Urban Rec - Canberra's Sport and Social Club

Updated smoke policy 2020

January 7, 2020 - one month ago

We are in the midst of an unprecedented situation in Canberra with the current smoke haze and plumes. This is something completely unfamiliar to us and we have worked hard to come up with a policy and procedures that put or players and staff’s health first whilst still trying to get the games your teams have registered for played while also working with the availabilty of venues. 

Our priority is making sure you get the amount of games in the season that you registered for (Usually 10). In a situation like this where some games may not be played due to smoke this may mean we need to be creative, as some of our bookings with venues have strict time frames. If you miss games due to smoke your team may need to play a double header or in extreme circumstances if multiple games are postponed due to smoke we may need to play make up games on another night of the week. We will always try our best to make sure we come up with a solution that works for your team. 

If in extreme circumstances your team cannot be scheduled and play the games you registered for we will refund you for the games not played. 

Here’s how we will be handling smoke in 2020. Please note this policy is for outdoor sports, indoor sports will go ahead as usual unless you hear otherwise. 

  • Firstly and most importantly if your team does not feel comfortable playing in the conditions but you have been advised that games are going ahead, let us know via email [email protected] or phone 0412088498 (preferably with as much notice as possible) and we will then do everything we can to reschedule your game in the upcoming weeks, there will be no forfeit or default fees but we ask you give us as much notice as possible so we can organise a game for your opposition. Please do not let us know via the captains chat as we will endeavour to get your opposition a game and it causes confusion. 
  • For the foreseeable future, whilst the smoke conditions are unpredictable, we will be communicating to the Captains Chats on whether games are going ahead that night. We will endeavour to make the first call by 3pm. 
  • We use this website to monitor AQI https://canberraair.com if the AQI is above 200 we will postpone games. [Note we use this website as the Canberra health website uses a 24 hour average scale which is different to the widely used and trusted AQI Index. The numbers on the CBR website are always extremely high compared to other sites you can read more about this here
  • We have been seeing two types of smoke in the ACT, the haze which sits around and the plume of smoke that comes in predominately at night with an easterly wind. When this plume comes in we deem it hazardous and unsafe to play and we will postpone games. The plumes are much harder to predict and we will not postpone games if a plume is predicted as we found last year it often didn’t eventuate. If a plume does arrive we will postpone games and will message the captains chat immediately, followed with an email to all players.
  • If games are postponed we will try our hardest to get your new schedule to you within 2 days. 

If you have heart, lung or any health condition that may be affected by smoke we recommend you consult your doctor to see if playing is right for you. 

What we learnt last year that has influenced our new policy

  •  The smoke plumes usually come in at different times of night which means that sometimes we can get early games in before the smoke goes. Getting these games in eases the pressure on us trying to get make up games in. 
  • In December last year when the AQI was under 200 and we didn’t have smoke plumes the majority of players and teams where keen to play. We always want to play so if you’re keen and it’s safe to do so we are too. Some players and teams had concerns and that’s totally fine that’s why we have made it your choice to play. If we are playing and your team has concerns just let us know as soon as possible and we will reschedule your game. 

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