Cal football is monitoring the air quality in Berkeley ahead of the Bears' Friday game against Washington State, a university spokesman confirmed with The Mercury News. We are working through a unique situation, and the health and safety of our student-athletes, fans, coaches and all those who work home football games is of utmost concern. "As of the time of this release, we do not anticipate any changes to our scheduled game with Washington State". A sustained Air Quality Index of 200 or more is the threshold for delaying or canceling a competition, and the Berkeley area was at only 155 on Thursday afternoon. At AQIs of over 150, all athletes should be closely monitored.
NCAA regulations on safe playing conditions state teams should "consider removing sensitive athletes from outdoor practice or competition venues at an AQI over 100".
As of Thursday morning, Weather Underground rates the air quality in Berkeley as "unhealthy" at 154 on the air quality index. While prior data doesn't predict the future, over the past few days, the AQI has tended to decline into the evening hours and, on Wednesday, fell into the 80s (moderate level) by 7 p.m.
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The game is scheduled to kickoff at 7:30 p.m., but officials are now monitoring the Air Quality Index (AQI) to make sure it is below 200 before and during the game.
At Pac-12 Men's Basketball Media Day on Thursday, conference commissioner Larry Scott told reporters that the Pac-12 is "consulting with local authorities and looking at contingency plans".
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