Because of the unstable weather conditions in Southern California, many athletic teams at California Baptist University have moved up their times for games and practices to earlier in the morning.
CBU is using a portable weather station to monitor the weather and conditions in the outdoors.
Tim Clark, assistant athletic director for Sports Medicine and Athletic Training, owns the machine, a Kestrel 5400 Heat Stress Tracker, to measure the weather for the conditions on the field.
“It calculates air temperature, wind speed and direction and the direct angle of the sun,” Clark said. “There is this ball on top where you’re supposed to set (the machine) up in direct sunlight and the wind blows through and gives it readings of your exact location.”
Clark also said the Athletics Department has a cuto with heat.
“We look at the heat tracker and depending on the readings it gives us, if it gives us a ‘black zone’ reading, we will cancel or modify practice times,” Clark said. “If the machine gives us a ‘red zone’ result, we will limit practice times to one hour and make sure the athletes are getting water breaks.”
Coe Michaelson, head coach of men’s soccer, said the first week of the season was a challenge to him and the athletes.
“There are certain temperatures and output in which we will not be allowed to play or practice,” Michaelson said. “There is a certain point in weather conditions in which the team is not allowed to play or practice in extreme heat.”
“Fortunately, we have been able to avoid that point by making time alterations,” Michaelson said. “When it comes to weather hazards and warnings, you obviously make adjustments when training in extreme heat and hold out for more water breaks.”
Clark also said the Athlet- ics Department has a policy on lightning.
“We have a weather century app that warns us whenever lightning is within eight miles of us. That is our cut-off to clear the fields,” Clark said. “We do that for everybody that is in attendance at our sporting events.”
While their heat and lightning policies are their main weather concerns, there are also policies on air quality, according to Clark.
“If we get any wildfires or forest fires going on nearby, sometimes we will have heavy smog areas,” Clark said.
Clark said men’s soccer and men’s water polo practices have mainly been affected by the weather conditions.
“We would have teams practice early in the morning and in the afternoon,” Clark said. “The men’s water polo team’s afternoon practices were affected because we were getting ‘red zone’ warnings for the pool areas. We modified the practices to one hour and the athletes had water breaks.”
The Athletic Department officials say they hope the weather gains stability and consistency in time for our athletes to succeed this season.