Thank you for your patience during what can only be described as a frustrating and challenging 2020 season. The BDNA Board is continuing to work towards strategies around getting our players back on court as soon as possible, and felt it was important to update you on some of the challenges we are dealing with.
Based on the most up to date State Government "Roadmap" netball is able to return in both a training and competition format OUTDOORS ONLY once the following is met;
- Daily average number of cases in the last 14 days is less than 5 (statewide) AND
- Less than 5 cases with an unknown source in the last 14 days (statewide total)
We are aware that other outdoor Associations are moving towards a return to play policy, but as we are predominantly an indoor Association for both competition and training, it is highly unlikely we will be able to accommodate some form of competition under the next step.
Although our outdoor courts at NETS Stadium have progressed, and looks all but complete, there are still some complex issues that need to be addressed before we can utilise this space for BDNA competition.
The final court surface is yet to be laid, and can only be laid when Melbourne has 6 consecutive days with the temperature not dipping below 16deg (including overnight temperature). This ensures the court "binds" correctly and in line with the surface materials guidelines. We feel this stage will not occur until at the earliest mid-late October.
Best case scenario, if our NETS Stadium outdoor courts are ready for use by the next COVID-19 change in restrictions, and continuing to access Seddon Reserve, we are still short two courts to run a successful friendly competition, and feel it unfair to expect clubs to return to competition without having adequate training opportunities, and given many of our clubs utilise indoor training venues, this could prove to be somewhat difficult sourcing outdoor venues. Based on Netball Victoria's advice it is imperative that we consider not only the players physical fitness in terms of their return to competition readiness, but also their mental fatigue and stimulation overload that can occur without the adequate training and preparation beforehand.
Ultimately, the BDNA Board would love to see our players back on court, and we know many players are itching to get back into their netball gear. As the daily COVID data is continuing to work in our favour, the Board have decided to reconvene after the next State Government announcements, predicted on 19th October, to finalise our 2020 decision.