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How Heat Warnings and Advisories Affect Soccer

By PFC Staff, 06/17/24, 10:00AM EDT


Are we playing / practicing this week?

Like most clubs, Pickering Football Club does not cancel soccer games due to extreme heat, but permits parents to make individual decisions on player participation.  Much of the information below was gathered from Ontario Soccer's “Heat Alert” document.

“The goal in participating in hot weather is to avoid fluid loss from the body, or dehydration.”

The following recommendations are some key guidelines for soccer participation in the heat:

1.    Avoid dehydration - Includes the need to pre-hydrate and post-hydrate

•    3 hours prior to the game, drink at least 16 oz or 500 ml of water as a series of sips over the next 60 minute period
•    2 hours prior to the game, drink at least 8 oz or 250 ml of water as a series of sips over the next 60 minutes
•    During the game drink at least 4- 8 oz of water for every 20 minutes of play
•    Immediately after the exercise, drink at least 16 oz or 500 ml of water or an electrolyte replacing drink
•    1 hour after a training session or game consider drinking 16 oz or 500 ml of skim milk or chocolate milk for protein and muscle repair

2. Water Breaks

Referees have been advised that a water break MUST be provided at the mid-point of each half of play.  The half-time (water break) should be a minimum of 5 minutes, but where possible, 10 minutes in duration (to allow for maximum water intake).  This requirement is even more pronounced when teams are “short-handed” or do not have the full complement of substitutes.

Water breaks are mandatory and cannot be removed by coach request.

3. Heat Injury Indicators

Coaches, parents and players should be aware of the following list of indicators that players may be experiencing some level of “heat injury”:

•    Flushed face
•    Hyperventilation or shortness of breath
•    Headache
•    Dizziness
•    Tingling Arms
•    Goose Bumps
•    Chilliness
•    Poor coordination
•    Confusion, agitation or uncooperativeness

Finally, while players (other than the goalie) are not permitted to wear hats during the actual game, players who are sitting off should be actively encouraged to wear a hat.