BLUE BOOK APPENDIX E - NSJCA Hot Weather Policy
Children are at greater risk of developing heat illness, than adults. All Umpires, Coaches and Managers are required to monitor all players for heat illness. If any signs of heat illness are detected those players must be immediately removed from play and cooled. Severe cases should be treated as a medical emergency (delirium, seizures, coma). Different players are likely to have different thresholds of susceptibility.
Wicket-keepers, batters, and fast bowlers are especially subject to heat stress due to the intense exercise and/or padding and helmets. Umpires, Coaches and Managers should pay special attention to these players.
Managers and Coaches should positively ensure that all players drink sufficient fluids before, during and after the match.
The NSJCA recommends the use of light-coloured long sleeved shirts and white broad-brimmed hats (in preference to caps).
Cancellation and Modification of Games
In line with Sports Medicine Australia guidelines games should be cancelled, deferred or modified during very hot weather.
When the air temperature is above 36 degrees Celsius the NSJCA requires the game be cancelled.
When the air temperature is above 34 degrees Celsius the umpires can declare the conditions are unsuitable for play and can call the game off (or modify the game to provide more and longer drinks breaks). The umpires are solely responsible for the decision to cancel, or modify, the game.
Below that temperature the level of humidity, amount of sunshine, wind and general feel of the ground should be assessed. High humidity, intense sunlight and still air may increase the risk of heat illness enough to require the game to be modified. If local conditions would place players or umpires at risk, the game should be modified, or cancelled if absolutely necessary. This is especially the case with younger age groups.
For the purposes of determining the air temperature, measurements should be taken in the shade at a height of 1.2m above the ground. Car temperature gauges are not reliable and should not be used for this purpose.
At all times the safety of the players and officials is the prime concern of the coaches and, especially, the umpires. Should the umpires decide that it is unsafe to play, the game should be cancelled or adjusted to allow more, and longer, breaks.
Under this policy it is acceptable for teams to agree to play shorter games to allow for increased number of drinks breaks. Drinks breaks can be extended and players should be allowed to leave the field for shade.
It is not acceptable for this Hot Weather Policy to be used by one team to gain an unfair advantage over another. The NSJCA management committee can intervene and reverse or modify the result of a game should a complaint about unfair and inappropriate use of this Hot Weather Policy be upheld. Where one team refuses to take to the field due to hot weather, both teams should record details of estimated temperature, humidity, wind, time and date of match and any other pertinent details and refer the match to their club delegates for referral to the management committee. The NSJCA Management Committee's decision, after appropriate consideration of the details will be final.
2. Recognising Heat Illness
The following is not an exhaustive list and should not be considered medical advice; these are some of the signs that a player may be suffering from heat illness:
- high heart rate
- loss of endurance/skill
- pale colour
A player with dry skin, confusion and collapse may be suffering from heat exhaustion - which is a potentially fatal condition and a medical emergency.