New heat rules

SIGNIFICANT changes have been made to the Northern District Cricket Association's heat policy in an effort to protect its players.

The threshold temperature which triggers all games being called off will drop from 43 degrees to 41 degrees when the 2017/18 season begins on October 14.

Clubs were in favour of the move, which would bring the association closer to similar policies implemented by the Northern District Bowls Division, which sees start times moved to 9.30am if the forecast temperature is 40 degrees or above, and the Northern District Lawn Tennis Association's stance to call games off if the temperature at 11am is 36 degrees or higher. 

"Some people may think the figure being over 40 degrees is still a bit too harsh, but if we changed the policy to make the cut-off temperature in the 30s, we would have lost too much cricket in the season," association secretary, John Arthur said.

As part of the guidelines, if the Bureau of Meteorology's forecast temperature for the area is to be either on or above the threshold when its Saturday maximum is released on Friday afternoon, the association makes the call to abandon all matches. 

No matches were affected by the heat policy last season, with December 2015 being the last time a round of matches was called off due to conditions being too hot for play.

Meanwhile, the association is also working on altering its heat policy for junior matches, with the preferred option involving the abandonment of play when the temperature reaches a threshold during play.

"The temperature may be forecast to reach 43 degrees, but on some occasions the temperature is around 28 degrees when junior matches would start," Arthur said.

"All clubs have people with smart phones, and we use the one site (Bureau of Meteorology) to access temperature information.

"Teams can use their phones to look up the temperature, and when the temperature reaches the mark, then games will stop. It's a better system than determining the night before."

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