For all after-hours advice about heat-outs and wash-outs please ring the SACA Hotline 1900 950 598.


The SACA Heat Policy applies to players, umpires and club/SACA officials. For conciseness, these are referred to hereafter as 'participants'. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that no participant suffers significant health damage due to participating in hot conditions.

Participating in hot conditions will affect different individuals to different extents and in differing ways. Factors which can influence the effect on different individuals include:

  • The individual’s level of fitness and general health
  • The preparation the individual has undertaken in the lead-up to the match
  • Whether, and how much, the individual has participated in cricket (or other strenuous activities) in the days prior to the day of the match in which he/she is now participating
  • The measures the participant takes to ensure proper re-hydration during and after participating
  • The age of the individual


The responsibility for ensuring the safety of individual participants is primarily the responsibility of Clubs and the individuals themselves. The SACA provides the guidelines in this policy and makes specific directions and provisions in this policy and the Bylaws to ensure Clubs and Participants are aware of their responsibilities and have the opportunity to avoid unnecessary risk to individuals.

The SACA has provisions to cancel play on specific days or vary the starting time and number of overs bowled in any match. Matches will not be cancelled on the basis of the least fit participant or a participant who may have played in another match or matches in the days prior to the match under consideration, to the detriment of the game and the majority of participants. Individuals have a responsibility to withdraw from participating if their particular circumstances (such as those outlined above) place them at an unacceptable level of risk; Clubs also have a responsibility in this regard.

No Person is forced by the SACA to participate in any match.

SACA Responsibilities:

  • Prepare, publish and disseminate this policy, and the Sports Medicine Australia (S.A. Branch) publication “Drink Up.” [© SMA SA Branch 2000] in sufficient quantities for Clubs to provide copies to all players
  • Provide guidelines and directions to Clubs and Participants
  • Cancel matches in any Grade when a combination of conditions leads to an undue risk of heat illness to a significant proportion of participants in that Grade
  • Establish and apply guidelines as to when such cancellations shall be made, and establish a group who shall make such determinations
  • Ensure the Bylaws and playing conditions permit proper health care during matches


Club Responsibilities:

  • Ensure Club, team and match officials are aware of this policy, and their responsibilities under it.
  • Ensure that all Participants are given written copies of this policy and the Sports Medicine Australia (S.A. Branch) publication “Drink Up.” [© SMA SA Branch 2000].
  • Ensure that individuals are aware of their own responsibilities in regard to preparing themselves for playing in hot conditions, and to withdraw if they are at an undue risk due to individual circumstances.
  • Monitor participants and ensure that individuals at particular risk (due, for example, to having played in hot conditions over a number of preceding days, or to having a fitness level lower than most) do not take part in conditions in which they are at undue risk.
  • Place no pressure on any participant to refrain from withdrawing from any match, or day of a match, or part of a day, for health reasons.
  • Ensure participants have every opportunity under the Laws and Bylaws to rehydrate during and after participation


Individual Responsibilities:

  • Read and understand this heat policy and the guidelines in the Sports Medicine Australia (S.A. Branch) publication “Drink Up.” [© SMA SA Branch 2000]
  • Follow the recommendations in “Drink Up.” before, during and after participation
  • In conjunction with your Club, assess your own susceptibility to heat stress, using the factors in the Introduction to this policy
  • Withdraw from participation if you or your Club assesses your risk level to be unacceptable
  • Immediately inform Club officials and/or seek assistance should you start to feel any of the symptoms of heat injury as listed in “Drink Up.”


Guidelines for Umpires:

  • The Bylaws provide for drinks to be taken more than twice per session in excessively hot weather. The number of drinks breaks in a session may be increased, provided only that the periods of play between drinks, or between and interval and drinks, are not less than 35 minutes.
  • As a guide, the weather may be considered to be excessively hot when it is 37°C or higher, or 34°C or higher in Under-age matches (including Ray Sutton Shield matches).
  • The estimated maximum should be used as a guide; however, drinks should not be taken as frequently as these guidelines permit when unnecessary (e.g. the day is cooler than predicted, or a significant breeze is present and/or humidity levels reduce the severity of the conditions).


