The «Protocol for the Prevention of Heat Stress in Athletes (Footballers)», which has been drawn up based on national and international manuals (FIFA “Football Medicine Manual”, Sports Medicine Australia “Extreme Heat Policy”, Republic of Cyprus “Code of Practice for Heat Stress of employees” and other), presented at a press conference by the Pancyprian Footballers’ Association (PASP).
Senior officers and directors from Department of Labour Inspection (Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance), Cyprus Society for Sports Medicine (Cyprus Sports Organization) and Department of Meteorology (Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment) were also present at the press conference.
This specific Protocol is not binding, but informs, makes recommendations and gives directions to professional and amateur footballers and athletes of all sports. PASP invited the athletes and footballers, adults and minors with their guardians, professional or not and all sports associations to have the said Protocol as a guide in their sporting activities.
In the first 5 chapters of the Protocol there are the Introduction, Symptoms and management of heat stress, Classification of sports risks of heat stress, Preparation for exercise in the heat, Heat Stress risk categories and instructions.
In the sixth chapter entitled “Guidelines for the management of Heat Stress in Professional Athletes for training / competition” there are the provisions of Safety and Health at Work (Code of Practice for Thermal Stress of Workers) Decrees of 2014 and 2020. The table below is indicative of when to stop the exercise and the proportions between exercise and rest per hour:
rest per hour
rest per hour
rest per hour
|32||< 45||45-56||57-70||71-79||> 80|
|33||< 39||39-49||50-62||63-71||> 72|
|34||< 34||34-43||44-56||57-65||> 66|
|35||< 29||29-37||38-50||51-60||> 61|
|36||< 25||25-33||34-46||47-56||> 57|
|37||< 21||21-29||30-40||41-51||> 52|
|38||< 18||18-24||25-35||36-46||> 47|
|39||< 15||15-21||22-32||33-41||> 42|
|40||< 12||12-18||19-27||28-36||> 37|
|41||< 10||10-15||16-24||25-32||> 33|
|42||< 8||8-13||14-20||21-27||> 28|
|43||< 6||6-12||13-18||19-24||> 25|
In chapter 7 entitled “Practical Manual for Thermal Stress of Footballers”, the instructions from the FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre: Football Medicine Manual are presented based on the thermal injury risk assessment table:
|Ambient dry temperature||WBGT||Thermal injury risk|
|up to 24.9°C||up to 23.9°C||Low|
|38°C and above||32.2°C and above||Extreme|
In summary, the instructions per risk of heat stress category are as follows:
- LOW: Stay hydrated through regular fluid consumption and appropriate clothing.
- MODERATE: Increasing the frequency and/or duration of shade rest during exercise.
- HIGH: Training and competition schedules are subject to change. Application of additional cooling breaks. Implementation of active cooling strategies.
- EXTREME: TRAINING AND MATCHES NEED TO STOP.