Sports Officials: Staying Warm in Cold Conditions

Sports Officials: Staying Warm in Cold Conditions

 Working games in cold weather presents a challenge to football officials and baseball umpires. No matter the level, there is a common thread in working any game in any weather condition – preparation. The better prepared an official the more apt the focus on player safety and calling a fair game. A little preparation can go a long way for both officials and players.

 Uniform Prep

Today’s officials have a little easier than those of yesteryear. Improvements in fabrics allow football officials and baseball umpires to combat the cold. One of the simplest keys to staying warm is to dress in layers. A moisture-wicking base-layer is the place to start. Avoid cotton undergarments as they will soak up sweat and actually make you colder. Choose fabrics made of material that allow perspiration to be wicked away from the skin.

 Any extremities should be completely covered. Wear gloves to cover the hands and some type of hood or ear muffs to keep the head and ears warm. Be sure these items do not interfere with your ability to work a game. Warm socks are also a must to keep the feet warm. It’s not completely true that a certain percentage of body heat is lost through your head and feet. Any part of the body exposed will lose heat. Keep covered the entire contest.

 It would also be wise to bring some extra undergarments, socks, gloves, etc. If working in cold, wet conditions; changing at halftime or between innings can help a referee or umpire stay warm for the remainder of the contest.

 Just Like the Athletes

Athletes playing in cold weather will be informed by their coaches to make sure their bodies are warm, not overheated, before they take the field. Officials should do the same. Start the pre-game routine with some movement activity to get the blood flowing and then complete a stretching routine. Don’t work up a sweat; just do enough to prepare the body for activity in cold weather.

 Coaches will also tell their players to stay hydrated. Yes, athletes lose fluids in cold weather just as they do when playing in extremely hot conditions. Athletes and officials will lose fluid by sweating and through breathing in cold weather. Be sure to replenish by drinking water. Doing so will keep the body running as normal and help to combat the cold-weather conditions.

 Coaches will also tell their players to stay hydrated. Yes, athletes lose fluids in cold weather just as they do when playing in extremely hot conditions. Athletes and officials will lose fluid by sweating and through breathing in cold weather. Be sure to replenish by drinking water. Doing so will keep the body running as normal and help to combat the cold-weather conditions.

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