SINGAPORE - Already hit by two delays owing to Covid-19, this year's Netball Super League (NSL) has now been postponed indefinitely, said Netball Singapore chief executive Cyrus Medora on Tuesday (March 30).
The league was originally slated to start in mid January, before Netball Singapore postponed it by a month, and again later to May 15.
Safety measures currently only allow for a maximum of eight people on court, which would mean that seven-a-side games in the NSL cannot take place.
But all is not lost, as Medora said that if the Nations Cup 2021, scheduled for December, does not take place, the national sports association may consider holding the NSL in September or October, subject to approval from the authorities. That decision will be made in early June.
"It's really tough but I hope that domestic events will be able to start because our community cases are very low so we should have enough confidence to hold it under a controlled environment," he said.
The 3v3 National League 2021 was organised to give players come competition action, with Mannas 2 taking home the Division 1 title after narrowly beating Sneakers Ace 15-12 on Tuesday night at the Kallang Netball Centre.
Division 1 and 2, which started on Feb 23, are for NSL sides and invited clubs. Divisions 3 to 8 for the other clubs start on April 5.
The 3v3 format is played in two thirds of the netball court and comprises two 10-minute halves.
Mannas 2 player Kimberly Lim was happy to cap off her return to competitive netball with a title after she ruptured her left achilles during the 2019 Nations Cup in October.
"The rehabilitation process hasn't been easy emotionally, mentally and physically. I'm just very happy to be finally back and that I can walk and play, which are things I took for granted," said Lim, 26.
"This format might not be the same but it's still the same movements and concept so it was just good to be back on court. For our team, this brought us back to the short and sharp game that we might have forgotten but is also something that Singapore is good at.
"Translating this to the traditional seven-a-side game, it's going to make our game much sharper and nice to watch," said the midfield player, who added that she was not surprised to hear of the NSL's postponement.
Teammate Melody Teo, 29, added: "Of course it's sad that NSL can't happen but it's just something we have to adapt to and move on."
Others like Sneakers Ace player Carmen Goh said the 3v3 league gave her and her teammates something to work towards in training.
She admitted that she had some concerns about the format at first as she usually plays in midfield, but found that she could contribute to her team in other ways.
"It makes you think of how to play more creatively since there are only two others to pass to," said Goh, 30.
"This tournament made a lot of people play outside their comfort zone and allows people to strengthen an aspect of their game they never really thought about. So when we go back to 7v7, as a midfielder, you might defend differently because of what you picked up here."
In the Division 2 final on Tuesday, Sneakers Speed notched a 13-11 win over Mannas 3.