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Hydration breaks approved in men’s and women’s soccer

Rule kicks in when wet-bulb globe temperature reaches 86 degrees

During a teleconference Monday, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved hydration breaks at a set time during each half of men’s and women’s soccer matches for the 2019-20 academic year.

The proposal from the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Soccer Rules Committee was based on a recommendation from the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports.

The new rule will be applied when the wet-bulb globe temperature is at least 86 degrees.

The hydration breaks will occur between the 25- and 30-minute marks of the first half and the 70- and 75-minute marks of the second half and last for a minimum of two minutes. Appropriate host personnel will conduct temperature measurements before and throughout the game.

Appropriate host personnel will instruct the on-field officials if the threshold for hydration breaks is met. The referee is responsible for informing the head coaches and implementing the hydration breaks. Additional breaks are permissible at the discretion of the referee.

The wet-bulb globe temperature is a measure of heat stress in direct sunlight that accounts for temperature, humidity, wind speed, angle of the sun and cloud cover. Schools that do not already own wet-bulb globe thermometers must buy them. The cost is minimal.

Illegal participation

The panel did not approve enforcing a current rule that requires a postgame forfeit if it is determined after the game that the winning team allowed a player or coach to participate when that player or coach should have been suspended from that game because of a red card or an accumulation of yellow cards.

Currently, the rule provides for a forfeit to be imposed as the penalty for illegal participation by an ejected or card-suspended coach or player, along with additional suspensions for the coach or player. However, because of conflicting language in the rules book, the forfeit has not been enforced for NCAA statistical purposes. The rule providing for a forfeit will be removed from the next edition of the rules book, which will be produced in 2020.