Over the coming weekend, Victoria will experience some extreme weather conditions, which could expose players in tournaments, competitions and events (“tennis activity”) to unsafe playing conditions if not managed appropriately.
Playing tennis in extreme heat greatly increase the risk of heat stress and other heat related medical conditions.
In recognition of the risks associated with extreme heat, officials and administrators responsible for organising and managing tennis activity are reminded that they must at all times place the health, safety and welfare of players, officials, coaching staff and guests as their first priority, irrespective of other considerations (inconvenience, cost etc.).
We think it prudent that those responsible for conducting tennis activity be reminded of the Tennis Australia Extreme Weather Policy and the need to conduct site specific environmental assessments.
The current Tennis Australia Extreme Weather Policy outlines the maximum Wet Globe Bulb Temperatures (WGBT) for which tennis should be played, however the policy provides for some discretion for organisers to cease tennis activity prior to these thresholds being met if local conditions warrant.
To this end, Tennis Victoria is advising a “common sense” discretion approach to suspending play (lower than the current Wet Bulb Globe Test (shade) figure of 34, be taken, based upon using the previous Extreme National Weather Policy’s ambient air temperature thresholds of 36 degrees for juniors and 38 degrees for open aged players.
Some associations may have ambient air temperature thresholds lower than those above which within the discretion afforded by local conditions will also be permissible to follow as well.
What else can be done to mitigate the risk?
- Drink water – stay hydrated
- Keep cool – shade and air conditioning as much as possible
- Use sun protection – 30+ sunscreen and wear a hat
- Avoid the sun during the peak – 11am to 5pm
- Provide wet/Ice towels for players
For further information, please refer to the Tennis Australia Extreme Weather Policy.