The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a system developed by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help the public determine if air quality levels in a specific location are good, moderate, unhealthy or hazardous. The AQI describes the general health effects associated with different pollution levels, as well as whatever precautionary steps may need to be taken if air pollution levels rise into the unhealthful range.
As much as we want to be on the field, and I know players are excited and wanting to play, we still have to make sure our decisions are based on health and doing the right thing, and not making emotional decisions.
The process in coming to make the decision is from monitoring air quality through the PurpleAir website, where recordings are on an 8 minute average loop, so we are able to get real time recordings. We also take guidance from NFHS (https://www.nfhs.org/) where anything over 100 is considered unhealthy for athletes to be participating in sporting events, such as practice.
Children are a sensitive population to poor air quality. An excellent resource for understanding the particulate matter, the short and long term affects of poor air quality, and who is at risk, can be found at the following link – https://www.sparetheair.org/
When reading the recordings of the local monitors to make a decision on whether the air is suitable for youth ports participation, it is important that we understand the severity of the different readings and how this can affect everyone involved. The following link will take you to an explanation of the different categories based on the AQI reading – http://californiasmokeinfo.blogspot.com/p/current-air-quality.html