Revamped Super 8 format with top referees on show
TOUCH football wasn't the only fury on display at last week's Super 8 tournament, with Mother Nature unleashing her power upon Jim Finimore Oval.
Play was suspended during the third game timeslot and eventually called off after a fierce storm swept across the Ipswich region.
The threat of lightning and the dangerous state of the playing surface left Ipswich Touch Association officials with no choice but to cancel the second half of the draw.
"We can't afford injuries this close to the nationals," said Super 8 organiser Toni Notley.
"The obvious choice was to protect the safety of players and officials."
The cancellation of last Friday's quarter finals has resulted in the adoption of a semi-final format tomorrow night to determine the inaugural champions.
Both the women's and men's divisions will be split into a top and bottom half with teams vying for the Super 8 cup and plate respectively.
"As a former player, father of two current NTL representatives and a sponsor of this competition, the benefit of quality game time in the lead-up to a major tournament has been invaluable," said Anthony Bauer.
"The Ipswich Touch Association must be applauded for not only drawing high quality players to the Super 8s, but must also be congratulated on securing the services of some of the best referees in Australia."
The Super 8 competition has four of Australia's 12 best referees on hand to officiate.
Last Wednesday, Touch Football Australia announced its 2016 National Referee Squad as a part of its high performance program.
Referees Brad Smith, Matt Lavery, Luke McKenzie and Anthony Smith have used the Super 8s to sharpen their skills for the nationals.
"Not only is it a fantastic opportunity for young players to be officiated by these referees, but the experience and learning curve for Ipswich's junior referees is tremendous," said former world number one ranked referee Rick Borg.
These referees will blow the whistle in the upcoming National Touch League tournament in Coffs Harbour with match officials for the Trans-Tasman test series selected from this group.
Tomorrow night's finals start at Jim Finimore Oval at 6.30pm.
TOMORROW NIGHT'S FINALS
- 6.30pm: Knockout women's semis - 1 v 4 Cobras v Meerkats; 2 v 3 Swans v Grommets; 5 v 8 Terrors v Force; 6 v 7 IGGS v Warriors.
- 7.20pm: Knockout men's semis - 1 v 4 Cobras v Eddies Wolf Pack; 2 v 3 Saints v Odoyle; 5 v 8 Stingrays v Sharks forfeit; Mens 6 v 7 Zero To 100 v Force.
- 8.10pm: Women's grand final and plate final.
- 9pm: Men's grand final and plate final.