FFA extends partnership with UBIMET

Football Federation Australia (FFA) will continue to offer world’s best practice in monitoring of weather conditions in order to benefit football players and match officials with the announcement of a three-year extension to the partnership with UBIMET, the internationally recognised leader in severe weather warning technology.

The UBIMET Weather Cockpit system is able to provide advanced notice when severe adverse events may occur, and notifies when it is appropriate to implement the FFA Heat Policy in the interest of player and match official welfare for matches played during extreme heat. FFA’s Heat Policy is more conservative than FIFA’s Policy in this area, with this Policy implemented across all Hyundai A-League, Westfield W-League and Foxtel National Youth League matches.

The UBIMET Weather Cockpit system provides accurate site-specific weather information, including the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT), which is the scientific parameter that takes into account air temperature, humidity, wind and radiation to provide a more accurate indicator of the risk of heat related injuries.

It allows FFA to monitor weather conditions and utilise this information in accordance with FFA’s Heat Policy, with early forecasts which assists to identify matches that may be played during extreme heat, and tracking these conditions right through to match day to ensure that the welfare of players and match officials is the primary consideration.

A general view of AAMI Park in Melbourne.

FFA has also announced an amendment to its FFA Heat Policy ahead of the Hyundai A-League, Westfield W-League and Foxtel National Youth League 2016/17 Seasons.

As an additional welfare measure, 90 second drinks breaks shall be implemented in both halves where the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) is measured between 26 and 27.9 degrees or the ambient temperature exceeds 31 degrees no later than 30 minutes prior to the scheduled kick off time. Under the provisions of the FFA Heat Policy, the WBGT measure of 28 shall remain the threshold at the point in which delays or postponements may be considered and recommended by the Team Doctor(s) on-site at the venue on Match Day.

“The FFA Heat Policy offers greater protection for players than FIFA’s Policy and this partnership ensures the FFA Heat Policy is implemented with the world’s leading scientific weather systems based on the WBGT,” said Head of Hyundai A-League Greg O’Rourke.

“The Weather Cockpit notifies FFA if the WBGT parameter is breached leading into matches, gives accurate forecasts predicting the WBGT at the match venue at the kick off time and gives us 24-hour-a-day access to a meteorologist if we require further clarification.

“It is a robust system that offers scientific protection for our players and fans and the ability to plan ahead for any possible issues meaning our management and monitoring of heat will continue to be world best practice.”