THE Northern District Cricket Association's decision to implement its new heat policy for the first time at the weekend has added another element to the battle for finals positions in both grades.
The association enacted its heat policy on Friday afternoon after the Bureau of Meteorology forecast a maximum temperature of 44 degrees for Kerang - three degrees higher than the new standard implemented last September.
As a result of the first cancellation of games for heat-related concerns since December 2015, all teams that were to play will receive three points.
The result benefits the likes of A Grade teams Wandella and Cohuna United, who are battling for the double chance going into March 3's semi-finals.
United holds a less than one point advantage over the Bombers, with the teams - who were to play at the weekend - to next meet on February 10 at Cohuna.
The result also officially ended Barham/Koondrook's finals chances, with the team 26 points outside the top four with five games to play in the next seven rounds.
In B Grade, the cancellation of matches means less than six points separates competition leaders, Nondies and third-placed Wandella, with the competition's top four sides to all play each other once before the finals begin.
The decision also keeps Cohuna United in contention for fourth spot on the ladder, but the team faces a tough run of games following next weekend's bye.
The team will play the association's top three sides - which also includes Barham/Koondrook - between January 20 and February 3, and must keep winning to have any chance of dislodging Leitchville/Gunbower from fourth spot on the ladder.