BRAD COLE THE ADVOCATE After originally stating that the roster would continue on Monday morning, NWBU officials have decided to opt for caution and immediately suspend the 2020 season due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In an email sent out at 3.45pm on Monday afternoon, NWBU president Kim Robinson said Tuesday night’s games had been called off.
The NWBU and North-West Thunder were holding a meeting on Monday night to discuss the future of the remainder of the competition, which still has 12 rounds to play.
Of main concern is the viability of keeping contracted import players on the North-West Coast, especially if there are no income streams from home games.
There are also some NWBU clubs who have brought out their own imports, such as Ulverstone and Smithton.
“The imports are probably safer sitting in Tasmania but if they’re going to go home, then need to get home because otherwise they may not get home,” Robinson said.
“There are a lot of things to discuss at our meeting and if we knew what the NBL1 competition was doing it would be help, but we don’t.”
The NWBU had originally told The Advocate on Monday morning that Round 10 games would be going ahead and a final call would be made by 12pm on Tuesday.
But after further discussions and correspondence during the day and the cancellation of several other events, that decision was quickly brought forward
Robinson said a number of factors had resulted in the unprecedented move to halt the season.
“There was pressure from other sports and clubs cancelling, the education department going to a social distancing policy with no assemblies, and the RSL cancelling Anzac Day ceremonies,” she said.
“The right thing to do right now is to cancel Tuesday night’s games.
“What we don’t know is whether the season will continue in any shape or form going forward.”
Penguin president Greg Miller, whose club has Hobart Chargers imports Zac White and Kathleen Scheer play for them, said the correct decision had been made.
But he believed the Blues and the other seven club wouldn’t be financially hurt too badly with the shutdown.
“I think the eight clubs are not reliant on the senior roster financially, unlike football clubs who heavily rely on their Saturday games to keep a club running,” Miller said.
“From a financial point of view I don’t think it will hurt us, it will hurt sponsorship in that you have to give them some value, but I’m hoping that it is just a postponement and not a full cancellation.
“Based on Basketball Australia and Basketball Tasmania’s stance on strongly recommending that all competitions be postponed at least, it was the right decision, and while it is disappointing for everyone, that’s the environment we’re in at the moment.”
Miller admitted there was some confusion from the recommendations Basketball Australia put on on Friday evening to what Basketball Tasmania released on Sunday night.
“There was confusion over what it all meant but that was because the situation was changing so quickly for everyone,” Miller said.
“But I think all sporting bodies, not just basketball, are taking a more pro-active stance and trying to get ahead of it rather than waiting to be told they can’t.”