equipment, like football, would be required to suspend practice and competition immediately. Games may only resume when the heat index is below 99 degrees."
And with temperatures ALONE expected to be in the 90s this week, and indexes expected to climb WELL over 100 degrees, it's possible practice, and maybe even some games, could be disrupted this week.
West Michigan Heat Predictions
At the moment, the high heat wave only seems to be a couple of days - Wednesday, and Thursday. However, even with temperatures expected in the 80s on Friday, heat indexes could still creep high enough to disrupt games and practices.
However, it seems like the heat bubble might break in time for Friday night lights, as the actual temperatures and heat indexes will take a dive back into the 80s.
So, will games on Friday be affected? Doesn't seem likely right now. But, expect practices to either be cancelled, or moved indoors to watch film, and study for Friday's games over the next couple days.
Regardless, we're excited to get football back in west Michigan. Good luck to everyone, and stay safe.