Friday, 30 July 2010

Netball around the World

Undefeated T and T, pictured here in Singapore for the 5 Nations Cup.

Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados will join Jamaica at the 2011 World Championships, after this week’s Americas qualification tournament held in St Lucia. Trinidad and Tobago defeated hosts St Lucia 57-45 to end the competion with a perfect unbeaten record. Barbados took second place in the tournament ahead of the home side. Canada, St Vincent and the USA also competed.

So teams competing in Singapore will be:

Singapore as Host


New Zealand




Asia -Sri Lanka and Malaysia

Oceania -Fiji and Samoa

Europe –Northern Ireland and Wales

Americas – Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados

Africa – TBC after qualifiers

It promises to be an exciting competition. Gold and Platinum ticket packages are on sale now at

The world’s top two nations, Australia and New Zealand, have named their squads for October’s Commonwealth Games, and there have been surprises from both countries with an uncapped player named in each side.

Defending Commonwealth champions New Zealand have included 22 year old Grace Rasmussen (pictured left) in the Silver Ferns squad for the first time, alongside three returning internationals – Leana de Bruin, Temepara George and Daneka Wipiti.

Meanwhile, there is no room for the experienced Bianca Chatfield in the Australian Diamonds team which was also named this week. The veteran defender, with 42 international appearances, has been overlooked in Norma Plummer’s squad of 15 players, from which the Commonwealth Games team will be selected. Queensland Firebird Amy Steel, 21, (pictured right) is the only uncapped player named in the side, which will be cut to 12 players after the upcoming internationals against New Zealand and Jamaica.

The full squads named are:

New Zealand: Liana Barrett-Chase, Leana de Bruin, Temepara George (vice-captain), Katrina Grant, Joline Henry, Laura Langman, Grace Rasmussen, Anna Scarlett, Maria Tutaia, Irene van Dyk, Casey Williams (captain), Daneka Wipiiti

Australia: Kate Beveridge, Madison Browne, Rebecca Bulley, Cath Cox, Susan Fuhrmann, Laura Geitz, Mo’onia Gerrard, Kimberlee Green, Renae Hallinan, Sharelle McMahon (captain), Natalie Medhurst, Lauren Nourse, Susan Pratley, Amy Steel, Natalie von Bertouch (vice-captain).

A team from the Khomas Region of Namibia has now completed the first week of its tour in the UK, with matches against North England regional training squads and Superleague team Leeds Carnegie . In addition, the team has worked with a number of conditioning experts, and former England coach Liz Broomhead, to improve match preparation and performance as well as coaching techniques. The side has now travelled on to Wales, where the Khomas team will take on Wales A, as well as two of England’s young development sides.

The Fiji Netball Association will this week interview applicants for the vacant positions of national coach and national team manager. Three candidates have been shortlisted for each post, and the Association’s interim president, Wainikiti Bogidrau, expects to announce the names of the country’s new coach and manager in the next week.

Netball in Swaziland is anticipating a significant boost in popularity after it was announced this week that the game is to be one of the sports featured in the nationwide Manzini Municipal Games. The competition, sponsored by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Manzini Youth Care, will involve league matches for teams from 12 areas across the country and will also generate increased awareness of, and participation in, the game in those areas.

Finally, although not yet an IFNA Member, Netball continues to enjoy increased participation in Brunei. Last week, Persatuan Kebajikan Perempuan (PKP) team emerged as champions at the annual Belait PKP tournament , held to coincide with His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei's 64th birthday celebrations at the Mumong Sports Complex. They defeated KBNC in the final, while Pertiwi defeated Havoc for this place. The chairman of the event, Dyg Hjh Kertini binte OKPSD was encouraged by a record number of entries in this, the third year of the competition.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Weekly Netball Roundup

Australia and England have both submitted bids to IFNA to host the 2015 World Championships in Sydney and Manchester respectively. Australia last hosted the competition in 1991, while England played host in Birmingham in 1995. IFNA will announce which venue has been successful in Singapore at the 2011 World Championships.

Adelaide Thunderbirds are the 2010 ANZ Champions, after defeating the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic 52-42 in front of a capacity 9,300 crowd at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. Runners up in last year’s Grand Final, the Thunderbirds were in determined mood from the first whistle, and with Jamaican shooter Carla Borrego netting 13/14 in the first quarter, they led 15-8 at the first interval. Player of the match England defender Geva Mentor (pictured above) starved the Magic’s influential Irene Van Dyk (also pictured above) of consistent possession and with Adelaide’s smothering defensive tactics making it hard for the Kiwi side to build momentum, the home team lifted their first Championship title after three play-off appearances.

