The recommendations below are minimum shade guidelines by the NZ Cancer Society for sports grounds and facilities across New Zealand during summer. It is acknowledged that it may not be possible in the short term to implement all these recommendations due to funding constraints. However, medium term plans should include improvements to summer shade provision as a priority.

Specific recommendations for winter shade have not been made due to differences in the prevailing climatic conditions across New Zealand during winter. However, the UV index is rarely above one or two in winter and risk levels are low.


Shade is recommended over all seated spectator areas. Built shade is the most appropriate option. Rain protection is recommended. Shade is recommended for general spectator areas, particularly the preferred viewing area/s, as this is where people will tend to congregate. A combination of natural and built shade is the most appropriate option. Sufficient shade should be available to allow at least 50 percent of the spectators to sit in the shade. Temporary structures can be used to supplement permanent shade.

Shade should be provided at different parts of the ground/facility as supporters of opposing teams usually prefer to congregate in distinct areas.

Shade should be provided close enough to the action. However, structures should not be located so as to create a hazard for players or to obscure views of the playing field/competition area.


Players’ off-field areas, e.g. baseball dugouts, should be shaded and if possible, protected from the rain. Warm-up areas should also have shelter.

The area/s where officials are located, e.g. scoring boxes and umpires’ chairs, should be shaded and if possible protected from the rain. In some circumstances personal devices, e.g. an adjustable umbrella, may be the only viable option.

Where possible, the on-field areas should be shaded. For example, a tennis court could be covered with a large, clear span structure; a bowling green could be covered with a tensile membrane shade canopy.

The safety of players and officials is an important consideration. Ensure that there is suitable clearance between the edge of the playing field and the support system of the shade structure.


Shade is recommended for queuing areas at kiosks. Built shade, e.g. a large shade sail, is the most appropriate option. Shade sails should be of a sufficient size to cater for capacity crowds. Rain protection may also be a consideration when selecting canopy or sail materials.

Shade is recommended over picnic tables and BBQ areas, particularly during the middle period of the day.

Where possible, ground surfaces should reflect minimal levels of UVR, heat and light.


Consider installing walkway canopies or other modular shade structures to provide shade over pedestrian links between the entrance, main spectator areas and other activity zones.

Shaded seating could be provided at rendezvous points both inside and outside the grounds.

Where possible, ground surfaces should reflect minimal levels of UVR, heat and light.