Board Policy Heat Acclimatization Guidelines - Spirit Activities

Heat Acclimatization Period:  For the health and safety of participants in sideline cheer and dance team practices, it is recommended that member schools develop and implement a Heat Acclimatization Schedule for camps and/or practices that take place during the summer months when school is not in session or when your spirit program(s) conduct its camps and/or practices in preparation for the upcoming school year.

The goal of the Heat Acclimatization Period is to increase excerise heat tolerance and enhance the ability to practice safely and effectively in warm and hot conditions.  It is recommended this period begin with the first day of your spirit team(s) practice.

Heat Acclimatization Definitions:  Some definitions of terms which may be helpful when developing a Heat Acclimatization system are listed below.

a) A 'day' is defined as a calendar day (12:00 a.m. through 11:59 p.m.).

b) Rest Period:  A rest period is defined as the time between the end of one practice to the beginning of the next practice, which should last no less than one hour.  During this time, students should rest in a cool environment, with no physical or conditioning-related activity permitted (e.g. outdoor or indoor practices in a non-air conditioned facility).  Examples of approved activities would include, but not limited to: reviewing your spirit handbook, videos, planning spirit activities, etc.

c) Spirit Practice:  For purposes of Heat Acclimatization Guidelines a spirit practice is defined as:  Any attempt of a coach at a given school to provide instruction in any phase of sideline cheer or dance to any member of the sideline cheer and/or dance team at that school or to have any part of the spirit team(s) engage in practices under the supervision of a coach or under the approval or direction of the coach or spirit coaching staff (paid or voluntary).

Suggested Limits within the Heat Acclimatization Period:

a) Practice Duration:  Each outdoor or non-air conditioned practice should last no more than three hours.  Warm-up, stretching, and cool-down activities are included as part of the three-hour practice time.  Regardless of ambient temperature conditions, all conditioning and/or practice activities must be considered part of the practice.

b) First Five Days:  Only one practice should be held on each of the first five days of the Heat Acclimatization Period.

c) Rest Day: If practice occurs on six consecutive days, participants should be provided one day of complete rest (no conditioning or practices).

Adopted December, 2015