Netball Australia yesterday announced a new Australian only, eight team national league to commence in February 2017, which is set to be the world’s premier women’s sporting league.
This confirms that 2016 will be the final year for the ANZ Championship, with Netball NZ also to establish its own national competition.
The new league will consist of the five current Australian ANZ Championship teams – Adelaide Thunderbirds, Melbourne Vixens, NSW Swifts, Queensland Firebirds and West Coast Fever – in addition to three new teams.
The preferred bidders for these new teams have been announced as Collingwood Football Club (Melbourne), Netball New South Wales – in partnership with Greater Western Sydney (Sydney) and the Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club (Sunshine Coast).
For Aussie fans, this means you’ll have more opportunities to go to games, watch them live in prime time and from your devices, and see the rivalries between teams grow.
The structure of the new league has only just been confirmed, so some of the finer details are still to be ironed out. Netball Australia is committed to working closely with our new broadcaster partners, current ANZ Championship teams and preferred bidders to take our sport to the next level for players, teams and fans alike.
How many games are in the new league?
The new league will span 17 weeks, with 56 games in the regular season – meaning each team will play each other twice. This will be followed by a three week Finals Series (format yet to be announced).
How can I watch the new league?
Also announced yesterday, Netball Australia has secured a landmark five-year broadcast deal that will provide netball fans with unprecedented access to domestic and international games. Find out more.
Will the players earn more money as a result of the deal?
We are working to get the best possible result for our players and building towards fully professional athletes. Now that we have our secured our broadcast deal and confirmed the league structure, we’ll be working through this with the Australian Netball Players Association.
Will there be any Trans-Tasman cross over moving forward?
Netball Australia and Netball Zealand are exploring the options to retain some Trans-Tasman component, which may include a pre and/or post season event. The Australian and New Zealand rivalry will continue to be showcased in the Constellation Cup and Quad Series, as well as the Commonwealth Games and Netball World Cup. Stay tuned for more information on the new national netball league.
What will the new league be called?
The official name of the new national netball league is still to be determined.