Extreme Heat Policy

The Australian Open is held in Melbourne Australia, in January each year. This is at the peak of the Australian summer. Although Melbourne is known for its cooler climate compared to Sydney, and other cities to the north, at summertime extreme conditions are not unknown.

For many years the Australian Open has had a heat policy which has given it guidelines about under what conditions to stop matches that are being played in the summer sun.

The heat rule was first invoked during the quarterfinal round in 1997. In 2006, Australian Open officials enforced the policy on five days of the tournament. In 2014 several days over 40 degrees cause heat stress for many players.

Extreme Heat Policy

The Australian Open tournament has for some time had an Extreme Heat Policy, though the details have changed over time. For the 2015 tournament, new guidelines have been implemented. The referee will now take into account the forecast once the ambient temperature exceeds 40C, and the Wet Bulb Global Temperature (WBGT) reading exceeds 32.5. Another major change from previous years is that matches currently in progress will continue until the end of an even number games in that set or completion of tie break.

The Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) is a composite temperature used to estimate the effect of temperature, humidity, and solar radiation on humans.

Changes Over Time

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