U.S. Soccer Heat Guidelines
GOAL: This document is intended as a guide for coaches, referees, and players for training in warmer climates. Additionally, this document is intended to also serve as a guide for match play, hydration breaks and participant safety during extreme temperature conditions. The information provided herein is not substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation or the advice of your physician or other health care provider. For specific questions and concerns, please consult your health care provider or physician.
Exertional Heat Illness
Examples of WBGT monitors
Heat Illness (Heat Exhaustion, Heat Cramps)
• Remove from training and source of heat
• Cool in a shaded area using ice towels
• Provide access to fluids/electrolytes and encourage rehydration
Exertional Heat Stroke
• Is a medical emergency
• Immediately call EMS (911) and prepare hospital for heat related emergency
• Athlete may have confusion or altered mental status and a rectal temperature >104°F
• Remove excess clothing/equipment and immediately begin cooling the athlete by placing them in
of the body or as much as possible
• Acclimatization is the body’s natural adaptation to exercising in the heat
• This process typically takes 10-14 days
• The protocol should require a gradual graded progression of exercise in the heat. This typically
applies at the start of pre-season (summer months) where athletes are beginning fitness training and progressive training exposure in heat is recommended
Guide for Acclimatization
• Avoid the hottest part of the day for training sessions (11am-4pm) • Days 1-5
o Maximum 3 hours of training time (this includes warm up, stretches and cool down) • Days 6-14
o Double practice days can begin on day 6 and not exceed 5 hours in total practice time between the two practices.
o There should be a minimum of a 3 hours rest period between each training session during double practice days. The 3 hour rest period should take place in a cool environment to allow the body to fully recover
o Each double practice day should be followed by a single practice day in which practice time on single practice days not exceeding 3 hours
o Athletes should receive one day rest following 6 days continuous practice
WBGT (Heat Stress Monitoring) & Region Specific Guidelines/Heat Index
• Recommend using WBGT on-site at time of training and check as often as possible.
• If on-site WBGT measures are not available, on-site measures of temperature and humidity can
be used to predict WBGT using the chart below. (NOTE: Heat Index is not ideal because it
doesn’t factor the heat from the sun).
• If no on-site temperature measures are available, use temperature and humidity from local
weather station measures and use the chart below to predict WBGT.
Step 1: Find the WBGT
• Measure the temperature and humidity at your site • Find the estimated WBGT corresponding below.
Step 3: Determine Your Conditions, Alert Level, and Recommendations
• Determine which region category you are in based on the map above, to determine which WBGT
guidelines in the table you should follow.
Step 4: Determine the Work to Rest Ratios – Modifications in Training
Match Play Hydration Breaks
• WBGT of 89.6°F
• Provide hydration breaks of 4 minutes for each 30 minutes of continuous play (i.e., minute 30
and 75 of 90 minute match)