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Netball in Tasmania - Current Status

From December 1st, the Director of Health has implemented a framework for Covid-19 Safe Events and Activities in Tasmania. 

From December 15th, the requirements around mandatory collection of visitor information will include sporting organisation. This is the responsibility of VENUE OWNER/OPERATORS. 

2021 conditions of netball have been revised and simplified. Please ensure that all association and club members are made aware of the updated conditions. 

View full details on each topic by visiting the relevant page buttons below.

Netball in Tasmania - A Staged Return

Staged recommencement at each of the designated dates remains dependent upon current public health advice at the time, and will be moved if necessary. Participants should plan in line with the dates provided, and confirmation that recommencement will proceed as planned will be provided in the week leading into each of the proposed dates.

Frequently Asked Questions

In terms of the maximum numbers of attendees at court sessions – does that include minors i.e. if a player needs to bring their child to training will they be counted as one of the 20?
•	Athletes that are participating in the session are those that contribute to the 20 person cap, and others sit outside of it as the 
•	While there isn’t a cap on “officials” there is a reasonable expectation that the “officials” are limited. So if there are 2 Coaches 
        and 1 Team Manger plus 1 Minor then that should be fine.  If there are 7 officials and 3 minors then we may have a problem. 
        Clubs have some flexibility to work within the parameters but need to exercise reasonable judgement.

Given we are uncertain of exact numbers at Stage 3, are you able to advise how Netball Tasmania have determined participation numbers as we are not aware of this information?
•	We’re aware that at every stage of recommencement, we must adhere to point in time public health advice. Ours Plans were 
        identified as compliant by sport and recreation, with input from public health, noting that we will be conducting a review in 
        the week leading into each date to ensure that current public health advice still support that Stage of recommencement. You 
        will note in Plans and previous correspondence that everything states that it is subject to ongoing public health advice.
•	The dates were established based on the forecast dates and conditions in the initial information we were provided relating 
        to the State Govt Roadmap to Recovery plan. Again, these dates may still need to change if public health does not support the 
        forecast easing of restrictions when that time arises. We have now seen an example of this with the advice provided on Friday 
        June 6th restricting overall numbers in an indoor venue to 20.
•	Netball Tasmania proposed numbers on a ‘per court’ basis, using basic and Nationally used Netball data relating to  ‘individuals 
        per sqm’, noting that there was ‘surplus’ room in the playing area at a given time, but restricted area courtside where tiered 
        seating wasn’t present. 30 per court was the established amount per court, with a view to also contain the overall number of 
        individuals in a ‘venue’ at a given time. 
•	We’re aware that certain venues may have other restrictions imposed on them and that the 30 per court, or the 100 per 
        ‘stadium’ for TNL, may not marry up with the venue directed restrictions. You will note in the Competition Management Plan 
        that is states that ‘Competition Owners are required to liaise with Venue Managers to discuss restrictions on spectators which 
        may vary in standard between venue and competition’. In regard to the 30 per court standard, this is purely the number in the 
        Netball Tasmania Management Plans. Unless a particular council imposes specific and different restrictions on a venue in their 
        jurisdiction, then the approval under our Plan is for 30 per court (pending public health advice). In regard to councils, the 
        advice from sport and recreation was that they would be contacting the Local Government Association of Tasmania (who 
        would in turn advise councils) to advise them of State Sports Organisations which have had their Plans identified as compliant, 
        which may in turn apply to Associations and Clubs (through signing up to the State Body Plan) to avoid them needing to 
        develop localised Plans.

What processes will Netball Tasmania have in place to ensure Competition Management Guidelines are met consistently at all matches by a variety of volunteer Competition Managers, all with varying skill sets and levels of background knowledge?
•	It has been determined (as of June 17th), following consideration and considerable planning, Netball Tasmania staff will 
        perform the role of Competition Manager (as per Covid-19 Management Plans) at all TNL matches this season. It has 
        previously been communicated that we would be responsible for the first two games post recommencement, and then 
        this responsibility was going to fall to the Clubs. In order however to alleviate concerns and ensure the best chance for 
        safe and compliant return to competition, we will now perform the role for the full (modified) season. We still require a 
        nominated representative of each Club to ‘shadow’ the NT employee during your first one or two home games. This is 
        to ensure that someone knows what to do and can step in as a ‘reserve’ in the event of an emergency such as late notice 
        of illness etc. The Competition Manager role will not impact the remainder of ‘Home Game’ duties which the Clubs will 
       still be responsible for in 2020.

What processes do Netball Tasmania have in place to manage compliance and non-compliance? What are the visiting teams rights in regards to compliance and non- compliance? Are you able to advise what authority the Competition Manager will have to ensure compliance?  
•	Regarding the specific processes relating to compliance management – don’t have all the answers yet, and in honesty 
        it’s not a matter which is worked through quickly. We will however be ready to issue something in the coming weeks and 
        well prior to competition. We need further advice, but we also need to find the appropriate balance between necessary 
        management and oversight, and an expectation of compliance and common sense from individual participants and Clubs.

Is there a possibility of a refresher session for bench officials, particularly for new volunteers that are replacing those in risk categories? 
•	Yes. An agenda for an online refresher is currently being finalised, and clubs will be sent information to distribute to relevant 
        parties.  The refresher will be run on multiple dates to maximise opportunities to participate. Some current bench volunteers 
        may deem themselves unavailable, so clubs will be encouraged to share the zoom link with existing and any potential new 
        bench officials.  
•	We’re also still working through how a bench may best, and most safely, operate for TNL to ensure that we operate in 
        compliance with physical distancing standards. We may not be able to operate the Bench in a conventional manner. We 
        will provide updates as soon as decisions are finalised.

