EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – As the summer heat simmers on, it can take a toll on players and coaches.
As over 200 players participate at the USSSA Great Lake Nationals, organizers aren’t taking any chances with the sun glaring down. Tim Fulton, Director of Sports Facilities, explains it’s a high priority keeping everyone safe.
“It’s always important this time of year, I mean these kids play a lot of softball during the summer. We are having some extreme temperatures right now.”
As the tournament continues, the Deaconess Sports Park offers notable shade spots and has a central concessions stand open to spectators. Fulton adds this is essential as it heat ups.
“We keep (refilling) water in the dugouts every day every couple of innings. Encourage them to stay cool and stay hydrated. We try to provide as much shade for the fans and players as we can. It’s all the little things that go into tournament operations.”
As some coaches noted, a majority of the softball teams are used to playing in hot temperatures. Tom Hughes, one of the local coaches, says there are a couple of ways to stay cool.
“I think the main thing is once we play, we get out of the heat. The facility has plenty of shade, lots of shade for the fans. The dugouts are cool, the bathrooms are air conditioned. If somebody needs to get cooled off, this is probably one of the nicest in the state of Indiana or the Midwest.”
Looking forward, tournament director, Tim Foster, comments that the organization can always try to improve everybody’s experience.
“When we go back to our national convention in November, I think as an organization, we can prepare ourselves a little better, by having some more stuff on hand.”
Games continue this weekend.