Cricket guidelines for smoke-affected environments

January 14, 2020
Category: News,
Cricket guidelines for smoke-affected environments

With the onset of bushfire smoke having the potential to impact matches, grounds, and posing a health risk to players and officials, the following information can help your association or club with managing the risks associated with air quality, smoke and exercise.

Noting how quickly weather conditions can change and smoke pollution can become significantly worse or significantly improve in the space of hours, the decision to play or train should ideally be considered in the same way as other weather events (rain, poor light) and be made on the day.  However, this needs to be balanced against the health risks, potential inconsistent application of approach where there are no official umpires, and in many cases the lack of a “real time” measure of air quality.  This may require competition organisers to implement a blanket cancellation of matches prior to game day.

It is recommended that competition administrators advise all players and officials of the heightened risk to health when participating in smoke-polluted conditions. Those exercising are particularly at risk because of the increase in air entering the airways and triggering respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.

The following considerations should be taken into account when deciding to play or train when air quality is a potential issue.

General air quality at the ground / training facility

  • If any of the air quality measures are over 150, we advise serious consideration be given to suspending play/training. Noting that ‘real time’ (PM2.5/NEPH/Visibility measure) may not be available in that specific state, the 12-hour rolling average measure should be considered along with the other points below (acknowledging that the 12-hour rolling average may over or underestimate the actual air quality at the time of judgement). Air quality measures for Victoria can be found via the link Air quality measures for Victoria can be found via the link here.


  • Where visibility is poor, air quality will be poor.
  • Assessment of visibility will be similar to bad light considerations.

Player feedback

  • Match officials / coaches / captains should monitor players and officials for signs of feeling unwell and seek regular feedback.
  • Those with known respiratory conditions are coping and have the support they need including medications

You can also read up on Cricket Australia’s Smoke Pollution Guidelines for Community Cricket.

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