Sports at Long Island schools were called off on Wednesday because of the excessive heat.
"We are on a full heat alert," said Tom Combs, the executive director for Section XI, which governs Suffolk scholastic sports. "We had to postpone 117 contests. There is no physical activity in any sport permitted."
Both counties issued a full heat alert, postponing all indoor and outdoor activities, including games and practices.
"Due to the excessive heat, all Section VIII sports activities, high school and middle school, are canceled," said Pat Pizzarelli, the executive director for Section VIII, which governs all Nassau athletics. "There is to be no physical activities. Meetings in air conditioned rooms are permitted."
Suffolk calls for all activities to be canceled if the heat index reaches 95. The Catholic League follows Suffolk's procedures.
Nassau County follows the New York State Public High School Athletic Association guidelines, which say that if the heat index reaches 96 or higher all outside activities — games and practices — must be canceled.
The heat index is determined by the outside temperature and the relative humidity.
The heat index at Republic Airport in Farmingdale reached 96 on Wednesday afternoon.
“We follow the state handbook and if that heat index reaches a Real Feel of 96, then we shut it all down,” Pizzarelli said.
Combs said that safety committee chairperson Tim Mullins, the director of athletics for Bayport-Blue Point Schools, monitors the temperature every two hours throughout the day starting at 6 a.m.
Combs said 120 games were played Tuesday under a modified heat alert with no reported heat illness. A modified heat alert calls for water breaks every 20 minutes and no heavy equipment to be worn.
“Everyone takes the heat index very seriously and follows the safety protocols,” Combs said. “The safety of the student-athletes is paramount.”
The excessive heat could be a factor again on Thursday with the forecast calling for temperatures around 90.
"We're in the same boat for [Thursday] with hotter than normal weather expected," Combs said. "Unfortunately we'd have to postpone again and find a place to play all the makeup games."
Pizzarelli said that games will have to be rescheduled on Sundays, late Saturdays and the Columbus Day holiday due to the shortage of referees.