NORTH East Junior Country Week officials are confident the series will get start today despite more oppressive heat predicted for the region.
With the temperature tipped to hit 43 degrees at Yarrawonga yesterday, co-ordinator Neil Gregg took the drastic step of calling off play for the first time in a decade.
Forecasts range between 37 and 39 degrees today.
“I have been involved with junior country week in some capacity for 10 years and I can’t remember calling off a round or game,” Gregg said yesterday.
“We have had high 30-degree days before but when you start getting into the 40s ... We have kids who are 12 and 13-year-olds and have to think of them.
“It’s all based on forecasted temperatures when decisions at made.
“It’s not just one centre, it’s based across the board.
“On one of the websites on Sunday night there was a forecast of 43 at Yarrawonga and that was the tipping point.
“That’s the cut-off.”
Matches are scheduled at centres including Howlong, Albury, Wodonga, Beechworth, Wangaratta, Tallangatta and Benalla today and will be cut to 36 overs with play starting from 8.30am.
They will also be played in four quarters with drink breaks after every nine overs.
Officials are hopeful matches will be finished by 1pm.
Associations will contest under 13 to 17 competitions with Wagga taking part this year.
“It’s a very big week on our calendar,” Gregg said.
“Hopefully we can get through Tuesday OK because Wednesday looks OK.”
Games will take place at grounds all over the North East this week, concluding with finals on Friday