T&T Under-21 netballers should feature in next year's Netball World Youth Cup.
On Wednesday, the International Netball Federation (INF) announced that the qualifiers due to be held in Americas, Africa, Europe and Oceania by October, have been cancelled and the Board has decided to use INF World Rankings to determine the qualifiers for these regions.
This was confirmed by T&T Netball Association (TTNA) president Dr Patricia Butcher, yesterday.
"Correct. The Qualifiers have been cancelled," said Butcher. "Jamaica, T&T, Barbados and St Lucia are the teams that are eligible to participate in the tournament based on the latest World rankings as at May 29, 2020. The annual world rankings will be conducted by INF at the end of June 2020. Matches played between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 will be dropped off and a new list will be circulated.
"I anticipate that hardly any international matches will be played in our region between now and when the decision is made re participation by regions at the World Youth Championship tournament. We await final selection information from the INF."
According to a release by the INF, the governing body hosted several online Regional Roadshows to engage with its Members and Regions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The roadshows provide guidance on international events and reinforce INF’s commitment to provide and share frameworks and tools for a safe return to Netball. INF has over 70 Members spanning across five Regions; Netball Africa, Netball Americas, Netball Asia, Netball Europe and Netball Oceania.
INF’s first Regional Roadshow was held on Sunday with Netball Europe via the online video communication tool, Zoom. Liz Nicholl CBE, INF president, led the roadshow alongside INF CEO, Clare Briegal. 17 administrators of Netball Europe joined the online meeting. The second was held on Tuesday with Asia Netball and a further three were scheduled for this past week.
The International Federation has completed a global survey of the sport to determine how Members are affected by the pandemic, their current position on lockdown and how INF could assist in their return to play.
Nicholl shared the results of the survey which demonstrated that although some countries are beginning to emerge from lockdown, as their cases of the virus decline, there is still great uncertainty with over 50 per cent of Members unsure when their Governments might be reviewing the potential for a return to safe sport.
The INF World Rankings was published yesterday and reflected all matches played before international events were cancelled as a result of the pandemic. The INF Board is consulting with its Members regarding the treatment of World Rankings during the return to international play.
These rankings include the games played in January 2020 at the Vitality Netball Nations Cup. The tournament saw New Zealand, England, South Africa, and Jamaica compete across four venues in England, with New Zealand becoming the champion.
There was only one change in position, with Jamaica (who were runners up at the Vitality Nations Cup) moving up to third marginally ahead of England who move down to fourth, they both have a rating of 172. New Zealand remains second; their rating increases from 179 to 182 closing the gap with Australia in first position and South Africa stay in fifth with an improved rating of 148.
T&T "Calypso Girls" are ranked 10th while fellow Caribbean neighbours Barbados is 12th and St Lucia, 20th.