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Beko Netball League cancelled for 2020

Netball New Zealand has announced that the revised 2020 Beko Netball League has been cancelled due to the shift in COVID-19 alert levels.

The league, which is in its fifth season and has proven an important pathway for performance for both players and coaches, was set to start on 29 August under a condensed schedule with six teams competing over three weekends.

But with the New Zealand Government’s announcement that the Auckland region would remain at Alert Level 3, it was decided the Beko Netball League could not go ahead.

Auckland, Te Aroha and Wellington were set to host the competition, but the uncertainty over the length of lockdowns and changes to the requirements at each level means the call to cancel the 2020 league was made.

Netball New Zealand Head of Events Kate Agnew said it was yet another challenging decision in a season of unchartered waters.

“I feel for the teams and management who have prepared for essentially two versions of the Beko Netball League, and will not get to compete this season,” she said.

“But as Auckland teams have ceased training at Alert Level 3 and at Alert Level 2 in Auckland with it now being groups of 10 for gatherings we felt it was the right call to cancel the league.

“We are extremely disappointed for all of those involved as we have seen over the past four years the impact the Beko Netball League has for those athletes, coaches and officials striving to take their game further.”

The league sits directly below the ANZ Premiership and has proven a key stepping-stone to the elite game. Central Manawa is the three-time defending champions with Southern Blast the only other team to have won the league.

The Beko Netball League had been cancelled earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but a shortened version was relaunched with funding support from Sport New Zealand.