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University of Texas at Austin
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Athletics Contact Info

Director of Athletics:
Dr. Susan Elza

Department Email:
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Department Phone:

Department Fax:

Assistant Athletic Directors:

Brian Polk:
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Brandy Belk:
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AJ Martinez:
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Joseph Garmon:
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Heat Related Safety

Texas experiences high temperatures throughout much of the year, particularly in the summer and early fall. The UIL has several policies in place to help prevent heat related injury or illness for all participants. 

Early fall football, cross country, marching band, and soccer practices are conducted in very hot and humid weather. Due to the equipment and uniform needed in football, most of the heat problems have been associated with football. During the 1995 through the 2000 football season there have been 17 heat stroke deaths nationwide in football. This is not acceptable. There are no excuses for heatstroke deaths if the proper precautions are taken. During hot weather conditions, the athlete is subject to the following:

Heat Illness - Heat illnesses are a spectrum of illnesses that occur due to heat exposure. This heat exposure can come from either environmental heat (air temperature) or simply intense exercise. These conditions can range from minor heat cramps to life-threatening heat stroke.  Contrary to popular belief, heat illnesses do not exist on a continuum. You do not need to have heat cramps or syncope before you have heat exhaustion.

Heat Cramps - Painful cramps involving abdominal muscles and extremities caused by intense, prolonged exercise in the heat and depletion of salt and water due to sweating.

Heat Exhaustion - Heat exhaustion is the most common heat-related condition observed in active populations ranging from athletes to recreational hikers. It is defined as the inability to continue exercise in the heat due to cardiovascular insufficiency (not enough blood pumped to the heart) and energy depletion that may or may not be associated with physical collapse.  

Heat Syncope - Heat Syncope is also known as orthostatic dizziness. This refers to a fainting episode that someone can experience in high environmental temperatures, usually during the initial days of heat exposure. Heat syncope occurs when an individual in a hot environment does not have adequate blood flow to the brain, causing the person to lose consciousness.

Heatstroke - An acute medical emergency related to thermoregulatory failure. Associated with nausea, seizures, disorientation, and possible unconsciousness or coma. It may occur suddenly without being preceded by any other clinical signs. The individual is usually unconscious with a high body temperature and a hot dry skin (heatstroke victims, contrary to popular belief, may sweat profusely).



Heat stress problems can be controlled if certain precautions are taken. Heat related illnesses are all preventable. The following practices and precautions are required by UIL to help prevent heat related illness:

Physical Exam and History: Each athlete must have a physical exam with a medical history when first entering a program and an annual health history update. History of previous heat illness and type of training activities before organized practice begins should be included.