There’s a heat wave coursing through Illinois, and it’s creating havoc for one of the biggest high school sports weekends of the year.
As released on their own web site, the Illinois High School Association is shifting the start times of its baseball and softball state titles games on Friday to guard against dangerous encroaching heat. The temperature at both Silver Cross Field in Joliet (home of the baseball championships) and East Peoria’s Eastside Center (where the softball finals will be played) is expected to peak at or above 100 degrees.
That inspired state officials to move the start time of Friday’s first 3A semifinal to 9 a.m., with the second semi to follow immediately thereafter. There will then be an elongated break before a 5 p.m. game kicks off the two semifinal games for Class 4A. Both sites will also reportedly feature cooling fans, icing stations and tents, all designed to help avoid any onset of heat stroke for the athletes.
God willing, there won’t be a need for any further intervention from Certified Athletic Trainers or other medical professionals. Still, it’s good to know that no matter what happens, as many precautions as possible are being taken, short of moving the event to a different date altogether. If the temperature rises much beyond current projections, that might just be the next step.