With the sun blazing down on the baseball diamond during the week-long B.C. Little League Championship, it’s a wonder that the players can sit in hot temperatures for a whole day while still keeping cool.
For umpire Derek Green, there isn’t much that can be done about the heat. With full-body equipment and long pants, Green can heat up quickly.
“It’s pretty hot, but not much I can do,” he said between innings on a 33 C Tuesday.
The umpires aren’t the only ones on the field in danger of overheating.
Dunbar coach Mike Vrlak tries to keep his players from getting heatstroke by stocking a cooler with a quick fix, along with “tons of water.”
“We have a cooler with ice water and some towels in there,” he said. “Every time they come off the field, they throw the towels on their head and their neck.”
Glenn Kirkpatrick, head coach for White Rock agreed with Vrlak’s strategy.
“[We give them] lots and lots of water and stay in the shade,” he said. “We also have a ton of cold towels.”
Spectator Catherine McGhie from Victoria says she avoids the source of the heat, the sun.
“I follow the shade,” she said, while sitting under a tent erected over the bleachers at Andy Bilesky Park. “When the sun moves around, I move around.”
Another fan from Victoria, Keva Glynn, has the same strategy, but covers up to prevent too much sun exposure.
“I cover up with the light coloured clothing,” she said. “I try to stay out of the sun during peak times.”
Not only do they avoid the scorching heat of the sun, these two women make sure to stay hydrated.
“Of course, I drink lots of water,” said Glynn, adding that she doesn’t just drink the water.
“We make sure to go for a swim at the hotel at the end of the day.”
McGhie uses fans with water vapour misting from them set up around the baseball diamond to get a moment of relief from the heat.
“I make use of the fans over there,” she said. “I just stand in front of it for a few minutes.”
Clare DeWitt, co-chair of the tournament committee says the group planned for the heat ahead of time with the misting fans placed around the grounds.
“They [set up the fans] in 2012 when we hosted the major provincials up here, so they suggested we do it too and they are awesome,” she said. “All you have to do is stand in front of one for a few minutes and it cools you right down.”
DeWitt and the organizing committee also made sure to stock up on tasty cold treats and cold drinks for when players, coaches, volunteers and spectators get thirsty from the warm weather.
“We knew that it was going to be hot and we knew that people were going to want cold drinks,” she said, adding that frozen treats have also been flying off the shelves. “We have been selling a lot of Freezies and frozen treats and a lot of water, but we planned for that. We knew that we were going to be over 30 degrees all week and we knew that people were going to go for more than the hot food.”
The tournament committee also made sure to provide the shade the Glynn and McGhie crave by setting up sponsor tents over the bleachers and giving spectators a cooler spot to sit without the harsh rays of the sun.
So far, the measures taken to keep cool in the sun have worked and DeWitt says they haven’t had any heat-related incidents yet.
“We haven’t had anybody up here, that we know of, having heat stroke,” she said. “We have had first-aid people here all day, every day and we haven’t had any kids up here getting sick or anything.”
Tips for staying cool in hot weather:
• For an icy snack, freeze fruits and yogurt for an ice cold treat in the heat
• To prevent heat stroke, stay hydrated by drinking lots of water
• To keep the temperature indoors down to a liveable level, close blinds and windows during the day, and open them during the evening to let in cooler air. Also, avoid using the oven during the day.
• When outdoors, wear light coloured and loose clothing. Dark coloured clothing heats up very fast.
• Limit strenuous exercise and outdoor work to morning and evening, avoiding physical activity during peak sun hours.
• Make a splash and go for a swim in a pool, lake or river to cool down quickly.