Friday, November 9, 2012
Carrier Classic Condensation Cancellation: Playing Outside
Friday night's Walmart Carrier Classic between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Marquette Golden Eagles experienced a 45 minute delay prior to a postponement due to condensation gathering on the deck and playing surface of the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier in Charleston, South Carolina.
As officials Tim Cahill, Bo Boroski & Gene Steratore gathered with players for the opening tip, personnel on the court detected water had returned to the wooden playing surface after the floor had been wiped clean moments earlier. The officials met with both head coaches, athletic directors and persons in charge of the event, determining the cause was condensation caused by the drop in temperature from a high in the 70s during the day's earlier women's game to a level in the mid-40s as the men's game was scheduled to begin. The women's game was successfully completed.
After another round of toweling the floor, both teams attempted to warm up until officials and the teams decided to postpone the tip-off by another 20 minutes, hoping a subsequent temperature's drop into the low-40s would eliminate the condensation issue. In 1892, Johannes Petrus Kuenen discovered that gas compressed beyond the point of condensation would result in liquid evaporation, instead of an increased rate of condensation. Kuenen's discovery—retrograde condensation—was what organizers hoped to achieve by waiting the additional 20 minutes, or a total delay of approximately 45 minutes.
After the 20 minute waiting period, the officials and schools determined retrograde condensation had not occurred, the floor was still wet, and the game at that point was called and postponed.