The Melbourne Vixens have received a financial penalty from Netball Australia in response to the rescheduled round 8 Suncorp Super Netball match between the Melbourne Vixens and West Coast Fever, originally scheduled at the RAC Arena in Perth.
A review of the circumstances leading up to and including the postponed game was undertaken by Netball Australia. Netball Australia considered three separate matters, resulting in the Vixens being found guilty of one of the three.
Firstly, our Melbourne Vixens athletes were cleared of any wrongdoing in relation to their leave period in northern NSW, something that had been approved by the league. Secondly, the Melbourne Vixens were also cleared of any breach in relation to its conduct and decision making in the lead up to the scheduled match.
Unfortunately, and disappointingly, the Vixens were found to have breached the league’s rules by not travelling to Perth in time for the schedule game.
The Melbourne Vixens have been fined $50,000, with $25,000 suspended, for a breach of the league Team Participation Agreement. The Melbourne Vixens have also received a fine of $31,702.92 for costs incurred by Netball Australia for the rescheduled match at Nissan Arena.
CEO of Netball Victoria and the Melbourne Vixens, Rosie King OAM said:
“We are disappointed with the outcome considering the evidence we supplied throughout the review.
“We are also disappointed that other options initially presented by the league - such as to delay the game for 24 hours to enable the entire team to travel, or to relocate the game to South Australia or Queensland - were not explored or supported, nor was the league’s ‘COVID-19 Decision Making Process’ enacted which would have provided a framework for teams to follow in such circumstances.
“We understand, however, that the environment in which everyone was working in was extraordinarily difficult with the clock ticking and decisions being made under pressure-cooker conditions. The wellbeing and safety of our athletes and staff will always be our priority.
“We hope that the league’s protocols are likewise reviewed as part of a continual improvement exercise.”
As the Vixens can now put this season behind them, the club and Netball Victoria look forward to the opportunities that come from the league’s broadcast deal with Foxtel that they hope will take the sport to another level both on and off court.