I would like to take an opportunity to address concerns about the PCYFL (Pulaski County Youth Football League) playing games Saturday as posed by Karen Jones in a letter to the editor dated 9/6/2011. As a board, we appreciate the concerns of parents, grandparents, and all concerned parties in the local community as a whole. The health and well being of the children of the PCYFL are first on our minds. That said, it was frustrating to read Ms. Jones’ comments. She was misinformed and incorrect throughout her rant, though her concerns are valid at their base as she is looking out for the kids.
There was a league official with a school approved-thermometer/heat index reader at our field checking and documenting the temperature and heat index every thirty minutes Saturday. Monitoring started early Saturday morning and continued throughout the day until the end of the last game. For that matter, there are league officials present every minute of every day we have any event. If Ms. Jones had looked around or known who she was looking for, she’d have either seen a board representative from one of our eight schools or a member of the executive board. Both were represented all day. On top of monitoring on site, phone calls were also made by league officials throughout the day to our local airport to double check what their heat index readings were in comparison to ours at the field.
According to our readings and those of the local airport, the heat index never reached above 97 degrees on our two fields at Southern Middle and Southern Elementary. According to the guidelines of the KHSAA (Kentucky High School Athletic Association) that the Pulaski County School System follows, the heat index range of 100-104 is where coaches and officials need to alter practice and game activities by removing gear and adding additional water breaks among other possible steps. We never reached that point. I am not an expert on the heat index, so the board and I must rely on the written recommendation of trained officials and follow their prescribed steps on a day where the heat is a factor. We followed those steps to the letter.
I have never turned my ear away from anyone who has contacted me since I took the presidency of this league, nor has my vice president. We run a league that is here to introduce the youth in our community to the wonderful game of football. We are not perfect, but we certainly would never put the health of the children behind getting games played as was insinuated by Ms. Jones. Thank you for your consideration and support.