What may a revised bench set up look like to comply with Covid-19 requirements?
•	We’re working through what the best set up for each venue will be. Decisions around placement of the score bench and 
        adjusted practices will be made to ensure that it fits within guidelines and doesn’t place added stress on team managers. 
•	Our position on team benches is to be as flexible as possible on a club by club basis. Your bench set up may differ to your 
        opposition at any given match, but as long as they both comply with physical distancing and hygiene standards, Netball 
        Tasmania is keen to help make that happen. In terms of players being allocated to a seat, or sitting wherever they feel like, 
        we can only make recommendations. If it suits your coaching team to have players sit anywhere and it’s within the team 
        managers scope to wipe down seats (although this isn’t mandated), then you would be welcome to. If it’s easier to have 
        allocated seating for the match, and your bench set up can allow coaches to comfortably work with players potentially being 
        more spread out, then that would be fine too! 

Clubs are to have the final say in the health and wellbeing of their athletes in terms of them being allowed to play?
•	Yes, the responsibility will be in the hands of the clubs, they will need to exercise judgment and where it is clearly not being 
        exercised and there is an obvious issue, the competition manager will be responsible for stepping in. We are working on a 
        checklist to help guide the clubs. Clubs however should be aware that where there is an instance of someone playing who is 
        demonstrating obvious signs of being unwell and unfit to compete in a Covid-19 environment, the Competition Manager may, 
        following consultation with the team staff, instruct that a player be removed from a match.

Discussion was had around if 3 athletes in a team are unwell and not able to play – Opens can pull from their 19U to cover but 19U sometimes can’t pull from anywhere else – if this happens in finals time and athletes aren’t qualified to play are the clubs able to get an exemption? What is the process around this?
•	Through the regular season, if there are athletes that cannot play in the revised roster, names of new/replacement athletes 
        don’t need to be submitted to Netball Tas. As long as they’re registered in MyNetball before they take the court for a roster 
        match, that’s fine.
•	Clubs are encouraged to qualify some extra players through the season in the event that they may be considered for finals.  
        There will be no upfront ‘exemption’ applied to finals qualification rulings, however Netball Tasmania reserves the right as 
        Competition Owner to consider exemptions if and when required in extreme cases only. This has been an extraordinary year, 
        there may be extraordinary circumstances to consider.

The DOE have a checklist to aid in managing illness. Is it possible for Netball Tasmania to develop something similar for clubs? 
•	We are not ‘required’ to have a checklist, but we do have a Covid-19 Case Management Plan (which is mandated) but agree it 
        would be good to have a checklist to assist. If we can get a copy of DOE’s it would be beneficial, and we can develop our own 
        and release soon along with the Manager Checklist for training's. 

What are the new parameters in terms of number of quarters played given the season is now reduced in eligibility for finals?  
•	Athletes must take the court in at least 4 games in total (12 games per club, a third of which is 4) to be eligible for finals.

How many quarters in Opens before you need to stay up if 19U eligible?
•	The quarters will be set at 16, reflective of the reduced season and meeting of the one third of total quarters before being 
        re-graded as an open only player. 

If we have athletes that cannot play in the revised roster when do we have to have names of new/replacement athletes to Netball Tas by? 
•	If they’re registered in MyNetball before they take the court, that’s fine. We won’t be developing a new manual as things will 
       be ‘fluid’.

Considering the current climate, there are some concerns about the athletes staying in accommodation together (sometimes sharing double beds)… 
•	Since the time of this question, accommodation restrictions have lifted. Clubs should however be aware that many 
        participants may not wish to share accommodation in the current environment, and should consider alternative options 
        (such as arranging own accommodation) for this year only given the unusual circumstances, and all Clubs only having one 
        ‘away’ double header remaining.

Travelling together in cars for over 2 hours each way to Launceston / Ulverstone / Hobart? 
•	There is no restriction in place for the number of people travelling together in a vehicle. Again however, Clubs should 
        consider individual participants preferences/concerns.

Are Clubs able to use buses for travel? 
•	There are no restrictions on bus travel, but Clubs should be aware that individual companies may have restrictions in place 
        for their own vehicles. This should be checked when booking.

What about parents transporting athletes, then not being able to be spectate if restrictions remain and having to stay overnight?
•	We can’t control this unfortunately. We may be able to build some flexibility into the 100 max. i.e. the allocations for Club 
        Officials, and there is space for 5 different parents to do Bench on each game. Ultimately though – we’re hard capped on 
        attendees (and that’s still subject to point in time advice), so we won’t be able to open to spectators as we normally would 
        until there is future easing of restrictions. It’s a challenge, like many in a return to sport post Covid-19. 

Are there any special requirements for our primary carer during games with regards to COVID-19 from Netball Tasmania? 
•	Primary Carers will need to be across the Netball Tas management plans in regard to return to play. When treating athletes 
        and they are unable to maintain the 1.5m distance, they must wear a mask, sanitise hands before and after treatment, and 
        sanitise any equipment used before and after treatment, i.e. wiping down the massage table, foam rollers etc. 
•	They will be under the same umbrella of not attending if they're unwell/showing any symptoms, and it's club responsibility 
        to check this. 

In terms of planning for next year, given TNL Licence are currently being called for, is there a timeframe in terms of making announcements?  This is even more paramount now we are playing 2 seasons in 13 months.
•	We’ve said as soon as practical after the June 30th deadline, so early July seems possible, which is still quite a bit 
        before season commencement. 

What is the current plan for 2021?
•	We’ve said throughout that we don’t want the impact of Covid-19 flowing across multiple seasons unless absolutely 
        necessary. At this stage, Clubs should be preparing for a commencement date similar to that of 2020 – early to mid-March.