Central Highlands Netball League taking lead on extreme weather

The Central Highlands Netball League has put into action its extreme weather policy to ensure the health and safety of the netball players on the weekend. 

The league’s constitution states players are allowed to wear long sleeves during games played in extreme weather as long as tops are one of the predominate colours of the dress, while dark track pants or leggings can be worn in the first quarter.

But under-13B players can wear pants for the entire game as the first to play. 

Waubra's Jane Douglass in a game against Buninyong earlier in the Central Highlands Netball League season. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

Waubra's Jane Douglass in a game against Buninyong earlier in the Central Highlands Netball League season. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

Despite the changes to uniform, the correct dress and bib are still required so umpires can easily discern players’ positions and teams. 

Central Highlands Netball League president Rebecca McCahon said the league took its duty of care towards the players’ health seriously.

“Obviously during those times of the morning (when juniors are playing) and this type of extreme weather we are going to experience this weekend, hypothermia is a real concern, so that’s our first priority,” McCahon said. 

“Common sense and duty of care are our absolutely first and foremost concerns…. if we’re going to be worried about their uniform before their health then I think that is a pretty sad state of affairs.”

It is the second time this season the league, which is played over a vast area, has made the recommendation. Concerns were first raised during a delegates meeting.

Waubra netball president Pat Clark said with the club expecting a low of three degrees and even colder wind chill factor for its games against Beaufort in Waubra on Saturday, precautions were already in the works. 

“I knew the weather was looking ordinary so I contacted Beaufort and made these suggestions before the league announcement,” Clark said. “Clubs can enforce their own policy, but then the league came out to enforce it too so they’re also on the front foot.”

While players do not have to adhere to the recommendations, they have the option. They are also being urged to bring a change of clothes, towel and blanket. 

“We will have blankets available for the girls as they come off to keep them warm and we will do a lot of rotations, especially through our juniors who play the coldest part of the day,” Clark said. 

“They’re the ones we will be most cautious of because they’re keen, but they probably don’t realise what the cold can do to them.”