Australian National Rugby League chief executives have called for compensation from the Australian Rugby League Commission to "minimise the financial burden" of State of Origin on the clubs, according to Michael Chammas of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The crowd figures during the rounds when Origin players are unavailable "have plummeted in recent seasons, with average attendances down more than 3,000" from two years ago. NRL clubs are "seeking a bigger piece of the pie" with the game set to benefit from a lucrative broadcasting rights deal. South Sydney CEO Shane Richardson is convinced that this should help ease the pressure from the financial shortfall that comes with the lack of interest in the NRL during the Origin period. Richardson said, "Never forget that the clubs actually provide the players for Origin. I think sometimes people forget that" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/29).
Events and Attractions
The Women's Tennis Association could provide Wimbledon umpires with "grunt-ometers so that they can dock points" from female players who throw off opponents with loud shrieks, according to Victoria Ward of the London TELEGRAPH. The WTA has said that "off-putting wails can no longer be tolerated" and the plan to drive out grunting from players "such as Maria Sharapova" is in its early stages. WTA CEO Stacey Allaster said, "It's time for us to drive excessive grunting out of the game for future generations." The loudest grunt came from Maria Sharapova back in '09. It was recorded at 105 decibels or the "equivalent to standing 3ft from a chainsaw" (TELEGRAPH, 6/28).
Genghis Khan "mountain terrain bicycle adventure" will kick off Friday in West Ujimqin Banner, China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region. About 600 cyclists from 34 countries and regions including Switzerland, Britain, U.S., Spain, France and host China will compete in the three-day race (SINA.com, 6/28).
SQUASH: The World Squash Federation confirmed that the 2014 WSF World Masters Squash Championships have been awarded to Hong Kong. The event will be held July 4-12, 2014 and will include men's and women's events in about 18 age groups for players ages 35 to 80-plus (WSF).
GOLF: In Seoul, Jung Min-ho noted that "the top two golfers" from 10 amateur clubs in South Korea and China will compete at the Island Resort Cup Korea and Chian Club National Championship on Oct. 10-11. The annual tournament is "expected to take place in China next year and will be expanded when Japan joins," although a date has not been specified (KOREA TIMES, 6/28).
BASKETBALL: The NBA Dallas Mavericks, 2011 NBA champion, will play a preseason game against 17-time Spanish champions Euroleague FC Barcelona Regal. The game will take place on Oct. 9 at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona as part of NBA Europe Live 2012 presented by BBVA. Tickets for the game will go on sale soon. Barcelona will be the final stop of a four-game tour (NBA).