Heat Policy: (Bylaw Section A, 11). is the empowering Bylaw for this Heat Policy:

A11 Heat Policy
The Grade Cricket Committee shall approve a heat policy to apply in the Competitions under these Bylaws. This heat policy shall include guidelines for the abandonment (under Playing Condition Law 16) of matches, and for conduct and preparation of players during hot conditions. Clubs shall provide to all players such details of this policy as the policy itself shall direct.

Drinks: Law 15.9 of The Laws of Cricket provide for drinks breaks to be taken on the field.
In hot weather, it shall be permissible with the approval of the Umpires for drinks to be taken twice in each session, and in excessively hot weather, drinks breaks may be arranged such that periods of play between intervals (including drinks) are reduced to not less than 35 minutes. In addition, any player(s) whom an Umpire considers is indisposed or unduly affected by the heat shall be permitted to receive a drink between overs or at any other break in play, provided the time taken is minimised, and that the Umpires are entirely satisfied that no time is deliberately wasted.

An individual player may be given a drink either on the boundary edge or at the fall of a wicket, on the field, provided that no playing time is wasted. No other drinks shall be taken onto the field without the permission of the Umpires. Any player taking drinks onto the field shall be dressed in proper cricket attire:

  • The Competitions Coordinator and/or delegate shall have the discretionary power under the SACA Heat Policy to cancel all play in all matches in a Grade or Grades on a particular day when it is anticipated that the weather will be excessively hot. For a scheduled 2-Day match, this may be either the first or the second day.
  • The Competitions Coordinator and/or delegate shall have the discretionary power under the SACA Heat Policy to vary the start time and/or the number of overs to be bowled in any particular match, or all matches in a particular grade. A match may be called off early under the following conditions, at Tea, if a result is already achieved and if both captains agree and there is extreme weather conditions.
  • In making a decision in this regard, the Competitions Coordinator and/or delegate shall refer to the policy guidelines last approved by the Grade Cricket Committee (Bylaw Section A, 11), which may differ between grades and shall consult with the Chairman of the Grade Cricket Committee (or Deputy in the unavailability of the Chairman) and the General Manager Cricket Operations and or/delegate. The Competitions Coordinator and/or delegate may also consult with any persons he/she believes can assist him/her.
  • The Competitions Coordinator and/or delegate may make a decision to cancel play at any time prior to the day of play, or on the day in time to have a message on the SACA’s recorded information service (1900-950-598) by 9 AM on the day of play. Every effort shall also be made to have the decision announced over radio stations.


The effects of the Law and Bylaws are:

  • Under normal circumstances, a drinks break will be scheduled mid-way through each session of play.
  • In hot weather, two drinks breaks may be taken in a session (subject to the 35 minute restriction below).
  • In exceptionally hot weather, drinks breaks may be scheduled as frequently as required subject to the overall minimum period of play between two drinks breaks, or between a drinks break and the start or conclusion of an off-the-field interval, being 35 minutes. Examples: in a session of play of 110 minutes, two drinks break may be scheduled, giving “sub-sessions” of 37 minutes each; in a session of 150 minutes, three drinks breaks could be scheduled giving sub-sessions of 37.5 minutes each. In a session of 3 hours, up to 4 drinks breaks could be scheduled.
  • Exceptionally hot weather is not defined solely in terms of temperature; humidity, air movement, the age of the participants, and other factors, should also be considered. Any player who is indisposed may be permitted such drinks as are necessary.
  • In addition, prevailing customs permit:
    • Players may have a drink on the boundary at any time (subject to normal rules preventing players leaving and returning to the field of play, and preventing foreign objects on the field during play) provided no time is wasted.
    • Individual participants may have a drink on the field at any time when a break in play occurs provided no time is wasted. The permission of the Umpires should be obtained.


Cancellation: Playing Condition Law 16 provides discretionary power to the Competitions Coordinator and/or delegate to cancel play in all matches on a particular day due to excessive heat.

Over Limits per Bowler: Appendix 1 limits the number of overs a fast or medium pace bowler aged under 16 (at September 1st in the current season) may bowl in a day, and without a rest between spells.

Number of Players in Team: Playing Condition 1 provides for the use of 12 players per team in Under Age and Women’s matches, which allows players to be rested and interchanged to assist in management of heat in those Grades.