Phone our wet weather line to check the status of Council sports grounds.
We also add an alert to our website home page if sports grounds are closed.
Reasons for closure of sports grounds
We may decide to close turf sports grounds based on:
- potential of injury to players
- potential for damage to playing surfaces
- condition of the ground when inspected
- weather forecast.
When are ground closure decisions made
Weekday closures are decided by 9:00am following field inspection by our team.
Weekend closures are decided by sporting associations in line with the wet weather ground inspection guide. Exceptions may be made where we make the decision for all associations.
Wet weather ground inspection guide
When we assess turf sports grounds in the event of wet weather, we consider:
- Player safety. Playing on wet and damaged fields poses safety issues.
- Irreparable damage to fields. Clubs must ensure their decision to use a sports ground does not result in closures for the remainder of the season for repairs or maintenance.
When making a decision about ground closures, we consider the following factors
Competition and training must be cancelled if surface water is visible on the field.
Competition and training must be cancelled if the ground reaches a saturation point. This is indicated by ‘sinking’ into the field, surface not bouncing back or water rising to the surface when walking on the field.
Exceptions apply if the affected area is less than 2m2, in a low use/wear area, or the rest of the field is firm and poor grass cover is not an issue.
Rainfall before scheduled competition or training should guide decisions. Clubs must consider rainfall during the week, the night before and the forecast for the day of training/competition before deciding to play.
Some fields naturally drain better than others due to soil profile and drainage capacity. Other fields may require several days of continuous clear weather to dry out. Clubs should understand the drainage characteristics and amount of rainfall their ground can manage.
During the winter season grass cover can fall below 70% and still be suitable for play during dry weather. However during wet weather if overall grass cover is below 70% grounds are likely to wear more substantially. Deciding to play or train on wet ground with low grass cover may cause irreparable damage to the field.
Clubs should consider:
- whether the type of sport is high or low impact
- the number of players in a team
- how many teams are expected to play.
Clubs must understand the impact of different activities and prioritise or cancel games accordingly.
Grounds should be inspected the day before an event following regular rain.
All grounds should be inspected the morning of an event. Grounds must be assessed before each subsequent game if deciding to go ahead with play.
Clubs should prioritise consistent inspections. We recommend the same person undertakes ground inspections, with clubs allocating 2-3 people to manage to manage this task.
What if I have hired a sports ground?
You must not use a sports ground if it is closed. You will be liable for the cost of repairs if you use a closed ground. You may also forfeit your hire arrangement.
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Sports Services team