As many of you know, this coming Monday, August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will occur in a 70-mile-wide swath stretching across the United States, from Lincoln City, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. While many schools will already be in session, there are still a large number of states and districts that have not yet started classes, but fall sports practices and competitions will be taking place on Monday.
With this in mind, the NFHS SMAC would like to share two safety concerns for your member schools to consider when holding athletics and/or activities practices and/or competitions around the time of the solar eclipse:
1. There is a real and present danger of damage being done to the eye if the sun is looked upon during the solar eclipse, except for at the time of totality.
2. Many of the cities and towns within the “path of totality” are expected to swell with an influx of visitors. This surge in local populations will likely put a significant strain on Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Any injury or medical emergency at a practice and/or competition requiring EMS activation is likely to be met with a significant delay in response time to your member school.
Please refer to the two attachments for further information and please share this information with your member schools.
Michael Koester, M.D.
Chair – NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC)