All 2020 Newcastle Netball Association competitions, including the Greater Open Championship, has been delayed after the Prime Minister declared all non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people “suspended” from Monday, March 16.
The Chronicle can confirm NNA held an extraordinary meeting on Sunday to review all competition start dates. This came after both Federal Government advice, and Netball NSW’s confirmation all state associations would comply until May 2 at the earliest.
Newcastle Netball’s decision to suspend the 2020 season will also affect all other Hunter associations as well. Charlestown Netball has already confirmed they will be following the NNSW mandate, as will all other clubs and associations in the region.
The association released a statement on Monday evening, detailing plans to “delay, not cancel” the 2020 season. Newcastle Netball confirmed all netball activities—including both gamedays, and training—have been suspended.
“As an Association, we are currently preparing for what is an unprecedented situation,” NNA’s publicity officer Georgia Hernando stated.
“The impact of COVID-19 and the appropriate level of response is evolving at a rapid
rate. Our members are at the heart of everything we do, and their health and wellbeing
remain our number one priority.”
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Hernando also confirmed the earliest scheduled date for the 2020 Winter competitions to begin would Saturday, May 2. This would mean the first two rounds of the Greater Open Championship are either delayed, or voided.
NNA also clarified again this move would mean a delay, not a cancelled year. “The season is not being cancelled. At this time, the recommended action is seen as a socially responsible position for the netball community in NSW to take,” Hernando said.
Netball NSW has confirmed a formal update for all regional competitions will be provided on Wednesday, April 15. The state governing body expects this update will include any further changes to the season start date, and whether training can recommence.
As well as the Greater Open Championship, Hunter Netball’s Metro League competition has also been put on hold. The higher-level NSW Premier League is still expected to run as per usual, however, due to the smaller number of teams and participants.
Netball NSW’s State Titles have also not been cancelled. The Chronicle can confirm a decision will be made on the annual carnival—at the moment still slated to be hosted June 6-8—by April 15. April 9 is still the end-date for association entries.