The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) announced today that the league has established a new cooling break procedure for all remaining matches in the 2014 NWSL season. The implementation of this new procedure is effective immediately.
The cooling break procedure comes as a precaution to keep players and match officials safe in the event of dangerous climate conditions during matches. Cooling breaks will be considered on a match-by-match basis and implementation of the breaks will be managed solely by the referee.
Climate conditions will be evaluated 60 minutes before kickoff. Upon confirmation by the referee and a representative from each team (coach, medical staff, etc.), cooling breaks are mandated if the heat index reaches 89 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
Cooling breaks last approximately three minutes in length and will be held approximately thirty minutes into each half (around the 30th and 75th minute, respectively). The ball must be out of play in order for the break to commence. Upon signal from the referee, the break will commence for both teams and all match officials. Both teams will go to their respective team areas for the break. The clock will continue to run and all time allotted for the break will be added to stoppage time.
The 2014 NWSL season continues Wednesday night with two matches. The Washington Spirit host FC Kansas City at 7:00 p.m. ET and the Houston Dash host Seattle Reign FC at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN3.