These procedures have been issued by the ECA Executive to ensure the safety of all players, umpires and officials. Should the procedures be implemented, notification shall be via the ECA Website, email and ECA Social Media network. The ECA Executive may cancel some or all matches regardless of the forecast, actual or ambient temperature.
Forecast temperature in these procedures is the Melbourne Forecast maximum temperature on the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) website: www.bom.gov.au (Victoria/Forecasts/Melbourne Forecast).
Actual temperature in these procedures is the “Current Location” temperature on the BOM Weather app.
C. Seniors (Turf, Synthetic, LOC)
If at 7.00am on any scheduled day of play the forecast temperature is 40°C or above then all scheduled matches in all grades will be cancelled.
If at 9.00am on any scheduled day of play the forecast temperature is 37°C or above then all scheduled matches in all grades will be cancelled.
E. T20 (Seniors afternoon/evening matches)
If at 7.00am on any scheduled day of play the forecast temperature is 40°C or above then all scheduled matches will be cancelled.
F. What happens if matches have not been cancelled (Turf, Synthetic, LOC, T20, Veterans)
If matches in all grades (turf, synthetic, LOC, T20, and Veterans), have not been cancelled and it appears to the umpires (or in their absence the captains) that the current temperature is 38°C or above, they are expected to monitor the temperature at the start of play and each break in play (Start of play, Drinks break, tea break, change of innings etc).
Start of play: Play must not start if the actual temperature is 38°C or above. Play can only start if the temperature falls below 38°C. If the temperature does not fall below 38°C within 60 minutes of the start of play then no play will occur on that day.
Play has commenced: If play has commenced, play will be suspended immediately if the actual temperature is 38°C or above. Play can only re-commence if the temperature falls below 38°C. If the temperature does not fall below 38°C within 60 minutes of commencement of the interruption then no further play will occur on that day.
H. All matches
If an interruption to play due to heat (start of play and/or after match has commenced) occurs it is the responsibility of the captains to check the temperature every 15 minutes from the start of the interruption.
The time of interruptions to play due to heat and temperature readings must be recorded by the umpires or captains (if no umpires appointed). Any interruptions to play shall be treated like any other interruption to play re: loss of overs, end of play etc.
Notwithstanding the above, umpires (or in their absence the captains) have the power to abandon or suspend play at any time at their discretion. No person (players or umpires) is forced by the ECA to participate in any match and Clubs shall place no pressure on any participant if he/she considers withdrawing from any part of a match for health reasons.
ECA Rules provide guidance for the management of conditions during ECA matches. While these rules are generally considered to relate to the fitness of the ground, weather and light for play to continue, it equally applies to extremes of conditions such as heat, cold, wind and lightning which may make continuation of play dangerous. The ECA Rules charges the umpires (or in their absence the captains) with the responsibility to manage conditions and as such they are the final arbiters as to the fitness of conditions to allow play to continue.
When a period of extreme temperature is forecast, the following issues need to be considered by all participants when dealing with the heat:
- The conditions at each venue are to be assessed on a case by case basis (available cold water, shelter and shade);
- Umpires and clubs are encouraged to arrange extra drinks breaks (every 4-5 overs if necessary) and unrestricted drinks around the boundary for bowlers and at the fall of a wicket for fielders to assist with hydration; and
- Clubs should be aware of the symptoms of heat stress and the appropriate ways of overcoming and or treating the effects of heat stress.
Umpires (or in their absence the captains) are required to do all within their power to facilitate play without compromising their responsibility in respect of “duty of care”. They are therefore required to balance all the factors and make a decision whether the conditions are fit for play and, if not satisfied that they are safe, suspend play until such time as they are. Any such decision by Umpires and captains in relation to extremes of temperature would be absolutely supported should it occur.
The ECA Executive will take action against umpires and captains that allow or insist on continuing play in circumstances that breach this policy and put the safety and wellbeing of players (and umpires) at risk.
ECA Executive October 2023