Following the conclusion of the championships, the world’s top two sides Australia and New Zealand have named their squads for 2010/11. After impressing in the Thunderbirds’ run to the ANZ Championship title, Adelaide’s Erin Bell and Sharni Layton are the two debutantes in Australia’s 22 player squad, and will now join the other 20 players at a selection camp ahead of the forthcoming internationals against New Zealand and Jamaica for which 12 players will be named. The full Australian Diamonds squad is: Caitlin Bassett, Emily Beaton, Erin Bell, Kate Beveridge, Madison Browne, Rebecca Bulley, Bianca Chatfield, Julie Corletto, Cath Cox, Susan Fuhrmann, Laura Geitz, Mo’onia Gerrard, Kimberlee Green, Renae Hallinan, Sharni Layton, Sharelle McMahon (Captain), Natalie Medhurst, Lauren Nourse, Susan Pratley, Kimberley Smith, Amy Steel, Natalie von Bertouch (Vice-Captain).

New Zealand’s selectors have named a seventeen player squad for 2010/11, which includes three former Silver Ferns – Daneka Wipiiti, Leana de Bruin and Anna Scarlett. The full Silver Ferns squad is: Liana Barrett-Chase, Leana de Bruin, Temepara George, Katrina Grant, Joline Henry, Charlotte Kight, Laura Langman, Cathrine Latu, Grace Rasmussen, Anna Scarlett, Anna Thompson, Maria Tutaia, Irene van Dyk, Casey Williams, Daneka Wipiiti. Wendy Frew and Camilla Lees have been named in the squad but will not be available for selection for the upcoming internationals, due to shoulder surgery and medical studies respectively. Shooters Jodi Brown and Paula Griffin made themselves available for selection at this time.

Defending champions Malaysia secured their fourth successive Asian Youth Championships title this week with a 63-39 win over Sri Lanka in the Grand Final. Singapore defeated the fast-improving India side 56-38 to take third place overall.

Guyana has named its first national squad since 2006, as the country works towards competing in the Caribbean World Championships qualifiers in 2012. Coached by Randolph Critchlow, the squad of 12 players contains no former internationals and, captained by centre Michelle Subrattie, will travel to Barbados in the next month to take part in a commercial tournament to assess its progress to date. To provide the squad members with increased domestic competition, Guyana Netball Association is also working to stage its first national championships in August

Thursday, 8 July 2010


Netball is the beneficiary of the single largest female sports sponsorship across Australasia, with this week’s announcement that ANZ has renewed its naming rights sponsorship for the ANZ Championship for an additional three years. As the competition prepares for its third Grand Final, which takes place this weekend, ANZ CEO New Zealand commented, “We feel privileged to have ben part of a world-class competition from its very beginning, and to have witnessed the remendous bgrowth that netball has continued to experience across both Australia and New Zealand.”

In this weekend’s Grand Final, the Adelaide Thunderbirds will line up against the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic, who surprised many people’s favourites for the title, the NSW Swifts, with a 54-49 victory in the minor final. Despite ending the regular season at the top of the league table, the Swifts failed to bounce back from their loss to the Thunderbirds in the first round of the play offs, and with Magic’s perennial GS Irene Van Dyk once again in sparkling form to net 38 goals from 39 attempts, the New Zealanders moved through to this weekend’s final.

Meanwhile, Southern Steel midcourter Liana Barrett-Chase has scooped this year’s prestigious ANZ Championship Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. The consistency of Barrett-Chase (pictured) over the 14 week home and away season could not be ignored by coaches of the competition’s ten teams, who vote on the award using a three, two, one points system at the conclusion of each match. She topped the standings with 36 points, to see off the NSW Swifts’ Rebecca Bulley (30 points), Steel defender Leana de Bruin (29) and Adelaide Thunderbirds’ star Jamaican shooter Carla Borrego (29).

The annual world rankings have now been refreshed and released by IFNA, and while the top four places remain unchanged (although the gap between the top two nations has narrowed to only eight points), some significant movements have occurred further down the list. Fiji has jumped to a ranking of fifth in the world, while South Africa’s Proteas have moved ahead of African rivals Malawi to take sixth place. Malawi’s Queens, which missed a series with South Africa earlier this year, slip down to seventh while Northern Ireland moves up to take 12th place. Two countries - St Vincent and The Grenadines and Maldives have lost their ranking, having played insufficient matches during the past three years and now have a rating in the second table, while three countries - Antigua, St Kitts and Nevis and the USA - have lost their rating, having played no matches during the past three years.
India’s fast-improving young side has qualified for the semi-finals of the 7th Asian U21 championships, despite losing 67-41 to defending champions Malaysia in the final round of pool matches. The side, which has been training hard ahead of the autumn’s Commonwealth Games competition, will be joined in the play offs, to be contested this weekend, by Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls, currently preparing for overseas test matches against Australia and New Zealand, suffered a set back in their build up when one of their players, Ann-Kay Griffith, was denied an intransit visa by the US Embassy last week. Griffith, who plays GA for Windalco, now faces a two week delay while the Jamaica Netball Association makes the necessary appeals to the US Embassy to enable the visas to be obtained and provided to the Canadian consultates of Australia and New Zealand. Meanwhile, Georgia Gordon has been recalled to the Jamaica squad for the overseas tour, which takes place from 8-21 August, while the captaincy has been awarded to the experienced Nadine Bryan.

