Ipswich Force men's coach Chris Riches
Ipswich Force men's coach Chris Riches Franca Tigani

Took too long: Ipswich disappointed about QBL decision

BASKETBALL: It's not rare to have training or a match affected by court moisture.

However, Ipswich Force coaches and players were disappointed it took so long for Sunshine Coast officials to call off Saturday night's scheduled Queensland Basketball League encounters.

The Force men's and women's sides were to play Sunshine Coast Phoenix at Maroochydore in matches at 5.30pm and 7.30pm. However, condensation problems  created a slippery surface.

Force men's head coach Chris Riches had no issue with the decision to call off the games for safety reasons.

However, it wasn't until after the Force women had arrived and started warming up that the games were postponed. Some of the Force men's players had arrived and others were halfway to the Sunshine Coast.

"We were on the way up and the game got cancelled,'' Riches said. "It wasn't until very, very late.

"If they weren't going to let the girls play, why let the boys play?

"It would seem to be common sense that you'd cancel everything and just try and find alternate days later on.''

Riches said the decision could have been made earlier after problems occurred in the preceding SBL men's match.

Although the state league games were to be played indoors, the Sunshine Coast's wet and gloomy weather had an impact, causing some condensation on the courts.

"Due to the high humidity the floor surface was a bit slippery and in the interest of player safety (it was postponed)," Phoenix director Shane Truscott said.

"Basketball Queensland had to make the call from long distance and player safety is our first priority."

Truscott said wet weather had forced games to be postponed in the past due to travel concerns but this had been a new experience for the club.

"I think it's the first time in 25 years we've had to cancel a QBL game for (this reason) so it's disappointing," he said.

Riches said he had seen moisture-related problems before.

"We've not had it happen during a game but it definitely happens at training at least two or three times a year,'' he said.

"You'll be there and basically every coach has got to carry a towel and every time there's a stoppage in play, you're walking on the court and just making sure it's safe.

"It's pretty common to be honest. It just happens when it's cold and when it's wet.

"Last year, when it got really bad, we actually had the air conditioner on in winter as it helps dry the moisture.''

The Ipswich Force players can refocus on their next doubleheader weekend mission at home.

The men's and women's teams play Rockhampton on Friday night at Ipswich stadium before facing Gladstone at the same venue on Saturday night.

Additional information from Tom Threadingham at Sunshine Coast Daily