Cathy Adams

Lennox Head's multi-million dollar sports centre balls-up

BALLINA'S netball and basketball associations have suspended all games on the purpose-built Lennox Head Community Centre court, claiming it does not meet sporting safety standards.

The multi-million centre, which only opened in 2011, has been caught short.

The sporting associations claim there is not enough clear run-off space on the verges of the court, which potentially impacts on the safety of players, umpires and spectators and may not be covered by public liability insurance.

In a notice to members, the Ballina Netball Association said it would be moving all games to Alstonville after discovering the court did not comply with a "known standard".

"Ballina Netball Association has received general legal advice regarding liability of a known standard not being met," they said on Facebook.

All games at Lennox Head have been suspended and moved to the Alstonville Leisure Centre.

A representative of the Ballina Basketball Association said they would no longer be using the Lennox Head Community courts either, citing similar concerns.

According to the Netball Australia website, a clear "run off" space of 3.05m outside each side line and end line is a Netball Australia rule introduced "to ensure the safety of players and umpires".

Basketball has a similar rule that states "any obstruction, including seated team bench personnel shall be at least two metres from the playing court".

Ballina Shire Council's community facilities coordinator Jordan Robinson said they were aware the layout of the court was slightly smaller than a standard netball court.

"It's disappointing for us that they've decided to leave," he said.


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