The new competition commences in April 2008 and will feature ten teams from across Australia and New Zealand, five teams from each country, with 69 games played over 17 weeks.
The Tasman Trophy Netball League will replace the Commonwealth Bank Trophy in Australia, which is in its 11th year of competition in 2007, and the National Bank Cup in New Zealand.
“The Tasman Trophy is a revolutionary competition that will change the future of netball, and women’s sport, in Australia,” Netball Australia President, Noeleen Dix said.
“This is a significant step towards the sport becoming professional and we are looking forward to working with all of our stakeholders to build a profitable and competitive netball league.”
“Without the considerable support of the Australian Government through the Australian Sports Commission, this competition would not get off the ground.”
Netball New Zealand’s Chairman Don Mackinnon was also thrilled with the new competition saying, “This is a groundbreaking day for women’s sport, on both sides of the Tasman.”
“It’s going to be bigger than anything we’ve ever seen before. It will deliver more top quality netball between the two leading netball nations in the world of Netball,” Mackinnon said.
Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand were able to establish the Tasman Trophy Netball League after securing the largest broadcasting deal in the history of netball with Sky TV and Fox Sports.
“We have secured an initial three-year broadcasting deal with Sky TV and one-year deal with Fox Sport that will guarantee all 69 games being televised each year across Australia and New Zealand,” Dix said. “This opportunity is a positive step for netball and will not only raise the profile of the sport, our athletes, coaches and umpires but will significantly increase our positioning in the sporting arena.”
“The intense netball rivalry between Australia and New Zealand is world renown and the new competition will deliver 17 weeks of top quality netball to the living rooms of sport enthusiasts on both sides of the Tasman.”
Netball Australia has invited all state and territory member organisations to submit an expression of interest for participating in the new competition.
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