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Heat Guidelines for Athletic Particpation

  • The following guidelines have been established for the safety and health for all athletes during the time of high temperature/humidity.


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    Green Zone – WBGT: 82.0 or Heat index: less than 90
    • Regular practices
    • Water breaks unlimited
    • Observe athletes who tend toward obesity
    • Observe new or unconditioned athletes
    • Rest breaks every 30 minutes


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    Yellow Zone – WBGT: 82- 86.9 or Heat index: 90 - 96
    • Regular practice
    • Water unlimited
    • Water breaks scheduled every 15 minutes
    • Cold towels available for cooling athletes
    • All athletes should be under careful supervision
    • Equipment regular: (helmets need to be off when not participating)

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    Orange Zone – WBGT: 87 – 89.9 or Heat Index: 97-103
    • Maximum practice time is 2 hours
    • Athletes should take a 15-minute break every hour
    • Water unlimited
    • Cold towels and cold immersion available when needed
    • Equipment: (shorts, t-shirts, helmets and shoulder pads)
    • Equipment should be removed during the conditioning phase of practice.

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    Red Zone – WBGT: 90-92 or Heat Index: 104-125
    • Maximum length of practice time is 1 hour.
    • Cold towels and cold immersion available when needed
    • NO protective equipment may be worn during practice.
    • NO conditioning activities.
    • Must be a 20-minute break during the 1-hour practice.

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    Black Zone – WGBT: 92.1 and Heat Index 125 and up
    • NO Outdoor workouts
    • Delay practices until a cooler WGBT reading occurs.

    **The athletic trainer will notify the coaches on the current conditions 1 hour before the scheduled practice time. The athletic trainer will monitor conditions during practice and will make adjustments as needed. Coaches must adhere to the guidelines that have been established. 

    Method of Determining the WBGT (Wet –Blub Globe Temperature):
    The athletic trainer will determine the status by using the Kestrel Heat Stress Tracker.
    WBGT reading has been proven as best practices to measure heat stress on the body during activity.

    Sentara Heat Guidelines for Athletic Participation pdf