The DRD proposes adjustments to the schedules of sports activities on the island in the face of extreme heat

The DRD proposes adjustments to the schedules of sports activities on the island in the face of extreme heat

The episodes of extreme heat, which began on the island last April, forced the Department of Recreation and Sports to draft a circular letter with recommendations for sports organizers in the country that, among other things, stipulates that from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm no type of sporting activity involving children should be carried out.

After being an issue that disrupts the health of minors, the recommendations are addressed to all sports federations and leagues in the country, confirmed by phone to The new day the director of the Puerto Rican Institute for the Development of Sports and Recreation of the DRD, Juan Garcia-Rivera.

The letter was to be circulated last Saturday.

The suggestions should be applied considering the recorded heat index. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the heat index is a way to measure how hot the temperature feels when humidity is included as a factor.

“It is important to take into consideration the heat index and for sports organizers to ensure that children drink four ounces of water every 15 minutes. And if the heat index is more than 121 degrees (Fahrenheit), which is already a risk, the activity stops,” said Garcia-Riveragrado.

Likewise, another measure that could be implemented is the use of tents, caps, glasses, microfiber shirts that protect from the sun’s rays and the use of sunscreen.

“Measures have to be taken so that they have shade. “That at least in intervals of 5 to 10 minutes they are in the shade, both those who are not playing and those who are.”added the director, highlighting that these suggestions, in a certain way, are aimed at outdoor disciplines, such as baseball and soccer.

However, he asserted that if a field does not have the necessary ventilation, the same instructions apply.

“You have to pay close attention to the symptoms of a child who says he has cramps, have ice packs for a child who says he has chills. Well, you have to have those ice packs to place them in the neck area, in the armpit, in the crotch, in any of those places,” she added.

If he did not have control of the situation, he recommended activating the 9-1-1 Emergency System.

“If you have to stop the game and give it a rest area, that is, they modify the rule, and that the coaches understand that these things are for health. “We want our sport to continue moving forward and our children to continue developing without any type of risk.”he mentioned.

Last Friday, the Education deparment canceled classes to meet with parents and guardians of students in the country’s public system to orient themselves and give their impressions on how to deal with heat episodes in schools.

On the other hand, the House of Representatives approved by download a measure that proposes the installation and maintenance of air conditioning units in all public school classrooms in the country, over a period of two years.

The circular letter that the DRD will issue will expire on October 15, however, they will try to amend it according to weather events.

Willing to new adjustments

In the case of the Puerto Rican Little Leaguehis calendar for minors – from three to eight years old – tries to accommodate himself to avoid long exposure to the sun.

“In the state championships, when we were playing categories seven and eight (years), we put them to play either early or in the afternoon, when the sun has already diminished a little. In five and six (year-old) categories, which are much smaller, they play on Friday nights and practices are during the week.”asserted the president of the Little Leagues, Zilkia Rivera.

Part of their plan to counteract situations during heat episodes is to guide fathers, mothers or caregivers about the importance of hydration in children.

The leaders are always in charge of bringing their water and ice and we always have team managers who are also in charge of that. When the weather is a little more extreme, the children need that breakthe referees give him the time so that the children can hydrate ”Rivera pointed out, adding that they avoid scheduling matches at noon.

“Possibly, now we start playing earlier so as not to expose them to the stronger sun,” he said about the meetings of players between 13 and 16 years old, whose games were normally scheduled for 10:00 am and lasted up to hours. from intense heat.

Similarly, in the event of an emergency for these reasons or others, each athlete is covered with life insurance.

“We do not have any children on the land who do not have insurance, in case their parents cannot cover certain expenses, then we will cover it with our insurance,” Rivera said.

The president clarified that prior to the start of the preparatory tournament, scheduled for September 16, she will meet with the presidents of the 93 leagues on the island to evaluate the pertinent changes after the weather events.

They will evaluate measures

Meanwhile, although the calendar of the Eastern Soccer League of Puerto Rico – which is scheduled to begin on September 23 – is not available, managers will choose to consider high temperature scenarios to establish it.

“If the situation is very extreme, then we will take some other measures like taking a break between, say, 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., which are usually the hottest hours. For that we have to see how the climate behaves and then we make the decision”the president of said league, Salvador Mendez, told this newspaper.

Likewise, in the Eastern League they emulate professional leagues during hot months, in which games stop for a minute in the middle of each half for hydration breaks.

“If the heat is very extreme, then we give it a second refreshment in each half if necessary,” added Mendez.

For his part, the general secretary of the Puerto Rican Football Federation (FPF), Gabriel Ortiz, stated in a separate interview that “we have urged the federated regional leagues not to hold games between 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.”

Mendez said he has not yet received official documentation from the FPF.

“As far as I know, there has not been a circular from the Federation about this… but if the Federation issues a circular, I am obliged to abide by it”Mendez replied.

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