SAFETY PRECAUTIONS FOR PLAYING IN WARM WEATHER
You may be playing your matches in conditions to which you are not accustomed. The temperature and/or humidity can get quite high. If you follow the suggestions below, there is no reason why you cannot have good matches and a good time.
YOU MAY WANT TO CONSIDER AN EARLY ARRIVAL IN ORDER TO ALLOW YOUR BODY TO BECOME SOMEWHAT ACCLIMATED TO NEW CONDITIONS.
You will lose fluid from your body through perspiration. Along with water you lose sodium, potassium and other electrolytes. It is necessary to replenish your body with BOTH water and electrolytes.
All atheletes should drink plenty of fluids (water, sports drinks, juice, milk, etc.) throughout the day. If you wait until you are thirsty, you have waited too long. Note: your body can lose a lot of fluid, via evaporation, while you are flying since the air in the passenger compartment is very dry. You should drink 1 cup of a non-caffeinated or non-alcholic beverage every hour.
Drink another cup of fluid just prior to play. In fact, also drinking 16 to 20 ounces of water, juices, or sports drinks 60-90 minutes before your match can further help in avoiding heat disorders.
Bring a large thermos with you on court and drink frequently (i.e. at every changeover). There will also be water available on the courts. Water and/or sports drinks are effective.
After your match, drink plenty of fluids. It could be water, gatorade, lemonade, juice etc. If you prefer, dilute any of these to create your own taste. Water by itself does not replace the necessary electrolytes. Don't forget to eat! Fresh fruit and fruit juices are excellent sources of some electrolytes and carbohydrates, but you may have to make a special effort to replace some salt as well.
Wearing white really can help in hot weather. Use cotton/polyester blends rather than 100% cotton or tightly woven nylon. Have an extra dry shirt available for changing. Perspiration can block ventilation when the shirt is soaked and on humid days, the cooling of evaporation is of little significance.
Use sunscreen. Use waterproof/sweat proof sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Have an SPF of at least 15, but an SPF 30 or above is preferred. Wear a wide-brimmed hat that is well ventilated and shades the neck as well.
Remember, you are allowed 20 seconds between points, 90 seconds at the changeover, and 120 seconds between sets including match tie break. Use this time to recover. Take advantage of shade during changeover as much as possible. Change the shirt frequently (and shorts if necessary), and use a cool towel on the face and upper back.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT DISORDER
1. Heat Cramps : muscle spasms, usually due to extensive and repeated sweat losses, fatigue.
2. Heat Exhaustion : extreme weakeness, exhaustion, headache, dizziness, nausea, profuse sweating, chills and cool skin, normal body temperature, rapid pulse, sometimes unconscious.
3. Heat Stroke : hot, dry skin, headache, nausea, confusion, staggering gait, extremely high body temperature, collapse, unconscious, sometimes death.
IF ANY OF THESE CONDITIONS (#2 OR #3) SHOULD OCCUR:
1. Call a doctor or emergency vehicle. (Keep applying ice water continously and generously until medical assistance arrives).
2. Loosen a players clothing at once.
3. Place player in a prone position in the shade.
4. Apply ice to head and body (or whatever means are available to provide cooling).
Maintain control over assigned courts;
Measure the net at the beginning of the first match and at other appropriate times.
Time warm-ups, when possible, announce “two minute” at two minutes before the end of warm-up, and announce “time” when play is to begin;
Call foot faults, remembering that there is never a warning;
Stop play when the monitor observes a Code Violation and seek assistance from the Referee or other official;
Settle scoring disputes on a limited basis;
Overrule clear mistakes if authorized to do so by the Referee (correct outcalls);
Time rest periods;
Record scores of matches if requested;
Inform the desk of open courts and of the progress of matches in play;
Send for a certified official if there is a question of rule interpretation;
Call the score if assigned to only one court.