Sunday, May 15, 2011

Heat and Sideline Safety

Here is the text of a letter I sent USAU regarding heat, sun and player safety. I will add this: if you are playing in Boulder Memorial day, you should have a plan to deal with the heat.

Will, Beth and Jeff,

I am writing you all in an official capacity because I have concerns about athlete and coach safety at Nationals in Boulder. This will be my third trip to Boulder as a coach for college Nationals. (99 and 08 were the other two.) In each of those years, my team had a player suffer from serious heat and/or altitude sickness. The player in 99 was sick to the point of vomiting and should have been hospitalized. (I wasn't informed until well after the fact.) The player in 08 was hospitalized and missed the last day of play. Although I don't know the details of hospitalizations and missed games throughout the tournament, I know that heat stroke was a major concern last year as well. I banished my own team to the tent during play to get them off of the sidelines and out of the heat and sun, but ended up suffering heat stroke myself and spent three hours in bed under cold towels on Saturday after pool play.

There are two policies I would like you to adjust and reconsider.

The first is the limit to two sideline support staff. With most teams at 20+ players and at least one coach, it is unrealistic to expect that 2 people can support 21 throughout a full day, let alone four full days. While it is important to keep foolish alumni under control (I am a CUT alum after all...) I think that this could be accomplished in a way that still allowed an appropriate and safe level of support for the teams. Please consider raising this limit to 4 non-players.

The second is the shade tent policy. It is unrealistic to fit 20+ people into a single tent, unless you squeeze them in, which defeats the purpose of cooling shade. Each team should have the opportunity to access two tents.

Thank you,
Lou Burruss
Oregon Fugue

4 comments:

  1. I have vivid memories of puking around the side of tent at that tournament. Nobody felt quite right, not enough of the right fluids and no shade. Good work taking care of your players Lou!
    :) Hotbed

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  2. missed you this weekend, except in the '94 sectionals video, that was some hair.

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  3. Ha - I've been to Colorado Cup 3 times, and gotten sick due to the altitude/heat twice. Prepare yourselves everyone with lots of water, sunscreen and some sort of hat for the sidelines!

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  4. Was there a response to your letter?

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