THE Orange Netball Association is on the verge of implementing a state-first proposal set to propel the central west’s premier netball competition to even greater heights.
The ONA formed a sub-committee at the end of last year to work on a proposal to combine the clubs’ division one and division two sides into a single squad of 20 players ahead of the 2013 season.
The move will allow division one and two players to compete for division one places in their respective clubs and train together as a group.
Those who earn it will be the 10 picked to play division one.
The next 10 play division two.
This differs from the usual system of clubs having to name their division one and two teams at the start of the season and, barring injuries or unavailability, basically sticking with the teams for the whole season.
The new proposal will allow for players to move between grades more freely.
It’s a move designed to create more competition for places and improve the standard of division one netball in Orange and, more importantly, bridge the gap between the ONA’s top grade and that of its feeder system.
Sub-committee members Mardi Aplin and Amanda Rouse only see positives coming out of the proposal, set to be put to a vote at the next ONA meeting on Monday, February 4.
Should it come to fruition, the squad proposal will be a New South Wales first.
“It's for the young kids we have in the ONA, in our clubs,” Aplin explained. “We're actually trying to make it so that if they don’t get picked in the top team, they can still work hard and eventually be drafted up into the top team.”
Rouse added the new proposal rewarded players in division two that improved enough to warrant a berth in the ONA's division one competition.
“Those 10 players have to perform every week,” she said.
“It’s making everyone perform. It means 20 people get the opportunity to train hard and train with the division one coach and it filters back through. It’ll strengthen division two as well.”
The sub-committee formed is made up of Rouse, Aplin, Mark and Jacki Jasprizza, Jake Hurford, Petrina Allen and Bernie Bird.
Aplin and Rouse are excited about the potential for a greater standard of netball.
“For years and years the gap between division one and division two has been huge. We're hoping to bridge that gap,” Aplin said.