By Emmanuel Amooti
Uganda’s netball leagues are set to resume on December 5, after the sports activities were suspended in March due to Covid-19.
The government approved new measures, meaning matches can be played within clubs and friendlies can take place with other local teams.
Some rules have been modified, including the three-foot marking rule, which has been increased to four feet.
Other community sports like cricket and football have already returned to play.
Wilberforce Mutete, the Uganda Netball Federation publicity secretary said: “We are delighted to be taking a significant step towards seeing netball in its fullest form return. I know the netball family have been itching to get back on court and the time is nearly upon us.”
Previously, players had been allowed to take part in outdoor netball fitness activity in groups of six.
According to the circular published by the Uganda Netball Federation competition committee, the 2020-2021 season of the women’s league will start off on December 5, 2020, and end on January 16 2021.
The format of play this time does not differ from that of previous seasons and the first round will run for five weeks. Each day, each club will play two matches, one in morning and the other in afternoon.
Police children primary school netball court has been chosen to host all league matches. However, there will be no fans in adherence with Ministry of Health guidelines.
Remember, the financial challenges brought on by the November 7 throw off date forced managers to push the restart date of the Netball League Division I by a month.
This change was to enable clubs gather the funds that will enable them to assemble teams.
So, the Uganda Netball Federation’s proposed date was too close for comfort and had quite the financial complications on clubs that cannot afford the Shs 240, 000 test kits for over 20 players each and officials.
Therefore, in that meeting the deliberations the managers had were stressing the fact that some of the standard operating procedures that were very constraining on their finances, like testing the players every two weeks.
They successfully pushed back and proposed a December start date, which the federation looked into before coming to officially release the fixtures, based on what the International Netball Federation demands.
Uganda Prisons women’s netball club’s new recruits are expected to make their debut match in the opening leg of Uganda Netball Federation league in the morning against Uganda Christian University (UCU). Meanwhile, it will be a battle between the 2019 league defending champions National Insurance corporation (NIC) and Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) in the opener.
Meanwhile, in other games, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) will start off with Posta Netball club, up against Police Netball Team and the money bags the Makindye Community club- Weyonje will open up with the new babies from Luwero district, UG-X.