Sunguarding – British American Football

Sun protection guidelines for those participating, spectating, or working in sport or outdoor recreation. The following specific tips and advice have been developed with the help of the British American Football Association.

British American Football

  1. Apply a broad-spectrum product with an SPF of 30 or higher, paying special attention to your ears and nose which are prone to burning.
  2. Get into the habit of applying a non-greasy sunscreen product before you start practice or a game.
  3. Once applied to the skin, reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, or more often if you are prone to excessive sweating or simply training hard.
  4. Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs. Arm sleeves are a good alternative for those that might find layering up with a long-sleeved t-shirt or base layer under the jersey too hot.
  5. Using a sunscreen applicator or cleaning palms with a small towel and alcohol gel, is a good way to avoid fumbling the ball or a flag sliding out of your grip due to a greasy grip.
  6. Wearing football gloves not only helps improve traction and catching ability, but also keeps hands protected from the sun.
  7. Due to the protective equipment worn during contact American football, players are highly susceptible to overheating. To avoid this, rest if too hot and keep a bottle of water on hand to remain fully hydrated in between plays.
  8. The sun is strongest between 11am and 3pm so, if possible, try to play outside of these hours on clear, sunny days. This will probably be quite hard as we have mandated playing times and a lot of clubs don’t get much say on time slots for practice.
  9. Whilst spectating or waiting for play do so in a shaded area out of direct sunlight, ideally wearing a cap or wide-brimmed hat.
  10. For venues without shade, consider erecting a tent or gazebo which will also provide a cool place to take players who overheat.

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