Launceston Tornadoes received a brief call on Wednesday to confirm their entry into a new Basketball Victoria-run elite winter League.
However, chairwoman Janie Finlay said they are in the dark about the exact details of their co-licence acceptance alongside North-West Thunder, with a requirement that men’s and women’s teams must be part of the equation.
There was a suggestion last week that the Northern Tasmanian outfits will be forced to play double-headers at home and away.
Therefore, cutting the number of home matches to be played at Elphin Sports Stadium and on the North-West Coast.
But Finlay would not be drawn into speculation.
“We’re really excited and proud of the strength of our club to have been accepted,” she said.
“I know that [whatever the co-licence acceptance means] that the North-West Thunder and Tornadoes, who have always been a brother-sister club, will continue to work together to deliver what is best for basketball in Northern Tasmania.
“Basketball Victoria will be working closely with us over the next few weeks, if not months, and we will be a lot clearer on the details – I won’t make any assumptions.”
It is understood demands from Victorian clubs for Tasmania's three clubs to subsidise their interstate travel have been squashed and Finlay was adamant that the Tornadoes would not be worse off financially by taking part in the new league.
North-West Thunder chairman Tony Barker said nothing was “set in stone” for his club.
“This means we need to work together with the Tornadoes, and we knew that was a requirement going in, but the biggest issue still is whether we have to play all games as double-headers or we have to play as we normally have with us in Ulverstone and the Torns in Launceston,’’ he said.
“We will play in this competition if we think we are viable, but if we can’t find a model that supports our future, then we won’t be able to go in, it is as simple as that.
“The first thing we need to do is push for separate games, or the majority being separate games, and if we don’t get anywhere with that we have to look at our numbers in combining our resources and seeing if it is viable for us, and if it is not, then we are out of the game.”
Basketball Victoria chief executive Nick Honey said the competiton would provide “extensive playing opportunities to high-calibre athletes throughout Victoria, Tasmania and for Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence scholarship holders”.
There are 18 foundation clubs to the new league to be renamed at a later date.
“Throughout metropolitan Melbourne, regional Victoria and Tasmania, players can aspire to be part of this elite competition and we look forward to creating the number one option for winter basketball in Australia,” Honey said.
“Our efforts will ensure this league captures the attention of the basketball community and be aspirational for those who want to join this competition.”
Further details such as national and international player restrictions will be announced in coming months.
The nation’s premier winter competition was thrown into turmoil after Basketball Australia withdrew its support of the SEABL in August.
The Torns finished runners-up, while Hobart Chargers took out the men’s competition.