(WMC) - A referee is recovering after he passed out during a football game Saturday night.
According to officials, players always stay the same age. Only the referees get older which makes the heat harder to adjust to, even when they prepare for it.
The Whitehaven stadium was packed Saturday night. Fans where in the stands fanning themselves, players dehydrating and referees watching; paying attention to the heat.
But the heat proved to be too much for one referee after he went down during the game.
Officials say he appears to have suffered heat exhaustion despite drinking water and taking breaks all day.
"He's one of us, so we're really concerned about his health," said one official. "The main thing they tell us is to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before the game, a day or two before the game. Drink as much water as you possibly can."
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association already has a policy in place to prevent injuries and heat exhaustion.The Fairley vs Hillcrest game was delayed two hours because the heat index was above 104 degrees. But sometimes, that isn't enough.
"That turf just brings the heat from the ground on up to you," noted one referee.
In the meantime, officials have one game down and two more to go as they continue to monitor the temperatures, the game and the players.