Netball in North Otago will resume next month for a 10-week season.
At a North Otago Netball whole-club meeting last week, there was a majority vote in favour of a July 25 start date.
The Netball NZ return-to-play guidelines state that competitions can start on or after June 19, but starting then would only allow for three weeks of play before the mid-winter school holiday break, North Otago Netball president Sonya Macdonald said.
Starting the winter season in line with the third school term gave the organisation 10 weeks to run an uninterrupted competition.
“If we started in June, that really only gave us a couple of Saturdays before we shut down for school holidays anyway,” Macdonald said.
“[This way] everyone can be involved, from juniors right through to seniors, so we’re not limiting who’s being part of the season.”
The format of the competition was still being worked out, and would be determined by the final number of teams entered, she said.
Traditionally, netball in North Otago started in early May and finished in August.
Despite this year’s changes, Macdonald expected there would still be “good [player] numbers across the board”.
“We’ve definitely lost a couple of teams,” she said.
“With going term 3, it affects people job-wise .. but the majority were still keen to try and have a game of netball and be a part of it.”
North Otago Netball had also decided to waive its fees for the 2020 season.
“We didn’t want it to be a financial decision for families.
“We just want everyone to be involved and come and enjoy being part of the game that they love, instead of having to choose or pick because of the hard times.”
The committee had also agreed to allow games to be played indoors, if necessary.
“We do have the ability to move to the St Kevin’s [College] gym or the Rec Centre if we’re needing to play a catch-up or if it’s weather affected,” Macdonald said.
“We’re very excited that we actually get a term to have a good season.”
Most North Otago clubs resumed training this week, Macdonald said.