National Women's Soccer League

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.

  1. Gina West 7 years ago

    I agree it is a great and essential idea for the player’s health.
    I think the timing of the breaks are better in the Nadeshiko league rather than on the half hour. I can’t remember the match (or tournament) I was watching but I remember they gave the girls a water break in the 40th minute, just 5 minutes before the end of the first half!

    Maybe there should be a rule that the coaches stay on the bench and the other staff meet the teams a little bit on the pitch to give them their drink break to try to limit any team tactics during this break?

  2. Ken Suzuki 7 years ago

    Same procedure was introduced to the Nadeshiko League this year. Called “watering time” here. The procedure is almost same but the break begins at the half of each half (22′ and 67′) instead of after thirty minutes.

    A great idea for the health of players, but the procedure must be regulated clearly and implemented strictly. Unfortunately some coaches use the break to give detailed instruction rather than having players rest and drink water. In the most recent Kobe vs. Iga match, TV commentators pointed out INAC often improves its performance distinctly after this break.

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