JCU Townsville Fire General Manager Richard Goodbody believes the WNBL should consider introducing a 3×3 competition ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
With the WNBL widely regarded as one of the best women’s basketball leagues in the world, the Fire chief believes the introduction of a 3×3 competition – which would be played either before or following the completion of a standard WNBL season – would be an exciting addition to the basketball calendar.
Having assembled a star-studded roster ahead of the 2017/18 WNBL season, Goodbody believes the prospect of the Fire seizing not one but two titles in the same season would be salivating to North Queensland fans.
“The introduction of a 3×3 competition to compliment the current WNBL is a tantalising prospect,” Goodbody said.
“It’s been an exciting off-season following the announcement of the Fox Sports broadcasting deal and the return of a number of Opals playing abroad including our own Cayla George.
“With 3×3 medals on offer for the first time in Tokyo, the WNBL could play a key role in advancing Australia’s progress in the format, just as it has done for the Opals for many years, while also opening up some new and exciting commercial opportunities.
“It’s worth stressing that this would not replace the current WNBL, but would be an additional competition to reach new fans, members and commercial partners.”
Earlier this week, Australia failed to exit the group phase of the women’s 3×3 World Cup after fielding a makeshift WNBL line-up, while Australia’s men failed to qualify.
Over the next three years, Australia’s men (world number 55) and women (world number 42) must enter the top-20 in the international standings to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.
“Outside of the benefits to the national program, I think the 3×3 format would be exciting for most WNBL fans,” Goodbody said.
“A Fire line-up containing Suzy Batkovic, Cayla George and Mia Murray would be extremely difficult to contain – inside and outside – and would compliment our WNBL ambitions.
“It would also provide the club with a capacity to extend our ‘season’ to members and fans, as well as opening up some new and exciting commercial opportunities.”
In the meantime, a draft of the WNBL fixture for the 2017/18 season is expected to be distributed shortly.
Memberships for the Fire went on sale at the start of the month, with existing members having until June 30 to retain their seats at Townsville Stadium.
Click here to become a member of the JCU Townsville Fire.