Green light for netball

THE Jersey Netball Association will restart their winter league next week as they aim to reintroduce players to a competitive environment post Covid-19 lockdown.

Winter league netball returns next week albeit under an adapted format with new modifications made to the game. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON.
Winter league netball returns next week albeit under an adapted format with new modifications made to the game. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON.

Island clubs resumed training earlier this month for the first time since Covid-19 halted all activity in March.

JNA president Linda Andrews confirmed the senior league would start on Monday, albeit under an adapted format as they follow advice from Jersey Sport and England Netball’s ‘Return to Netball’ roadmap.

‘The league is going to be friendly based rather than its usual competitive affair,’ Andrews explained. ‘We can only play at a moderate intensity and we will break every ten minutes to sanitise the balls.’

New modifications made to the game mean players cannot be in close contact when stationary.

Andrews added: ‘The game is going to be played differently and so the senior league will be a pilot test to see how things go and then we will reassess at Christmas before deciding what to do next.’

Current restrictions introduced by England Netball in the mainland mean there cannot be more than six people on an indoor court if you are over the age of 18. However, restrictions imposed here, by Jersey Sport and the government, allow 40 people, including officials and coaches, to be on court regardless of age.

‘It will only be senior players for now,’ Andrews said. ‘Depending on its success we will look at resuming our junior leagues next year.’

Andrews expects Team Jets players to be featuring for a local club side as there is still no indication as to when they can resume playing in the South West Regional League.

She added: ‘We need to keep players busy and engaged. The league gives people a chance to meet with their mates and have a bit of normality, which is crucial to their mental wellbeing.

‘Everyone is so happy to be back and it is amazing to see players enjoying the sport they love. Hopefully the reintroduction of the league is a success so we can continue to look at reopening and restarting our other leagues for other age groups.’

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