Officials are not cool with the fact that temperature are predicted to reach near triple digits for the opening games of the seventh annual Under Armour Lacrosse Classic on Friday.
They're fighting back, at least as best they can, by preparing to implement measures to keep the players safe in what will literally be the sport's hotbed at Towson University for a series of underclassmen games that begin at noon and last until late afternoon or early evening.
The Baltimore boys all-stars take the field at 2 p.m. against the Midwest All-Stars. Their female counterparts are slated for a 3:30 opening draw against New Jersey.
According to weather.com, it will be 96 degrees at game time for the boys and 98 for the girls.
Lee Corrigan, the president of Corrigan Sports Enterprise, which stages the event, said all possible precautions will be taken to protect the players.
"One of the things we do a pretty nice job of is keeping plenty of water and Gatorade on hand," he said. "We have tents on every field for shade. We're even going to have the water in cups ready for them."
Corrigan added that additional safety measures are being considered, other than having a team of trainers and physicians from Union Memorial Hospital's sports medicine unit to look for sign of heat exhaustion.
"We're kind of playing things by ear, but, if it's too hot, we might shorten games from 15-minute running quarters to 12 (minutes) or 10 (minutes)," he said. "We might have mandatory timeouts halfway through each quarter, too."
The University of Maryland alumnus said that the event has been held in hot weather before, but nothing like what is predicted for the weekend that also includes the Under Armour All-America games on Saturday at Johnny Unitas Stadium, with the South All-Stars taking on the North All-Stars in the girls game at 5 p.m. The boys South All-Stars and North All-Stars will collide at 8 p.m.
"It's been hot before, but not like this," he said. "We've been lucky. We've always dodged the bullet on the thunderstorm front."