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Netball Super League Preview

by Martin Townley 9 months ago in culture

What you need to know

The Vitality Netball Super League will start on February 12th for the 2021 season. The Super League is the top level of Netball in the UK and is in its sixteenth season. The league will feature nine teams from England, one from Scotland and one from Wales. The league is run by Netball England.

The League will run from February 12th until June 21st with the play-off semi finals on 26th June and Grand Final on the 27th. Team Bath are the most successful team since the League inception winning five titles. Manchester Thunder are the second most successful having won three including the last played season in 2019.

The 2020 season was cancelled on 22th May 2020 due the Covid-19 pandemic with all fixtures declared as null and void. The 2021 season will be played behind closed doors at two venues, Studio 001 in Wakefield and The Copper box Arena in London.

Netball Basics

Games will feature 7 players for each team on court.

Each player is assigned a position.

  • Goal shooter (GS)
  • Goal Attack (GA)
  • Wing Attack (WA)
  • Centre (C)
  • Wing Defence (WD)
  • Goal Defence (GD)
  • Goal Keeper (GK)

The court is divided into three sections and any player moving into a position they shouldn't be will be deemed offside. The sections are the goal thirds and centre third.

Players can only hold the ball for three seconds and can only take 1.5 steps while holding the ball.

A goal is scored by shooting the ball through the ring at the end of the court.

Only the Goal Shooter and Goal Attack can attempt to score and must be within the semi circle.

The ball must be passed up the court.

Competition Format

The league will consist of eleven teams who will play each other twice in the regular season (20 Rounds). Teams will awarded three points for a win and the top four teams will advance to the semi finals, with the winners meting in the Grand Final. Matches will feature four quarters of 12 minutes rather than the usual 15. This has been done for player welfare.

Teams

Leeds Rhinos will make their debut season having been founded in 2017. Leeds are partnered with Leeds Rhinos Rugby League Club and will be looking to take the league by storm.

Team Bath are the most successful side in the League having won five titles. They are based at The University of Bath and have won every Grand Final they have appeared in.

Manchester Thunder won the last Grand Final played in 2019. The three time Super League winners will be one of the side fighting for the title this year.

Celtic Dragons are the leagues sole Welsh team and have been members since the leagues formation. Their side features strong links to Welsh National side.

London Pulse joined the league in 2019 based in the Cooper Box. Looking to build their own history, they are one of the teams to watch.

Loughborough Lighting are a founding member of the league. They are part of the wider sports franchises based at Loughborough University. Having reached three Grand Finals 2021 could be the year for them to take the title.

Saracens Mavericks have made seven Grand Finals and won two titles. A founder member of the league who have featured in every Super League season.

Seven Stars joined the league in 2018 and have finished sixth in both full seasons they have played.

Strathclyde Sirens joined in 2018 and are made up of some of the best talent in Scotland.

Surry Storm have won two Super League titles from five Grand Finals. Having their best performances between 2011 and 2016, they will be looking to regain the same performances which saw them reach five Grand Finals.

Wasps joined in 2017 and really took control of the league winning back to back titles in 2017 and 2018. They will be looking to pick their third title this season.

How to Watch

This years Super League will see every game broadcast live. Games will either be shown on Sky Sports or streamed on the Sky Sports You Tube channel.

Fran Connolly of England Netball spoke about the new deal with Sky Sports,

“It is such a pleasure to be able to announce this new deal with Sky Sports. Over recent years they have been able to capture huge moments in our sport and bring fans closer than ever to netball.

“We were delighted to bring elite netball back to the court during our recent Vitality Netball Legends Series, that saw the Vitality Roses play an international All Stars side, made up of talent from the Vitality Netball Super league, and we cannot wait to continue that momentum and give our Netball Family something to look forward to.

“This partnership is a huge milestone for netball in this country and underlines the continued interest in our sport. The increased visibility this will bring will shine a light on the incredible role models in our game and help to inspire a nation of women and girls to take to the court.

“I am very much looking forward to our ongoing relationship with Sky Sports and hope to see more netball history made together in the coming years.”

culture

Martin Townley

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