Hawke's Bay Netball has confirmed it will bounce-back from the Covid-19 Delta lockdowns with its premier semi-finals as part of a weekend of big sports events in Hawke's Bay.
The association is planning six games indoors at the Pettigrew.Green Arena in Taradale over the next 10 days, including the premier Super 12 semi-finals on Saturday, finals of the two high schools Super 8 divisions on Tuesday night, and the Super 12 third-fourth playoff and final on September 25.
The games on Saturday and next Tuesday will all be played under the conditions of the Level 2 alert, without spectators, and the premier finals day will also be without spectators unless the now-weekly Government review relaxes the controls.
"We hope we can have spectators then, we need to be in Level 1 for that," said gener4al manager Tina Arlidge. "But, we don't know, so we are planning as if it is what it is now."
The finals of most grades were originally scheduled as part of a major celebration of club netball on August 22, initially postponed because of the lockdown that started a few days earlier.
HB Netball decided last week to play just the major finals, and award other grade titles based on points tables at the end of round-robin games.
Arlidge said the association expected some criticism and said she was aware of some that had emerged in the last week.
But having over 1000 teams and staged almost 5700 games during the season, with most of the finals having to be played outdoors at facilities where numbers couldn't be governed, it became increasingly obvious not all of the games across the grades could be played.
There were multiple factors, including the approach of the summer sports season, and views ranged from people wnating to play the games to those saying "let's move on."
"We knew that whetever decision was made it wouldn't please everybody," she said.
Using guidelines including preparation of players after a month of netball inactivity, this weekend was the earliest any games could have been played, she said.
Hawke's Bay Netball is now hoping to live-stream the matches at Perttigrew.Green Arena, for which the draw is:
Saturday, Premier Super semi-finals – Midday, All In Tremains Elusive v Central Sports Vetservices; 2.30pm, Otane Thirsty Whale v HSOG BM Accounting Huia.
Tuesday, secondary school Super 12: 4.30pm, Div 2, Wairoa College v Ahuriri; 6.30pm, Div 1, Hastings Girls High School v Napier Girls High School.