2018: The Year That Was
2018 has been a huge for the Australian Mens and Mixed Netball Association.
We’ve seen growth in the quantity of participants and standard across each domestic competition, a record number of teams take part in the Australian Championships in Sydney, plus our biggest international calendar to date – the Australian 17 & Under and 35 & Over teams competed at the New Zealand Mens Nationals in Wellington, an inaugural Trans Pacific Cup tour to Papua New Guinea featuring our Mens and Mixed Reserve teams and the Trans Tasman Cup in Adelaide for our 20 & Under, 23 & Under and Austalian Open Mens and Open Mixed Sonix sides.
According to Sport Australia’s (formerly the Australian Sports Commission) latest AusPlay figures in June 2018, 7.17% of netball participants around the country are male. That equates to approximately 65,000 men and boys either registered or social members playing our great game.
State by State
Six teams contested the mens Premier League in Queensland’s once again. A 15 & Under boys division (with six teams) was included for the first time at the Queensland State Age Championships and next year will see the inclusion of a boys division in Vicki Wilson Cup – a schools-based state-wide netball challenge. Two junior development clinics were also run during the year.
The New South Wales M-League comprised of two mens divisions, one mixed, plus a Junior M-league, several junior clinics and participants in school association and showcase matches – an encouraging sign for growth in all areas for next year.
In the Australian Capital Territory, the M-League mens division had five teams, with plans to begin a Junior M League in 2019.
In Victoria, the M-League continues to grow, with 30 teams competing across two Mens and two Mixed divisions in season 2018. The inaugural Junior M-League competition consisted of five teams, with school holiday clinics throughout the year acting as a feeder to the Junior M-League.
Tasmania have begun planning their inaugural M-League to launch next year.
The last Sunday of every month from February through to November in South Australia saw the SAMMNA Academy take place. Holiday clinics were also run for various age groups, plus a boys division competed in the Academy Games (regional competition). Four teams contested the Junior M-League, while eight teams battled it out in the M-League Mens division and 16 teams (across two divisions) in Mixed.
In Western Australia, four teams entered the Western Australia Netball League (WANL) Mens division. The State Championships saw six boys teams compete in the 16 & Under age group, and 14 & Under clinics have been run as a means to bridge the current pathway gap.
The annual Defence Services Netball Championships were contested by 280 participants this month, with teams selected from the respective Inter-state Championships. From there, one Mens and one Mixed extended squad will be selected with the view to representing the Australia Defence Force at the 2019 Australian Championships in Melbourne.
Part of AMMNA’s 2017-2021 Stategic Plan is to continue to develop mens and mixed netball and offer a complete pathway for all participants.
It’s exciting to look back at what has been achieved this year, and to also anticipate another increase in participation across M League and junior programs in most states next year.
This year saw three C Badge umpires from the Australia Championships attain their B Badge shortly after the event. In light of Netball Australia’s recent approval to allow testing on mens and mixed netball games for both C and B badges, this will additionally strengthen our National Umpiring Pool.
There is also the possibility of including additional divisions at the Australian Championships over the next few years, further demonstrating the sport is heading in the right direction.
See you courtside in 2019!