December 15, 2023

New BASIS report highlights current impacts of climate change on sport

The British Association for Sustainable Sport (BASIS) has produced a new report highlighting the impacts of climate change on sport in the UK.

Game Changer II is an update to the original report, which was produced in 2018. Focusing on football, cricket and golf, the report reviews these sports five years on and details the increasing impacts of climate change on sport.

Combining foundational science with insights from athletes and players who have experienced disruption, along with the facts and figures that show the trends. It updates the situation for cricket, football and golf, providing evidence of the increasing impacts on these games – from grassroots up to elite levels of the sports. And it includes personal testimony from engaged athletes with experiences about how their playing has been affected in recent years.

The report recognises that the impacts of climate change are not restricted to these three sports, but they are used as a demonstration of the impacts that are being felt across all sports at all levels.

Some of the key highlights in this latest version:


  • The rate of abandonment of the England men’s home One Day Internationals has increased from 5% to 7%.
  • Disruption of England women’s home One Day Internationals between 2018 and 2023 has increased to 12%, compared to 11% between 1999 and 2017.
  • Across the County Championship, 132,644 overs were lost to rain in the ten seasons played between 2013 and 2023.


  • An estimated 62,500 amateur matches were cancelled or delayed by weather impacts each year, such as heavy rainfall or extreme heat. This is equivalent to every amateur football club in England facing five cancellations or postponements per year on average.
  • In Wales this figure rises to seven games cancelled or delayed by weather impacts a season.
  • 63% of those polled agreed that the new football regulator should have a duty to consider the impact of climate change on football and sure appropriate steps to both protect the sport and minimise its contribution to greenhouse emissions.
  • By 2050, 39 of the 92 stadiums in the top four leagues of English football will face a high risk from more than three climate hazards, such as extreme rainfall, drought, flooding and windstorms.


A specially commissioned YouGov poll reveals how 64% of spectators and players have experienced weather induced disruption (such as rescheduling, reduction in duration or cancellation of matches) in the past year.

  • Meanwhile, an R&A survey of club professionals, golf course managers, green keepers, committee members and trustees sets out how 73% described flooding from significant rain events as a real threat to golf, with 90% expressing concern.
  • In the last year, spectators made a miraculous escape, after trees crashed to the floor in fierce winds at the Masters, on of the wettest and coldest tournaments on record, and 29mph gusts at the Senior Open Championship.
  • 55% said it is already having an impact, with almost a third (29%) said their club is not ready to deal with it.

The evidence above and latest data highlights how the issues raised by the Game Changer report in 2018 persist and continue to impact sport. You can read the full report and a range of case studies across each sport here:

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