SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Before Friday Night Football kicks off, decisions have to be made. 

With the heat roasting the Ozarks, one temperature reading will dictate when games begin, if at all. 

Meet the Wet Bulb Temperature Reading. 

“The wet bulb globe temperature is measured through a handheld device and there’s equations that kind of go into it as well,” Mike Lane, Sports Medicine Outreach Manager with Mercy Springfield said. “It takes into effect ambient temperature, wind speed, cloud cover, the angle of the sun, and it’s all done in direct sun versus heat index is taken in the shade.”

Mercy Springfield is a partner with several schools in the Ozarks, working with schools to ensure the safety of athletes. 

However, if the results of a Wet Bulb reading are too high, it could impact start times, again. 

“We don’t have to have every game in on a Friday night,” Joshua Scott, Director of Athletics and Activities with Springfield Public Schools. “If it was still above 90 wet ball reading, we won’t play.” 

“If it gives about 92, we’d shut down, we wouldn’t continue the game,” Colt Blair, Director of Athletics and Activities with Willard Schools. “There’d have to be a postponement or we wouldn’t start the game on time, whatever time that might happen.”

Football isn’t the only sport being impacted by the heat this week. 

“We were supposed to have a soccer jamboree Monday evening,” Blair said. “We ended up canceling our jamboree.”

School districts and athletic trainers are taking extra precautions for players and fans. 

“On the sideline, we will have those increased water breaks,” Lane said. “There will also be available water with a dunk tank. So if we have to immerse the kid, we have that on our sideline. So we needed to they’re exerting or they’re showing signs of exhaustion, heat stroke, we have the ability to cool them down immediately, rapidly.”

“We originally had a community tailgate set for tonight, but we’ve moved that back two weeks just so that it can be an enjoyable, enjoyable experience,” Blair said. “We don’t want people sitting out in the sun for a long period of time with as hot as it’s been.”