Metro schools taking extra heat safety precautions for Friday night football

School systems in metro Atlanta are implementing extra measures to prevent heat-related illness during Friday night football games.

At Tara Stadium in Clayton County, the temperature is expected to be over 90 degrees when players take the field.

“The game could possibly be canceled if it’s deemed necessary or dangerous by Georgia high school officials,” Clayton County Schools executive director of athletics Gary Townsend said.

Townsend told Channel 2′s Tom Regan that large misting fans will be placed on the sidelines, along with cooling tubs. The stadium also has a weather monitoring station.

“Those weather stations not only give you the heat index and temperature but also give you the wet bulb global temperature which determines not just the heat index but how hot it is in direct sunlight,” Townsend said.


The officiating staff at high school football games will also meet with coaches prior to game time to decide how many additional time-outs will be added for water breaks.

“Of course, those timeouts are not issued to any team. It will give the players time to hydrate and prepare to perform effectively on the field,” Townsend said.

The Clayton County School District this week declared a “Red Level Heat Alert.”

All outdoor activities including sport practice were cancelled. Football teams moved practice inside.

“We try our best, so we air on the side of caution when we make a decision. We need room to be able to adjust to that,” Clayton County Schools deputy superintendent Dr. Ralph Simpson said.

The Georgia Athletic Association said several Friday night football games delayed their start time to 8 p.m. from 7:30 p.m. because of the hot evening weather.