Tanzania’s National Netball League resumes on 25 July with 18 teams expected to compete in the week long-competition. Tanzania’s netball association Chaneta will be using the competition to identify potential national squad players ahead of the All Africa Championships, scheduled for South Africa in September. With only two qualifying spots available and 13 teams registered for the competition, Chaneta is currently seeking government and commercial sponsorship for the Taifa Queens to ensure that they are best prepared to compete at the All Africa competition.

Finally, congratulations to the U21 and U19 teams from Auckland Waitakere which this week scored the title “double” in New Zealand’s national age group championships held in Dunedin. In the finals, Auckland’s U21 side defeated Southland 40-30, while the U19s overcame a spirited challenge from Otago Gold 39-34 to take their title. More than 600 young players took part in the tournament, Netball New Zealand’s biggest participation event.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Check out all new IFNA Rankings

Annual Rankings Refresh

The IFNA World Netball Rankings has just been refreshed by statistician David Kendix who devised the rankings specifically for international netball.

It is worth noting that

a) The gap between Australia and New Zealand has narrowed to just 8 points.

b) Fiji have jumped up to number 5. With South Africa behind them at 6 and Malawi now dropped down to 7. In the middle, Northern Ireland are heading up and are now at 12 and finally at the bottom we see Lesotho making an entrance.

c) Two countries, St Vincent and The Grenadines and Maldives have lost their ranking, having played insufficient matches during the past three years. They now have a rating in the second table.

d) Three countries, Antigua, St Kitts and Nevis and the USA have lost their rating, having played no matches during the past three years.

Check it out:

Friday, 2 July 2010


Two of IFNA’s top ranked Members yesterday submitted their bids to Host the World Netball Championships 2015. Australia and England submitted bids to host the event in Sydney and Manchester, respectively.

England last hosted the championships in 1995, while Australia last hosted them in 1991.

The championships involve the world’s top 16 international teams competing over a period of eight days and will next be held in Singapore in July 2011. Singapore will release further tickets for the event later this month. The 3 Day Gold Package will be released on Friday, 16 July at 10.00am (GMT+8). This is your chance to get your tickets to catch the finals in action over the last 3 days of competition. Log onto for more information now.

Vanuatu Netball Association played a key part in the country’s first ever sports festival this week, with exhibition matches, plus coach and player training and development sessions organised for more than 250 attendees, many of whom were trying netball for the first time. (pictured above) Save the Children and the Vanuatu Department of Health used the event as an opportunity to promote womens health and social issues during the event, while more than 80 players took part in a netball festival organised in age groups from U12 upwards.

South Africa’s Proteas returned home this week after a successful overseas tour, which culminated in a two test win over Samoa. The Proteas won the second test 66-49, after a 54-46 victory in the first match, and also benefitted from two weeks of intensive training and coaching in New Zealand prior to the test matches.

The Asian Youth Netball Championship, a test event for the Commonwealth Games, will be held at the Thyagraj Sports Complex in Delhi from July 3 to 10. Six countries -- hosts India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Thailand have confirmed their participation in the seventh edition of the championship, which will be used to test the capabilities of the complex and its staff ahead of the Commonwealth Games. Malaysia, winners of the past three Asian championships, are favourites for the competition.

The Guyana Netball Association has this week launched a new national U23 championship, to increase participation and competitive opportunities for players across the country. Although only five sides have entered the first competition, it is hoped that the opportunity that it presents will encourage more players to remain in the game after the U16 age group, and provide a transition to senior netball. The finals will be played on Monday 5 July.

Adelaide Thunderbirds shocked the previously undefeated Sydney Swifts in the major semi final of this year’s ANZ Championship, scoring an impressive 52-38 over the table toppers to secure their place in the Grand Final. In a bruising encounter, which saw Swifts captain Catherine Cox sidelined with a broken nose after an accidental collision, Thunderbirds’ defensive pressure was telling, with Geva Mentor, Mo’onia Gerrard and Sharni Layton closing down the space for the usually free-flowing Swifts attacking line.

The Sydney side now has to regroup ahead of this weekend’s preliminary final with the Waikato/BOP Magic, 50-42 victors over New Zealand rivals Southern Steel in the minor semi final. At stake, the second Grand Final spot. Veteran Magic GS Irene Van Dyk was once again in stellar form, netting 41 goals from 46 attempts and dominating the circle, while centre Laura Langman combined well with Jade Clarke and Frances Solia to control the midcourt at pace.

The CEO and Global Development Manager are heading to USA for the IFNA Board Meeting and a meeting with the Chairs of the Panels. Watch this space for an update on key decisions from the Board Meeting.