Bryan, TX (FOX 44)-

Playing an outdoor sport has always come with a high risk of heat exhaustion, but a new UIL guideline aims to keep high school students safe when they’re playing outdoors.

Every sports team is now required to use a WBGT, or a Wet Bulb Globe Temperature Device.

“It’s much more effective and beneficial to protecting our athlete and students,” says Josh Woodall, the head athletic trainer for Bryan ISD.

The device measures ambient temperature, relative humidity, wind, and air movement.

“It factors in all of the environmental conditions that play a part in our ability to work out in the heat and dissipate that heat that our body generates,” says Woodall.

He adds the WBGT is the gold standard for monitoring heat stress.

“It’s absolutely a positive. I’m very excited that the UIL made this made this change,” he says.

In the past, the UIL’s recommendation was based on heat index–something coach Woodall says isn’t accurate.

“It only takes into consideration ambient temperature and humidity. And it’s actually measured in the shade,” he says.

He adds that Texas has been in the lower part of the country as far as things we do to prevent and protect people from heat illness.

“Prior to this, Texas ranked 21st in implementation of practices to prevent heat illness,” Woodall says.

The Bryan ISD coach has a message for anyone who is concerned these new measurements will restrict more practices.

“Convenience can’t override the health and safety of our students. This is a legitimate measurement; a good measurement of what heat stress goes to the body. And protecting our athletes has to be paramount,” says the coach.