COVID-19 SUPPORT

The health and safety of the Netball Family is our number one priority. At this point in time netball activity is suspended. For guidance and support please click here.

COVID-19 Competitions and Events update

Norfolk United take on Exeter Netball Club in Premier League 3.

Premier League

Further to the guidance issued earlier this year in relation to Premier League competitions, we have been carefully following Government guidance and working hard behind the scenes to plan for what COVID-19 could mean for future competitions.

During these unusual times, we have all faced uncertainty around the potential return of team sports and none of us could have predicted the level of disturbance COVID-19 would cause. To ensure the safety of the Netball Family we have had to make some tough decisions over recent weeks about scheduled competitions and events in 2020.

In our previous statement on the Premier League we stated that if indoor leisure facilities opened and netball activity across the country resumed by 29 June, then remaining matches would be played out. However, Government guidance has outlined that leisure facilities will only re-open from 25 July and with social distancing measures still in place this sadly means there will not be sufficient time for these matches to be completed and now for the Premier League Playoffs to be held.

The latest that netball activity would have to resume by for us to be able to complete the remaining Premier League matches was 29 June to allow teams to complete a minimum of three weeks of training (to avoid potential injuries), before recommencing outstanding fixtures on 19 and 26 July, which would then allow a two week preparation window ahead of the Premier League Playoffs originally scheduled for 7 – 8 August.

On 9 July, the Government announced the plan for recreational team sports’ gradual return, as well as the re-opening of leisure centres from 25 July. Whilst the news was exciting and represents a positive move towards the return of netball, having thoroughly reviewed and considered all of the guidance that is now coming into effect and consulted with the venues due to host these, we are deeply saddened to say that it doesn’t go far enough to allow for the staging of the Premier League Playoffs and National Club Finals for the 2019/20 season.

The announcement confirmed that leisure facilities can open from 25 July if they can put strict mitigations in place, including the limiting of people permitted to access venues at any one time and the implementation of modifications to comply with social distancing. Not only does this date fall outside of the timescales we published previously to sufficiently prepare players to safely return to training before competition. It is also evident from discussions with Government that large gatherings and high numbers of players mixing within a confined indoor space is, at this stage, likely to increase the risk of infection and is therefore not recommended.

This is not the outcome any of us wanted, the Premier League brings a lot of excitement and opportunity to netballers the length and breadth of the country and it is therefore with great sadness we confirm the cancellations.

As a result of the season curtailment there will be no movement between Premier League 3 and Regional Leagues for the 2019/20 season.

Final standings have now been determined by awarding teams their average league points for any games not played and the concluded tables can be found here.

Here is a top line overview of the promotions and relegations in the Premier League based on the average points now collated:

Premier League 1

  • Oldham declared as champions
  • Cumberland and Leeds Athletic relegated to Premier League 2

Premier League 2

  • Bury and Linden promoted to Premier League 1
  • Sussex Thunder and Premier Romans relegated to Premier League 3

Premier League 3

  • Charnwood and Thoroughbreds promoted to Premier League 2
  • No relegation from Premier League 3 due to cancellation of the Premier League Playoffs

This is not the outcome any of us had hoped for, however the safety of the Netball Family is our utmost priority. We appreciate your understanding and continued patience during these uncertain times.

National Clubs Finals

The National Club Final for U16 and U14’s had previously been rescheduled for the following dates:

  • Under 16’s National Clubs Finals- Redbridge Leisure Centre- 22nd & 23rd August 2020
  • Under 14’s National Club Finals—Sport Central Newcastle- 29th & 30th August 2020

This reschedule was based on netball activity being safe and appropriate to be resumed on or before Friday 24 July 2020. However, similarly to the detail above regarding the Premier League Playoffs, the Government guidance released on 9 July, doesn’t go far enough to allow for the staging of either of the National Club Finals.

The announcement confirmed that leisure facilities can open from 25 July if they can put strict mitigations in place, including the limiting of people permitted to access venues at any one time and the implementation of modifications to comply with social distancing. Not only does this date fall outside of the timescales we published previously to sufficiently prepare players to safely return to training before competition. It is also evident from discussions with Government that large gatherings and high numbers of players mixing within a confined indoor space is, at this stage, likely to increase the risk of infection and is therefore not recommended.

Even the option of an outdoor facility for these events is not yet recommended due to the close contact of the current form of netball, the necessary mixing of multiple groups across the competition day(s), and the need for large numbers of people to access the same shared ancillary facilities. We have and always will continue to ensure that the safety of the Netball Family is paramount in the gradual return of netball.

This, alongside the Premier League Playoffs cancellation is not the outcome any of us wanted and it is therefore with great sadness we confirm the cancellations.

Details on the 2020/21 competitions and calendar will be communicated as soon as it is possible.

Related Pages

Google Ad Manager – Right Column DFP