Wet Weather Game Day Guidelines for Coaches

Wet Weather Game Day Guidelines for Coaches
NDCA Guidelines - Wet Weather Situations Junior Competition
Few cricket situations are so complex for junior coaches to administer as wet weather when one side wants to play, the other does not, and there is
no official umpire. The vagaries of the weather, pitch, outlook, square, run-ups, and covers are infinitely variable.
It is not possible to codify every time when you play and when you do not, although there is one absolute - if there is thunder and lightning within
30 seconds of each other, play MUST stop immediately (see NDCA playing condition 1.2) and everyone is to leave the field. No one should return
to the field for 30 minutes after last incident, including any incident prior to the start of the game
Player safety is paramount. Coaches must use common sense and not let the state of the game interfere with their reasoning. Any attempt by
teams/coaches to manipulate a game/result by over playing the conditions will not be tolerated by the Executive and any team guilty of this
offence may be fined or lose points (see NDCA playing condition 1.2 ). Coaches cannot say let’s call it a draw and then play for fun. If the
ground is playable, then you play for points.
The NDCA Wet Weather Committee determines if grounds should be closed for cricket. If it has been wet/raining all week, the Wet Weather
committee may cancel all weekend games on Friday and post an announcement on the NDCA/NDJCA websites.
If the Wet Weather Committee decides that grounds are open on Friday afternoon, but there is bad weather between Friday afternoon and Saturday
morning, the wet weather committee will make the determination to close grounds FOR JUNIORS by 7:30am Saturday morning, depending on the
amount and timing of the rain. Once the decision is made the NDCA Secretary will ensure that a notice is placed on the websites and all club
secretaries are emailed/contacted.
If the wet weather committee does not call off a match then it is left to the discretion of the coaches (or umpires if appointed) to determine whether
play is possible at each venue.
Play should not commence if there is a clear and present risk of injury beyond the usual risks of playing cricket. For the purposes of these
guidelines, the main concern is a player slipping, particularly the bowler taking off or landing in his delivery stride (but for instance broken glass
or pot holes in the outfield are similar hazards).
Law 3.9 of the Laws of Cricket provides other criteria to be applied. This Law states in part that we must consider whether “the ground is so wet
or slippery as to deprive the bowler of a reasonable foothold, the fielders of the power of free movement, or the batsmen of the ability to play their
strokes or to run between the wickets.” In other words, is it safe and can the players perform all the components of the game?
Every effort should be made to get the game started on time, or to resume at the earliest possible opportunity. Blowers, ropes, rakes and brooms
should be used to help dry the pitch and surrounds. Particular importance is to be given to bowler safety (especially if it is wet at the delivery
stride area and cause slipping). If there is a pot hole in the outfield, try to get it filled before start of play.
The best drying is sun, wind and time. Get as much information as you can from the locals about the way the ground typically behaves in the
prevailing weather conditions.
To dry a wet wicket
You may use sawdust or clippings on the bowler’s run up .
You can get a broom and sweep the water off the pitch.
You may use dry newspaper to mop up surface dampness.
To dry a wet square or surrounds
You may use sawdust or clippings to dry bowlers run ups. However be aware that this can make the bowler’s boots more slippery when they land
on the popping crease
To Dry a wet outfield
In general standing water in the outfield will drain naturally quite quickly.
Pools of water can be swept. However, if those pools refill quickly, there may be a deeper problem of saturated soil.
If the players are slipping and sliding then it is too dangerous to play. Puddles and mud can be dangerous. The teams should wait for the ground to
dry out before starting play and all efforts can be made to dry the ground. Coaches should REGULARLY get together to determine if the ground
is ready for play (there should be no “let’s review in one hour” – the ground is either ready for play or it isn’t).
If in doubt, a few players can do practice run ups and if there is no slipping then play may be able to start or continue. However if players do start
slipping then the game should stop (any instance of players slipping on purpose if they are the team in the weaker position to try and influence a
stoppage of play will not be tolerated)
Bear in mind even when it’s dry some players slip, that on some grounds bowling run ups are hazardous (especially where the grass meets the end
of the astroturf) and some grounds are very difficult to field on even when dry.
Scenarios (for guidance, this is not an exhaustive list !)
Bowling from one end only. If only one end is deemed unsuitable for bowling, then we encourage bowling from one end to complete the game.
This can occur at any stage in the game as it should not cause any great impact on the game as there are very few of our playing fields that have
major imbalances of long boundaries on one side and short boundaries on the other (and in the very rare circumstance that this occurs, both teams
should come to a sensible arrangement for re-setting the boundaries)
Bowlers run ups. If the pitch is wet it is easy to agree that it becomes dangerous for the bowler at the delivery stride. However if the pitch is dry,
but bowlers cannot run up properly, the bowling side should decide if they wish to play with restricted run-ins or shorter run ups to try and
minimise the chance of slipping. The batting team cannot deny the game being played. However, if players are slipping & sliding everywhere even
off short run ups then that is not safe and play cannot be allowed to continue
Dampness /mud around the square. Mud and puddles can be quite dangerous especially in the inner ring and so before play starts players can
be asked to jog around that area and if the coaches feel it’s too slippery then play should not start. Note that the conditions would need to be
worse that a “dewy” surface, which is a common occurrence
Boundary markers. Markers should be adjusted within reason to avoid a muddy section. For example if a couple of the areas near the
boundary are muddy or wet - then the boundaries can be brought in (within reason eg up to 10 metres in certain areas) to avoid those problems.
