Safety protocols followed during Southwest practice before player’s death, Bibb County district says

Article and photos courtesy of the Macon Telegraph –> Original Article Here

High School Sports

The Bibb County School District conducted a review of all outdoor activity protocols following the death of a Southwest football player who collapsed at practice on Monday.

The school district released their findings earlier this week from the review after Joshua Ivory Jr. collapsed at practice, was rushed to a local hospital and died late Monday night.

During that review, district officials said they reviewed all procedures before, during and following the incident. Bibb County Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones said the school took extra precautions beyond those required by Georgia High School Association’s (GHSA) standards for outdoor practices.

“Losing a student is never easy, no matter the circumstances. That’s why it was important for us to pause all athletic and band practices (on Tuesday) in order to conduct a review of our protocols and procedures,” Jones said. “Moving forward, the District will continue to put the health and safety of students at the forefront of our core operations, and this includes supporting Southwest as students and staff grieve this unimaginable loss.”

Heat and humidity rules during practice

The GHSA regulates athletics for more than 450 public and private high schools in the Peach State.

According to the GHSA’s 2021-22 “Constitution and By-Laws,” both practices and voluntary conditioning workouts have to include rest breaks. Practice duration, whether players can practice in pads and what workouts players are doing are also supposed to change, based on the heat and humidity.

Schools are supposed to measure what’s called the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT), which, according to the National Weather Service, measures “heat stress in direct sunlight” and takes into account temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle and cloud cover.

If the WBGT reaches 87, practices should be limited to two hours, “players are restricted to helmet, shoulder pads, and shorts during practice, and all protective equipment must be removed during conditioning activities,” according to the GHSA rules. Four separate breaks have to be provided.

At 90, practice can only last one hour and if the WBGT reaches 92, no outdoor workouts are allowed.

$2 for 2 months

Subscribe for unlimited access to our website, app, eEdition and more


According to Bibb County schools, all GHSA heat and humidity rules were followed during practice. The Telegraph has filed an open records request for the WBGT readings from Monday’s practice.

This upcoming Monday is the first day of classes for Bibb County schools.

Justin Baxley is the fan life reporter at The Telegraph and writes stories centered around entertainment, food and sports in the Macon community. Justin joined the Telegraph staff after graduating from Mercer University in May 2017 with a degree in criminal justice and journalism. During his time at Mercer he served as the sports editor for The Cluster.

No Replies to "Safety protocols followed during Southwest practice before player’s death, Bibb County district says"

    Got something to say?