Netball to welcome competition changes in 2016

Last night the New South Wales netball community officially farewelled the 2015 competition season with the final matches of the Court Craft Night Interdistrict at Netball Central.

While we may mourn the end of another exciting season in which we were lucky enough to witness some wonderful netball – from grassroots to the world’s best netballers in our own back yard – Netball NSW is excited to introduce a new chapter in our competition’s history in 2016.

Amongst the top of the list is the introduction of the Netball NSW Premier League; a new competition to attract the best current and emerging talent within NSW.

The competition’s purpose is to offer a local, elite platform for players, coaches, officials and administrators, and provide bridging opportunities in to the Australian Netball League (ANL) and subsequent ANZ Championship.

Premier League will be contested across two Divisions – Opens and Under 20s – with a Pre-Season tournament scheduled from Wednesday 2 March through Wednesday 23 March, followed by the commencement of the 14-week regular season beginning Wednesday 20 April.

Through a robust application process, eight successful Franchises have been granted an initial two-year Premier League Licence; Central Coast Heart, GWS Fury, ERNA Hawks, Manly Warringah Sapphires, North Shore United, Panthers, Sutherland Stingrays, and UTS St George Sparks.

With the introduction of Premier League, DOOLEYS State League has also undergone a review and in 2016 will be known as the Netball NSW Metro League.

Sixty teams will contest Metro League in its inaugural year, and will be divided into six divisions of 10 teams. The weekly competition will be held across three nights, with teams contesting 18 rounds plus Finals.

The Status Point System which was conducted under DOOLEYS State League has now been abolished, with teams subject to a Promotion/Regulation System from 2016 – the two teams who finish atop the ladder will be promoted to the division above in 2017, while the bottom two will be dropped to the lower division.

Changes won’t just affect the Sydney Metropolitan, with Regional teams also having an opportunity to be involved in the Netball NSW State Cup.

A new concept introduced for 2016, the State Cup will see the top 17 Metro League Opens Teams (one per Association) and all seven (7) Regional League Champions participate in a round-robin style tournament.

The State Cup will be divided into two (2) pools of 12 teams where each side will play each other once, before teams will be divided into three groups: the State Cup (1-4 placed in both pools), the State Cup Plate (5-8 placed in both pools) and the State Cup Bowl (9-12 placed in both pools).

The introduction of the State Cup will see Metro and Regional sides play each other for the first time outside the Netball NSW State Championships-environment, and with news the competition will be played on Netball Central’s state-of-the-art spring floor courts, it is hoped the competition will see some of the best athletes from around NSW in action. As at the State Championships the highest-placed Regional team will be acknowledged, to be honoured as the Inter-Regional League Champion.

Speaking of the Netball NSW State Championships, 2016 will see the Masters Competition reduced to two age-groups – Over 35 and Over 40 – and held on a separate weekend to the wider State Championships tournament.

The 17/U, 21/U and Opens age-groups will contest three days of back-to-back netball at Newcastle Netball Association from Saturday 11 to Monday 13 June, while the Masters Divisions will meet at Netball Central on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 May.

However if you’re a fan of the more social Netball NSW Masters competition, traditionally held in October each year, then never fear; the tournament will return in the same format in 2016, with the new title of Netball NSW Social Masters.  Three age-groups (Over 35, Over 40 and Over 45) with teams playing in two categories; Social and Competitive.

Next year’s tournament will be held on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 October at Wyong District Netball Association, and of course will see the return of the ever-popular Social Function on the Saturday evening.

Along with the newly introduced and slightly changed competitions, continuing in 2016 will be a number of your old favourites in their same format;

To find out more please visit the Netball NSW Competitions pages or contact Competitions Manager Claire Hatherell on (02) 9951 5000 during business hours or email [email protected].