Extreme weather policy
In the event of very high temperatures, the following points should be considered:
- Discuss strategies to reduce heat effect on players with the opposition coach (or, for seniors, with the umpire and team captain). Do this as early as possible, depending on any advance warning available. Dialogue is important. The safety of players is paramount.
- Commencing or continuing a match during excessive temperatures should be viewed in a similar manner to rain affected matches. The team coaches and captains should discuss the conditions under which play would take place.
- Increase the number and length of drink breaks.
- Enforce Sun Smart protocols of wearing a hat, applying sunscreen on a regular basis, wearing sunglasses and drinking plenty of fluids.
- Have ice packs available for general application and for use in the event of heat stress.
- Have water sprayers available to keep the players cool – the umpires could have one each and apply to players as deemed necessary.
- Have plenty of iced water available for the players. Some sports drinks can be beneficial.
- All breaks in play should be taken in the shade. This could be provided by way of tents or umbrellas and so on if none is naturally available at the ground.
- Enforce shorter run-ups for bowlers.
- Everyone should be watching for signs of heat exhaustion (parents and spectators can form a useful role here). The umpires have a duty of care to observe the players and allow them to leave the field if it is felt that they are at risk. The square leg umpire will have a special role in being attentive to the welfare of players.
- Players not walking in or moving much in the field, sitting down, moving slowly or in an uncoordinated way, vocal players becoming quiet, hands in pockets, complaints of headaches, flushed skin, confusion, even aggression, delirium and convulsion are all warning signs. (Body temperature of 39°C to 41°C indicates heat stress.)
- If heat exhaustion occurs, get the player off the field into the shade. Allow the player to have plenty of room - do not crowd around the player. Loosen all clothing and apply ice or cold water to the back of the neck or the head. Give the player a cool drink if they are conscious. If they do not respond immediately call for medical assistance. Assess the risk of other cases occurring.
In the event of a storm, the following points should be considered:
- Umpires should monitor the weather at all times. If a storm is approaching, umpires should stop play to allow enough time for all players and spectators to get to safety.
- Players and spectators should only take shelter in man-made structures. If a ground does not have any man-made shelters, then play should be abandoned to allow enough time for all players and spectators to get to safety.
Remember, safety first, play second.