One of Orange's biggest sports is closing in on a return.
The Orange Netball Association has followed the footsteps of a host of other codes and pencilled in a return date on Saturday, July 18.
The competition will kick-off a seven-round regular season before diving into a three-week finals series with the grand final to be played on September 19.
Under 8s and 9s will commence play from Wednesday, July 22 before finishing on September 23, as will the 5-7 year-old age bracket. As of now, the mid-week competitions are on hold until the summer.
Another coup for ONA is the help its received from Orange City Council, with eight outdoor surfaces to be refurbished, as well as funding towards two new courts outside.
The current plans are subject to change and could be impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis but as it stands, the ONA is moving to implement those structures.
ONA president Jane Dennis is pleased there's plans for a July return but is taking a safety-first approach.
"We're still cautious and still watching guidance from the NSW government and mainly Netball NSW," Dennis said.
"It seems like there's increased positivity around it all as society starts to get back to normal. At the moment, our goals are seemingly achievable."
Players in Orange have waited a little longer for an update than in surrounding towns and Dennis simply attributes that to the thorough planning process the committee abided by.
"We've just been taking our time and making sure that what we pencil in is as close to what we can deliver as possible," she said.
"We're getting positive feedback from everyone so far."
While participation numbers are expected to be negatively impacted in a lot of other sports, Dennis doesn't think the amount of players will drop for the 2020 season.
"I think the numbers we have will be pretty close to normal," she said.
"We might even get some new interest as well. It's going to be a shorter competition so we can avoid conflict with summer sports."
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