Australia To Change Netball Forever

Netball Australia this morning announced the biggest change to the sport in its 125 year history.

Key aspects of the announcement are:

  1. The new competition will be only Australian teams, parting ways with New Zealand netball;
  2. Three new teams will be included backed by existing sporting clubs Collingwood Football, Melbourne Storm Rugby League and Greater Western Sydney Football; and
  3. Two games will be broadcast live during prime-time on the Australian Channel 9 network.

How will this change netball?

  1. The sport will get access to more resources. Given the injection of funds from a broadcast deal and association with existing successful sporting clubs.
  2. The game will change to adapt to a larger fan base, including possible rule changes to suit television audiences.
  3. With clubs like Collingwood Football having 74,000+ members, netball’s fan base will grow exponentially. One of the clubs will also be based on the Sunshine Coast, a fast growing area of Queensland that has up until now been ignored by other sporting codes, unlike the Gold Coast.
  4. Netball will attract more sponsors. Helped by netball’s status as Australia’s largest participation sport amongst women.
  5. It will help netball compete against the rise of women’s AFL, cricket and NRL.
  6. A richer and stronger netball competition in Australia will help other netballing nations like England, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, Jamaica etc. develop their respective players and competitions further.
  7. With more resources there will be better facilities, research, education and a more developed netball players association, bringing the sport in line with other professional codes.

As long serving Netball Australia CEO Kate Palmer said today “It is truly transformative. It lays the foundation for the full professionalisation of elite netball and the cementing of Australia’s reputation as having the prime netball competition in the world.”

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