The past weekend has been the first round of A League matches that has been conducted in the official summer months and regretably some players have already experienced extreme playing conditions.

Physical activity and heat is a very dangerous combination and provides for a significant health risk. In a bid to monitor conditions and remind all parties of their obligations to the players, the PFA has an established heat monitoring system for every A-League game based on the accepted standard – the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT).

The system provides data on the relationship between hot conditions and the risk of heat related injuries to players. Following discussions with the Melbourne Heart National Youth League team, who played in very hot conditions on the weekend, President Simon Colosimo reiterated the PFA’s position.

“It’s crucial that all stakeholders continue to work together to ensure of the responsible implementation of the safety procedures in place for extreme conditions.  This season has already seen additional drinks breaks, however in extreme conditions, extra measures such as delaying the kick-off, must also be considered. Not only for safety but also to avoid games being played at a vastly reduced pace.”

“Extreme heat conditions compromises the safety of all players and officials. Regardless of whether it is the A-League, W-League or National Youth League these safety precautions should be applied stringently.”

Colosimo went on to say. “As a physically demanding summer sport we must be more vigilant than the other codes. The game has a duty of care that the players’ safety remains a priority at all times.

Colosimo added “A vital part of the growth of our game is ensuring that the spectacle on the field is of the best quality possible. We must therefore provide an environment where players can perform optimally at all times and give the fans at the grounds and watching at home the best possible show.”

The rules and procedures apply stringently to not only A-League players but to the W-League and National Youth League.