Netball's ANZ Premiership joins list of postponed competitions

3-4 minutes
Netball New Zealand has made the decision to postpone the 2020 ANZ Premiership for two weeks due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit, Phoenix Karaka, Katrina Rore, Grace Kara, Samantha Winders and Jane Watson, during the ANZ Premiership netball launch.
Photo: PHOTOSPORT
The decision was made following the New Zealand Government's announcement on Thursday regarding indoor mass gatherings.
The postponement will take effect immediately for the scheduled games in Round 2 and Round 3 that were due to be played on the 22nd/23rd and 28th/29th/30th March.
Netball NZ chief executive Jennie Wyllie said the decision had been made due to uncertainty in a rapidly changing environment and their desire to protect the well-being of players, staff and volunteers.
"Protecting the health of our Netball players, officials, volunteers and staff is our number one priority, and that means we need to consider their welfare and well-being alongside the advice of Ministry of Health and government," she said.
"We will continue to monitor the situation in New Zealand and follow the information and consultation with the appropriate channels.
"We understand it is disappointing for all of those involved and our fans, but safety is our top priority."
The announcement also affects the Beko Netball League, which sits directly below the ANZ Premiership, with Netball NZ opting to suspend the competition at this time.
New Zealand Netball Players Association executive manager Steph Bond supported the decision.
"We are all in this together - Netball NZ, players and Netball staff across the country along with stakeholders and partners of the game. We fully support Netball NZ's people first strategy and the need to align this with the advice of the government.
"While there is no play at the moment, when the players do get the opportunity to get back on court they will be looking forward to Netball playing a part in supporting the country recover from the impacts of the virus."
The ANZ Premiership completed its opening round in Dunedin on Monday night when the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel and Splice Construction Magic's match was closed to the public.
The decision to return to play will be reviewed in just over a week and Netball NZ remains in close consultation with ANZ Premiership teams regarding the season ahead.
The 2020 ANZ Premiership season is planned to recommence from Round 4 with no change to scheduled fixtures on 5 and 6 April.
Rescheduling of Round 2 and Round 3 matches will form part of the return to play review, with dates of rescheduled matches to be advised in due course.
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March 20, 2020
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