Players will have to wait until March for the NSW State Cup after wet weather forced organisers to postpone the event from its original date.
“Eighty percent of the fields were in treacherous condition so if we were to play, we would have been down to six or seven fields come the end of Friday because of the heavier foot traffic of adults,” Mr Russell said.
“It would have made running the event impossible from there because you’ve got to play 600 games in three days. By the end of Friday there would have still been 400 games left to be played on six or seven fields.”
Mr Russell said the fields appeared to be in perfect condition from his original vantage point at the tower above Tuffins Lane.
But a quick walk across the fields proved quite the opposite.
“It wasn’t until you walked across every blade of grass – which we did for about an hour and a half – that you saw they were like rice paddies,” he said.
“You had the green shoots, but all the water was lying underneath it which from the naked eye you don’t see from a distance.”
The NSW State Cup has been postponed from December 3-5 until March 25-27.
NSWTA had also taken on board feedback from junior members and families after the Junior State Cup was washed out after one day of action back in February.
Mr Russell conceded it was impossible to please everyone.
“We did cop a lot of criticism from people saying back then that we could have made the decision earlier and people could have gotten their money back for accommodation,” he said.
“We took that feedback on board and thought an early call was the best approach this time.”
The rescheduled statewide event means Port Macquarie will host three touch football events next year – in February, March and then December.
“It’s not the first time we’ve had three events in one year. The last time it happened was in 1991,” Mr Russell said.
“So it’s really unfortunate and not the ideal weekend we would like to go with, but with all logistical challenges, we’ve got to take into account what the occupancy rates are like for different weekends because people are traveling now.
“A lot of things go into the decision-making. Venue availability, infrastructure availability … there’s a whole range of issues that need to go into the decision, but that’s where we’ve landed.”