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Topend Sports Newsletter: 28 Jan 2015

Sports Science News Alert #012

Bringing you the latest news in sport, science, fitness and nutrition

Weather Edition

Welcome to the second sport science alert newsletter for 2015 from Topend Sports, the ultimate online sport and science resource. While currently living in hot and humid Indonesia, I have become acutely aware of the differences in weather around the world. Recently, I sat in the scorching sun watching my daughter's end of year school assembly while she was singing about a white Christmas! Then back at my desk under a fan reading about the issues of frozen footballs in the USA, at the same time as tennis players sweltering on centre court at the Australian Open.

The environment can have a significant impact on athletic performance, and at this time of year there are extremes at both ends of the spectrum, and as coaches, sport scientists and fitness trainers we need to be aware of the impact that it can have on athletes.

 


In the News


American Footballs: There was a big controversy this week in the US about under-inflated footballs. The NFL found that 11 of the Patriots' 12 game balls were inflated significantly below the NFL's requirements. The club is being accused of ball tampering, though a sports physicist has chimed into the discussion saying that temperature may have caused the deflation. Temperature can affect more than just the football pressure. Football players have a long history of competing in harsh winter weather, and such conditions can have a range of effects on the players, such as reducing core body temperature, reaction time and grip strength. These issues are discussed in our feature video below.

 


On Topend Sports


 

Measuring Heat: WBGT


Measuring Heat Stress
The Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) is a composite temperature used to estimate the effect of temperature, humidity, and solar radiation on humans.

The WBGT is measured by a simple 3-temperature element device (you can buy one on Amazon)
  1. The natural wet-bulb temperature (Tw), which consists of a thermometer with its bulb covered with a wettened cotton wick
  2. The black globe temperature (Tg), which usually consists of black globe with a thermometer located at the center.
  3. The (shade) air temperature (Ta), which consists of a thermometer shielded from radiation
Using the results from these three elements, you can determine WBGT using this formula:

WBGT = (0.7 × Tw) + (0.2 × Tg) + (0.1 × Ta)

Video: Cold Weather & Football


A video from ESPN discussing the effects of cold weather conditions on American football players and the ball itself.

 


More Sport Science News


 

That's all for this week. Thanks for reading. If you are exercising this month, be cautious and be aware of how the current conditions may effect your body and your performance.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for the content of future newsletters, please let me know. If you are new to this newsletter, you might want to browse the archive of past newsletters. Use the links below to contact me on my website, via email or on social media. See you next time.

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