As part of the return to netball, a specific framework has been issued by the Government that provides a slightly varied set of measures and protocols for athletes that are classified as ‘elite’. Athletes that are in this category, through the national programme or competition they compete in, therefore fall into this different structure which means that the wider Community Netball Return to Play restart guidance is not directly applicable to these athletes.
What is the Elite Sport Framework?
The framework itself consists of five stages and is designed to support elite athletes through a progressive training period (stages one and two) through to domestic competition behind closed doors (stage three), cross border competition (stage four) and competition with spectators (stage five). A link to these frameworks is here.
Who is on the Elite Sport Framework?
The definition of an elite athlete is defined as:
- an individual who derives a living from competing in a sport
- a senior representative nominated by a relevant sporting body
- a member of the senior training squad for a relevant sporting body, or
- on an elite development pathway
Specifically, for netball the following groups / athletes competing within the following competitions will be part of the Elite Sport Framework:
- Roses athletes
- Roses U21 and Academy Athletes
- Vitality Netball Superleague athletes (Registered Players, Training Partners and Training Associates)
- U19 and U21 Netball Performance League (NPL) athletes (Registered Players and Training Partners)
We are in direct contact with the clubs and athletes involved in the Elite Sport Framework to provide specific support and guidance on the return to training protocols, as well as managing athletes wellbeing and access to environments.
Guidance of crossing frameworks update 17 May 2021:
Following a recent review of these protocols with our medical advisors and based on the continued decreasing of COVID infections in the community, the low prevalence of COVID within elite netball, the reopening of other sectors within the country and to support athletes to be able to play and train within appropriate levels of the pathway, we can confirm that from Monday 17 May, aligned to the country moving to step 3 of the roadmap, the following protocols will be amended:
|From||To||Time period required between|
|NPL / Roses Academy||VNSL||48 hours|
|VNSL||NPL / Roses Academy||0 hours|
|NPL / Roses Academy||NPL / Roses Academy||0 hours|
|Community||Elite netball (VNSL / NPL / Roses Academy)||48 hours|
|Elite netball (VNSL / NPL / Roses Academy)||Community||0 hours|
Please note that the wider protocols around the elite framework remain in place, including the specific COVID testing regimes in place for VNSL and NPL, match protocols, including use of facemasks, travel limitations, accommodation and all other areas. These are now more aligned to the national measures, which can be found here.