A Message From INF President, Liz Nicholl CBE on COVID-19

Dear INF Members and Regions

The INF Board met (by video conferencing) this weekend and considered very carefully the current situation around the world regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. With significant input from those Directors on the Board elected by their Regions, we discussed the guidance we should give our Members and Regions at this difficult time.

We concluded that, as a Netball family, we should all draw on our commitment to being a socially responsible sports movement and, where we can, we should extend our hands of friendship into our local communities to help others during this crisis. Through our words and actions, Netballers can continue to have a positive impact on people and communities around the world.

With this in mind:

1. INF asks that all Member Associations act responsibly and follow the guidance and decisions of your own nation’s government. This is a top priority.

2. We encourage all Members and Regions to play a part in stemming the spread of the disease by considered actions on a national and regional basis, for example, the cancellation or postponement of events even if this has not yet been formally imposed. I know that many of you have done this already.

3. Where you are free to make further decisions we would recommend that you significantly reduce or prevent close interactions between your members and thus reduce the risk of the spread of the disease…and many of you have already taken this important step also.

4. For those events within our jurisdiction e.g. the Netball World Youth Cup 2021 and in particular the relevant qualifiers that are due to take place in 2020, the Board has decided to postpone the date by which the qualifiers must take place from July 31st to October 31st, 2020. This will enable the Regions that had planned to hold qualification tournaments in May (Africa), June (Oceania) and July (Americas) in particular, to postpone those events. The Board will review this on a monthly basis and is prepared to extend the qualification deadline further if the need arises. The relevant Regional Director will discuss the implications of this with the organising committees.

5. Regarding the deployment of officials (Umpires and UAP) to International events, INF will not make any further appointments at this time. Where appointments have been made already, we will ensure the officials are contacted by the relevant organising committees regarding event postponement.

6. We encourage the use of on-line tools and social media to ensure the global netball community can continue to support each other. INF will actively share ideas to help our netballers remain fit and healthy in mind and body, and most of all connected and we will be using our communications platforms (website, social media etc.) to enable this to happen. This will also allow us all to promote some learning opportunities.

7. The INF Commercial Committee is working with our Members, Regional Federations and Broadcast partner Lagardère to provide footage of past netball tournaments such as the Netball World Cup 2019 and 2015 to allow national Broadcasts to fill some of the gaps in their depleted live schedules with netball and enable fans to access to these games. In the meantime, we continue to make our archive available on our YouTube channels in the normal way.

8. INF will not actively pursue payment of those Membership fees that remain outstanding for 2020. We are aware of the potential impact on Member resources. At this point, this is a deferral in accordance with the INF Articles. The Board has the authority to also consider waivers should it become necessary as our Articles state:

In the event of circumstances outside a Member’s reasonable control, the Board will have the power to waive or defer a Member’s obligation to pay its annual subscription, in whole or part, for up to two years, on such conditions as the Board deems appropriate.

A full communication regarding the other matters discussed and decided at the INF Board meeting will be issued as soon as possible.

The INF Board is arranging to meet ( on-line) on a monthly basis for the foreseeable future.

Please do continue to keep in touch via email even while the INF office is closed. The team is working from home and we welcome hearing from you.

In the meantime, I hope that you and your families and friends within and beyond Netball are able to keep safe over this challenging time.

Liz Nicholl CBE

President INF