Super Netball players in dark with season structure

James Worsfold/Getty Images

Super Netball players remain in the dark in regards to the 2020 season fixtures and the format of this year's competition with the governing body yet to confirm the competition structure just five weeks out from the opening match.

After the 2020 season was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Super Netball announced in late May that the season would launch on August 1 with further updates on the competition to be released. However, as the countdown for Round 1 continues, the sporting body has yet to provide players with an update.

"We have no idea, we only know what everyone else knows, an August 1st start date," Australian Netball Players' Association president Natalie Medhurst told ESPN.

"We obviously know on the back of COVID-19 things are changing quite quickly both in a positive and a negative way as we've seen over here in Victoria.

"They're trying to wait until the last minute to make a decision, border restrictions play a huge part on that.

"Ideally we want to be able to play a full 17-week season which will take us all the way through til November."

With the latest spike in COVID cases in Victoria, Medhurst believes Super Netball may need to look into competing in a hub environment, similar to how the NRL and AFL have been able to launch their respective seasons.

"If things don't loosen up we may actually see a hub situation take place whether that's for a whole duration for the competition, whether that's for part of it, and then reassess after a month -- who actually knows?

"We just know we've got a start date, but what the fixtures actually look like, we're in the dark as much as anyone else."

Melbourne-based NRL club Melbourne Storm have been forced to relocate to Sydney for two weeks due to the city's recent spike in cases. With two Super Netball clubs based in Melbourne - Collingwood and Melbourne Vixens - there remains the potential for two teams to relocate in order to stop the season from derailing, however, Medhurst believes if relocation was an option, Super Netball would revert to a hub set-up.

"I think if they were going to go to that situation [relocation] they'd probably go to a hub, where they would actually relocate basically the whole competition.

"As I said, we have absolutely no idea, we obviously haven't started yet unlike NRL so we've got time to see how things pan out over these next few weeks.

"Hopefully everyone in Victoria can do the right thing to get back on track, that'd help netball to get back on track and play out a full season format."

Super Netball and Netball Australia came under fire earlier in the week after the sporting bodies announced the introduction of the two-point 'Super Shot' for the 2020 season without player or stakeholder consultation. Speaking to ESPN, Medhurst labelled the actions "disrespectful".

"We've already endured an eight-month pre-season, to make a decision as big as this without any consultation from any key stakeholders whether that be players, coaches, the competition committee, has sort of blown everyone away and was quite disrespectful."

The Super Netball season launches on August 1.