Sport

Smoke haze delays Goulburn Valley tennis tournament

By Tyler Maher

UPDATE

Play did not resume and was called off at 4:45pm.

Draws for tomorrow's action - which begins at 8am - will be published online by 7:30pm.

EARLIER

The thick smoke haze lingering over Greater Shepparton has forced a local tennis tournament to take preventative action today.

The Goulburn Valley JT/AMT Championships - which began at the Shepparton Lawn Tennis Club this morning - suspended play at 2pm due to poor air quality and with the health and safety of its competitors at the forefront of concern.

Another assessment will be made at 4pm, but it is likely play will not resume until tomorrow morning.

"We've never had something like this before, but we have rules in place to deal with it," tournament manager Steve Longworth said.

"We stopped play at 2pm and will try again at 4pm, but it hasn't changed much in the past hour.

"We'll have another look and the maybe one more, but after that it will be too dark and we'll just have to try again tomorrow.

"Hopefully it will clear up a bit by then."

Matches scheduled for 7pm onwards tonight have already been cancelled and rescheduled.

There is a current Vic Emergency warning for air quality in the region.

"Everyone should minimise the time spent in smoky conditions whenever practical to do so," it states.

"When the air quality is at Hazardous levels due to smoke, everyone, especially those in sensitive groups should consider temporarily relocating outside the smoke-affected area until there is a sustained improvement in air quality. If this is not possible and there is no direct threat from bushfires, stay indoors and keep activity levels as low as possible.

"If your maximum visibility is 1.5 kilometres or less, your air quality is in the hazardous level, and you need to limit your time outdoors, limit exercise and follow any treatment plans."

More to come