Heat forces some park closures, youth sports decisions

A lot of local youth sports are just getting started and hitting the pause button at the same time because of the stifling heat.

But high temperatures and humidity aren’t stopping everything outdoors.

They’re not letting the heat stop the weekly 

Midweek Music and Market in Bloomington, but coaches and parks officials around the Metro have had to make some tough decisions Wednesday.

Two feet of water and a little shade was all you needed to beat the heat at Van Cleve Park in Minneapolis.

Parents and grandparents filled the pool with kids as an alternative to homes without air conditioning.

"I thought this was the best way to keep her cool," said Janet, who brought her 6-year-old granddaughter.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board shut down all 20 of its rec centers without air conditioning Wednesday and cancelled indoor activities at those locations.

Pools, splash pads, and beaches all stayed open.

"We want people to be safe and we want to make sure that people have access to, you know, cool off when need be," said Larry Umphrey, director of recreation services at the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board.

Across the Metro, a lot of youth sports are taking the day off or moving inside like Bloomington’s Jefferson High football did.

Plymouth Parks and Rec is letting coaches decide.

Minneapolis typically won’t allow outdoor youth sports when the heat index hits 105, so parks and rec called off Wednesday’s outdoor programs, movies, and concerts with the exceptions of golf and adult sports.

"Missing a day or two of practice is you know a much easier call you know than puttering kids out there in the heat," Umphrey said.

A little two-on-two — even on a shaded basketball court — served as a demonstration of the potential dangers.

"It’s hot, scorching hot," said Jamal Moaliadan. "(We) sweat a lot (and) get tired pretty quickly."