Netball Australia has confirmed the 2020 Deakin University Australian Netball League (DUANL) season has been cancelled due to financial pressures and inconsistent restrictions on training and matches between states and territories.
The DUANL is Netball Australia’s feeder competition into Suncorp Super Netball and is a key development pathway for the next generation of elite netballers, umpires, officials and administrators.
The season, which is played between teams from all six states and two territories, was due to begin in line with the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball season but was postponed due to COVID-19.
Netball Australia Executive General Manager of Performance Stacey West said it’s disappointing that the 2020 season is unable to take place, but measures will be put in place to ensure Australia’s up-and-coming netballers are still accessing development opportunities this year.
“We recognise that this is a lost development opportunity for this cohort. A group including athletes, coaches and officials that we seek to nurture and progress each year to support our high performance pathway,” she said.
“We are exploring alternative ways to provide a development opportunity for athletes. This is likely to be similar to the centralised talent camps Netball Australia delivers at the Netball Centre of Excellence based at the AIS, which involve skill development, match play and education.”
The Netball Australia performance team will manage a consultative planning process with all teams over the coming weeks to evolve Netball Australia’s program plans for the 17’s, 19’s, 21’s and the emerging talent groups.
Due to COVID-19, Netball Australia has also unfortunately had to cancel the 2020 Marie Little Shield, a national tournament for women with intellectual disabilities, which normally takes place in November.