Mini-season for netball’s return & Tennis bounces back

by Kieran Petrik-Bruce
8th November 2021

DONCASTER & District Netball Association is bringing Netball back, with a four week mini-season.

The netball mini season will run from November 13 to December 4, and will be from Under 9 to Open Age.

Game times will be subject to the number of teams entered and will be structured to avoid crowded change overs.

Parents, coaches, and players are advised to get in, play, and get out.

Strictly only one parent/guardian per family allowed.

With a chance to get some netball in before the new year, everyone is reminded that if you are close enough to be called for obstruction, you need to spread out.

Warrandyte Netball’s COVID plan remains the same that it has been during the pandemic.

Making sure everyone is well spaced on the new outdoor courts, sanitising equipment between sessions, and only those involved in the training itself and required for it to run are present.

Warrandyte Netball President, Eilish Vaughan says everyone is so excited to

be getting back into netball after such a long time.

“It’s fantastic that we’ve reached a turning point allowing the players to return with more certainty,” she said.

The four-week competition has been designed to be a fun way for players to reconnect with friends and play some netball before the year is finished.

There will be no official scoring, no ladders, and no finals.

“We’re very excited and grateful for Doncaster Districts Netball Association going to the effort of running a mini season,” said Eilish.

“It’s a great way to keep the girls fit and their interests peaked whilst we wait for our next full season.”

After the mini season finishes, that’s it for 2021.

The Autumn Season commences February 19, 2022 and runs until mid-June.

As well as a return to play, Eilish told the Diary:

“With lifting restrictions we are looking forward to getting back into the swing of things, having some of our beloved communal events that we have missed so much.”


COMMUNITY sport has returned, and with it, clubs, coaches, and associations have been tirelessly working to ensure that everyone get back to playing in a safe and enjoyable way.

Tennis has been in a slightly different situation to other community sport.

As a mostly individual sport, coaches have been able to run session under the personal trainer guidelines.

Craig Haslam, who coaches in the Banyule and Manningham area, and head coach of the Warrandyte Tennis Club, has been running sessions since October 4.

Craig spoke to the Diary about the constant changes in guidelines and the return to tennis.

“The councils have said as long as you are following Tennis Victoria’s guidelines you are fine,” said Craig.

While it is fantastic news that coaching has been allowed since October, one of the early challenges has been organising vaccinated coaches with vaccinated students.

“Up to five fully vaccinated students could train with a fully vaccinated coach, of course you have some of the coaches who are not yet vaccinated so it is just about matching them up.”

With the full training program being able to resume, competition will start for many players Saturday, November 6 and Sunday, November 7.

The fixtures released by Eastern Region Tennis Inc for the summer season is about as close to normal as you could hope for, with the season running into the end of March 2022 and a two-week finals series, with the Grand Finals to be played on April 2.

Craig explained that because this competition is usually term four and term one the following year, that it is going ahead as planned, however a drop in players has meant that some players may have moved up a division and a few competitions have been merged.

While the guidelines do allow for those who are not fully vaccinated to participate in community sport, assuming the premise is only open for community sport, Tennis Victoria have stated in their guidelines:

“At their discretion, some clubs may wish to introduce measures beyond the above guidelines.

“Tennis Victoria recognises and supports the ability of clubs to do so.”