FIH reschedules Friday’s morning game due to sweltering heat

With the temperature hovering above 40 degrees and humidity level rising to 50 per cent, the seventh-eighth place classification match between Mexico and Uzbekistan witnessed extended breaks between quarters.

Uzbekistan players relax during the extended break time due to heat wave conditions in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

The severe heatwave conditions on Wednesday forced the organisers to allow extended breaks to players and officials during a classification match of the FIH Series Finals while the world body has advanced the start of Friday’s classification by 45 minutes, here.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) informed that Friday’s morning match will now commence at 08:00 am instead of 08:45 am.

“In order to adjust to the current high temperatures affecting Bhubaneswar and considering the welfare of athletes, fans, volunteers, officials and everyone involved, the FIH has decided that Friday’s 5th place match of the FIH Series Finals will start at 8 am (IST) instead of 8:45 am as initially planned,” the world body said in a statement.

With the temperature hovering above 40 degrees and humidity level rising to 50 per cent, the seventh-eighth place classification match between Mexico and Uzbekistan witnessed extended breaks between quarters.

The tournament officials allowed the players to take four-minute breaks between the quarters instead of regulation two minutes.

Such was the impact of the heat that the second half of the Mexico-Uzbekistan game was literally played in four quarters.

The officials decided to give a one-minute water break to players and on-field umpires after seven-and-half minutes of third and fourth quarters respectively.

The official break between third quarter and fourth quarter too was raised from two to four minutes.

It is for the first time in the last seven days that heatwave conditions have affected the matches in the ongoing event.

Aware of the extreme hot weather conditions, the organisers had not scheduled any matches during the day time. The first match was scheduled in the morning (08:45 am) while two games for the evening (05:00 pm and 07:00 pm).