Guest post: The importance of shade at events

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The following is a guest post by Ben Vaughn.

Shade tent
Photo by Ken Lund. CC-BY-SA 2.0

If you've ever suffered through sweltering heat at a midday baseball game, you know the importance of shade at outdoor sporting events. Shady areas can not only serve as a comfortable reprieve from the heat, they can also help prevent heat stroke during sporting events. Many open air arenas, such as baseball stadiums lack a lot of cover from the sun and can heat up very quickly during the summer months. Like any other occasion where you are spending long hours in the sun, you should take reasonable precautions against becoming overheated at sporting events. Drinking plenty of fluids and getting out of the direct sun from time to time is advisable. This may be easier to do at certain kinds of sporting events over others. Baseball games, for example, are quite long and offer plenty of opportunity to leave your seat and find some shade.

Game breaks

A good way to prevent overheating is to utilize breaks in the game to refresh yourself and seek some shade. Many outdoor sporting events feature vendor tents where you can cool off. The key is to take advantage of the shade as much as possible. Many outdoor professional sporting events are held in arenas that offer partial covering in certain sections. Other sections, however, are totally exposed and in these areas it is especially important to take measures to keep yourself cool. Basic things like wearing hats and bringing sufficient water to stay hydrated will help make the sun more tolerable. If you’re unfortunate enough to be stuck in the sun drenched outfield section during a game, take plenty of breaks out of the stands to cool down.

Why it's important

The risk of heat stroke is very real at outdoor sporting events during the hottest parts of the day. Many people forget that, though they are sedentary, they can still succumb to heat exhaustion just by sitting in the direct sun for hours on end. There is no reason to sacrifice your health to catch a few extra plays during a game. If the heat is getting to be too much, get up and find some shade. The concessions area in all sporting arenas is usually both inside the stadium and outdoors beneath event tents. Often there are broadcast screens airing the game from inside the stadium so you can still keep up on the progress of the game from the comfort of the shade.

Outdoor sporting events of any kind can be agonizing if you’re stuck in the sweltering sun. Besides the difficulty in focusing on the game below, you are slowly overheating the longer you remain in the sun. Whether it is a soccer game, a baseball match, or a cricket tournament, take basic precautions when attending a sporting event during the hottest times of the day. Wearing sunscreen, hats, bringing an umbrella, drinking plenty of water, and taking the occasional break to find some shade are the best things you can do to prevent heat exhaustion and enjoy the game. In general, most professional outdoor sports arenas have good cover from the sun. If possible, try to buy seats in a section that is partially covered if you plan on attending an afternoon game.

Finding shade during sporting events shouldn't be hard — whether natural or man-made. There are always plenty of trees, awnings, and event tents around a sports arena where you can take refuge from the sun. Making it a priority to do so is important to help avoid heat stroke and dehydration. Plus it’s just another excuse to get up and get another drink.

Ben Vaughn writes on the importance of shade at sporting events, throwing a great grad party, and summer wedding trends for All Out Tent.

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