The Melbourne Vixens have been fined by Super Netball for failing to travel to Perth to play the West Coast Fever in July.
- The Vixens didn’t travel to Perth in July because three key players had visited a COVID hotspot in Byron Bay
- The Fever did not want to relocate the game due to the resulting loss in gameday revenue
- Netball Australia rescheduled and moved the match away from Perth due to later COVID outbreaks
After an investigation, Netball Australia found the Vixens had breached the league’s team participation agreement.
The Vixens received a fine of $50,000, with half suspended for two years, and were ordered to pay $31,702.92 to compensate for the costs to replay the match.
The Vixens and Fever were scheduled to play their round eight match on July 22, but the Vixens chose not to travel for the game after three of their players attended a COVID hotspot in Byron Bay.
A disagreement between the two clubs at the time failed to find a resolution, with the Fever refusing to play the game elsewhere and sacrifice the revenue generated from their home game.
In the end, Netball Australia was forced reschedule the match elsewhere and the Fever lost their home crowd advantage anyway.
“The COVID-19 pandemic presented unique challenges for our competition this year,” Netball Australia chief executive Kelly Ryan said.
“Whilst the investigation noted this was an unprecedented circumstance and there was no deliberate intent to disrupt the competition, we take any breach of the rules seriously.
“Netball Australia recognises that clearer processes and protocols are required for the 2022 Super Netball season.”
The 2022 Super Netball season is due to begin on March 26.