WANNEROO Districts Netball Association manager Lorraine Ward says she has never experienced anything like the vitriol directed at organisers from parents who were angry their children were made to play in the torrential weather of May 21.
But she says the anger had subsided by the time matches rolled around last weekend.
The association would review its wet weather policy as part of its forward planning meeting at the end of the year, but she wasn’t “sure how we can do it any better”.
“It was all back to normal, everybody was happy,” she said.
“It seemed to stir up a big hoo hah… I’ve never heard or seen anything like that in my life.”
She said the association cancelled the 8.45am games that morning, but thought the weather had cleared enough to play the 9.45am contests.
It was during those matches that the severe weather returned.
“It looked all right and it was for three quarters of that game – but then we had 10 minutes of wind and rain pretty heavy and that upset everybody.
“Some teams finished out the games with no problems and others mutually abandoned (them).
“It wasn’t the best of weather but I can’t remember a time – and I’ve been here the 40 years it’s been going essentially – that we’ve cancelled a round in winter.
“We were damned if we did and damned if we didn’t (cancel the round).
“We got just as much feedback from people complaining that we didn’t play the games.”
The remaining games of the day were cancelled.
Parents complained they were threatened with $250 fines if they refused to let their children play.
Ms Ward said the $250 fines did not apply in this situation, saying those fines only applied if a senior team did not turn up for a finals game.
She explained there was also a $100 fine for teams who did not give enough notice before forfeiting, but this did not apply either because the whole round was cancelled in the end.
She said junior teams, which did not play for points, could have forfeited in the days prior to the meet with no sanction if parents were worried about the weather.
“I think they were waiting for us to make the call if we’re going to go ahead or not,” she said.
“But there was the ability there to forfeit with no consequences in the days leading up to it.”
While the association’s Facebook page had a number of comments from angry parents, Ms Ward said the attacks received in person were far worse.
One Facebook poster wrote “our girls on both teams were crying, sore and shattered”.
Another wrote the association should have cancelled the round well in advance “like all other outdoor sports in Perth”.
“This has been advised for days, severe weather warnings have been in place all week, last night and this morning,” he wrote.
Ms Ward was adamant organisers had monitored the radar in the days leading up to the meet and every half-hour on the morning.
“We’re looking at it ‘time slot by time slot’ and that’s why we said cancel the 8.30am, but it looked like we were going to have a bit of a break (in the weather after that),” she said.
She said the physiotherapists did not report any injuries from the teams that played in the rain.