Changing the Ball. Should the ball become wet, then every effort must be made to dry the ball. If it cannot be dried and becomes unusable, you
can change the ball for one of similar wear.
If coaches still cannot agree on whether to play or not , then NDCA junior playing condition 1.2 is relevant.
"If matches which have not been called off but a condition of the weather, pitch or ground, causes a difference of opinion whether a match will
proceed or not and agreement cannot be reached between the two teams, then the state of affairs existing at the time of the question arising shall
continue, provided always that common sense prevails and due consideration has been given to the possibility of injury to players or damage to
Association equipment or grounds. If there is any dispute, the game should not start or must continue if already commenced. Any protests
regarding delayed starts shall be reported in accordance with Rule 2.4. Regardless of conditions at other grounds, the results of played matches
shall stand subject to the outcome of any protests."
Coaches should take photos of the conditions at the ground to support any subsequent protests.
A) Are Conditions Suitable for Play?
Assessing Whether A Pitch Is Suitable For Play
This is a static assessment – ie the pitch right now is either suitable for play or it is not, regardless of the weather or any other moment by moment
What to look for
Dampness on the wicket.
1) Overall and roughly even
dampness in and close to the
‘danger area’** As defined in the
Is it too wet for the ball to bounce
Laws of Cricket 42.11b
2) Patchy dampness on the
‘danger area’*.* As defined in the
Would there be uneven bounce so as to
endanger the batsmen?
Laws of Cricket 42.11b
3) Dampness around the bowler’s
delivery stride and followthrough.
Can the bowler with his normal run up
and action deliver the ball and be sure
he will not slip dangerously?
Play / no play
The consideration is NOT whether
batting would be difficult. So long
as the ball will bounce roughly
evenly, you play.
Generally speaking: a damp wicket
is playable, a wet wicket is not.
Batsmen are endangered if there is
a patch of dampness where a good
length ball would pitch.
If the bowler’s safety is at risk, do
not play.
The area of concern if from about
three metres behind the popping
crease to about three metres beyond
it and about three metres to either
side of the danger area.
Other comments
It is the uneven / unreliable bounce that
is dangerous.
Short of this length, the batsman has time
to adjust; fuller length (ie beyond the
danger area) and the ball does not deviate
enough to cause a safety hazard. Be
conservative in this consideration,
assume only a limited batting
In the take-off area, the risk is of his take
off foot going from under him leading to
knee damage.
In the landing area, if the front foot or
follow-through foot slips, this can lead to
damage of any of the joints in the ankle
or leg.
The bowler must also be able to safely
stop and change directions after delivery.
Assessing Whether The Square And Outfield Are Suitable For Play.
Again, this is a static assessment – ie the oval right now is either suitable for play or it is not, regardless of the weather or any other moment by moment
The Square ( on either side within 15 metres of the pitch, and where the wicketkeeper and slips stand.)
What to look for
Standing water on the square.
a) Are the batsmen in any danger when
turning for a second run and b) can
fielders run at the ball and expect to be
able to stop or change direction safely?
Areas of wetness or dampness on the
a) Are the batsmen in any danger when
turning for a second run and b) can
fielders run at the ball and expect to be
able to stop or change direction safely.
Play / no play
The square is a ‘high traffic’ area
with players running, stopping and
changing direction. It is unlikely they
can do this with standing water on the
square. Generally, No play.
If there is danger to the players, then
no play
Other comments
Any standing water on the square
means there is unlikely to be play
today. Puddles of mud similarly. If
you can push your thumb into the
square up to the first joint, similarly.
Can the wet area be swept ?
The above considerations also apply to the area close to the wicket but off the square, say on either side within 15 metres of the pitch, and where the
wicketkeeper and slips stand. Although these areas don’t tend to become quite so slippery, they must also be watched.
ii) The Outfield
What to look for
Significant areas of standing water in
the outfield
a) Can the fielders run over the outfield
b) will the ball run over the outfield or
will it stop in the standing water
Play / no play
Generally only significant areas of
wetness in the outfield will preclude
Bowler’s run-up is wet
Can the bowler safely deliver the ball?
If the popping crease area is so hard
that wet shoes will lead to an ‘icerink’ effect, then don’t start play until
you can make this safe.
Other comments
Anything swampy or more than a
puddle of standing water is certainly
a consideration. However there are
often workarounds for many of these
What to look for
Is the rain currently hard enough to
go off?
Is there lots more rain to come?
Is the wicket becoming dangerously
Soft rain
Play / no play
Other comments
See above
The total wetting of the wicket is likely
to be great enough to make the ground
The bowlers’ safety is threatened by
the slipperiness of the popping crease.
Occasionally also the batsmen or
fielders find it dangerously slippery
No Play
The rain is not hard and heavy rain is
not imminent
Continue to play.
If the pitch is dangerously slippery
come off, otherwise stay on.
It is pointless holding out while the
pitch gets wetter and wetter. There is
nothing to gain by this
You can get an ice rink effect with
the bowlers’ boots picking up
dampness and then sliding on a very
hard front foot area. Generally, there
are workarounds for this.
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