20/04/2024

Photo: Clusterpix Photography

The Australian Mens and Mixed Netball Association has announced that Nationals for 2021 have officially been rescheduled to a July 4 start.

The Australian Men’s and Mixed Netball championships has officially been rescheduled to a new date in July.

The head of the Australian Men’s and Mixed Netball Association Andrew Simons spoke to The Inner Sanctum to confirm the competition will go ahead from July 4th until 10th.

Simons said the decision on a July date was reached after receiving several expressions of interest from the member states.

“What AMMNAs been doing over the last couple of weeks is engaging with the member states to establish expressions of interest and availability for another set of dates,” he said.

“They’ve certainly been good promising expression[s] of interest for a July date and I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to host something then.”

With the Championships postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19, there were some challenges in finding a new date for 2021 Simons explained.

“With our strong junior competition, and a large number of players enrolled in that, we’ve certainly been looking at school holidays as sort of peak times,” he said.

“But certainly for our adults and particularly university students etc. our options have been slightly more limited because of the different grades.

“And the difficulty of some of our adults players to be getting leave for those school holiday dates with only a few months’ notice.

“When it’s a fixed time every year people are able to look sort of 12 months in advance to really be booking their leave.

“So there’s certainly been some challenges.

“And a small consequential dropout even at this expression of interest phase.

“We are yet to see what the final product will truly look like.”

Nevertheless the member states are willing to commit to the new date,

As Simons explains, July had the most interest.

“Certainly from an AMMNA point of view something that we were keen to [do] was something that was as close to what we wanted to throw around Easter,” he said.

But [we] were unable to [do that] due to the member appetite.

“And [now] it appears that the member appetite around risk has changed and they are keen to move forward.

“There were a number of other dates that were proposed through communication.

But the one that had the biggest buy-in was July.”

Suggestions of multiple dates, separate juniors and seniors tournaments, or a conference system have been floated previously.

But Simons said that the rescheduled tournament will aim to be as normal as possible.

“Certainly we still have the ability to fall back on smaller scale tournaments,” he said.

“But I think aiming for normality as best we can, is certainly what AMMNA and the states are most keen for.

“We’ve listened to the members and the members have expressed a number of concerns about multiple dates.

“Particularly in our mens environment- in terms of having enough admin staff to get to multiple different dates.

“So with that, [it’s] time to work with the states, particularly in this new setting, to be able to be providing them the tournament that they want.”

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