At least three umpires suffered heat-related illnesses while working at the state softball tournament Monday afternoon. The temperature reached 95-degrees in Fort Dodge with a heat index near 120. One of the umpires impacted by the heat was Cary Griffiths of Nashua. He says without much of a breeze, it’s tough to stay cool out on the diamond.
Griffiths worked the plate in the first game and got through alright. He was in the fifth inning of the second game when he said lights started spinning in front of his head, “It was goofy.”
Griffiths says umpires and players who were overheated were able to take shelter inside a cooler spot. He says there’s a tent with air conditioners and athletic trainers with ice and water, but he says there was no way to get cooled off.
Griffiths says he can’t remember the weather quite being like this at the state softball tournament. He says there have been some hot days in the past, and he was younger then too.
None of the three umpires impacted by the heat were taken to the hospital and were being treated at the Rogers Sports Complex. The umpires worked back-to-back games, with Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union officials saying afterwards that umpires will never again work consecutive games.
By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City