Netball Superleague

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Netball Superleague
ZeoNSLLogo1 .jpg
Sport Netball
Founded 2005
Inaugural season 2006
No. of teams 10
Country  United Kingdom
Most recent
champion(s)
Wasps Netball
Most titles Team Bath (5 titles)
TV partner(s) Sky Sports (UK)
Official website www.netballsl.com

The Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) is the elite netball competition in the United Kingdom. The league, which runs from February to July, features ten teams from across England, Wales and Scotland.

History[edit]

Netball has a long history in the United Kingdom, though until 2005 the sport had no elite, semi-professional competition at a national level, with local leagues being the predominant form of competition.[1] The amateur nature of the sport domestically differed sharply from the trans-tasman ANZ Championship competition operating in Australia and New Zealand. The local competition setup arguably had a deleterious impact on the national team, which had slipped to fourth in the world and was not meeting the standard and rigours of international competition.[1] In this context, England Netball began overseeing a significant organisational and structural series of changes to the sport, which included the establishment of a franchise-based national netball league which could increase player standards and provide weekly elite competition.[2] This eventually led to the launch of the Netball Superleague (NSL) in October 2005, which culminated in Team Bath winning the first final in June 2006.[3]

The eight inaugural teams who were successful in their application to join the league were Brunel Hurricanes, Celtic Dragons, Galleria Mavericks (renamed Hertfordshire Mavericks in 2009), Leeds Carnegie (renamed Yorkshire Jets in 2011), Loughborough Lightning, Manchester Thunder, Team Bath and Team Northumbria.[2] The Glasgow Wildcats were brought into the league in 2008/09 though removed in 2011/12 and the Brunel Hurricanes were replaced by Surrey Storm in 2009/10.[2] By late 2016 the league had expanded to 10 teams and a Glasgow-based team had been reinstated in the competition, the Scottish Sirens.[4] Two other teams, Coventry-based Wasps and Worcester-Gloucester based Severn Stars were included, though the lowly Yorkshire Jets were removed from the league.[4] At the end of the 2018 season, Team Northumbria were removed from the league and replaced by London-based franchise London Pulse.[5]

Vitality are the current title sponsor of the competition.

Broadcasting[edit]

Sky Sports broadcast all matches in the competition to its television audience. England Netball signed a four-year deal with the company in November 2016.[6]

Teams[edit]

Current teams[edit]

Team Base Est. First NSL
season
Championships Most
recent
. Celtic Dragons Cardiff, Wales 2005 2006 0
Hertfordshire Mavericks Hatfield, Hertfordshire 2005 2006 2 2011; 7 years ago (2011)
London Pulse London 2018 2019 0
LoughboroughLightningColours.png Loughborough Lightning Loughborough, Leicestershire 2005 2006 0
ManchesterThunder.png Manchester Thunder Manchester 2005 2006 2 2014; 4 years ago (2014)
Severn Stars Worcester, Worcestershire 2016 2017 0
Sirens Glasgow 2016 2017 0
SurreyStormColours.png Surrey Storm Guildford, Surrey 2009 2009 2 2016; 2 years ago (2016)
TeamBathColours.png Team Bath Bath, Somerset 2005 2006 5 2013; 5 years ago (2013)
Wasps Netball Coventry, West Midlands 2016 2017 2 2018; 0 years ago (2018)

Former teams[edit]

Team Base Est. First NSL
season
Last NSL
season
Championships
Brunel Hurricanes Brunel University, London 2005 2005 2009 0
Glasgow Wildcats Glasgow 2008 2009 2012 0
Yorkshire Jets Yorkshire 2005 2005 2016 0
Team Northumbria Newcastle upon Tyne 2005 2005 2018 0

Winners[edit]

The winners of the league since its inception in 2006 are as follows:[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Netball Super League: Origins". netballfun.com.
  2. ^ a b c Dr. Louise Mansfield & Dr. Lara Killick (1 January 2012). "The UK Netball Superleague: A Case Study of Franchising in Elite Women's Sport" (PDF). Brunel University, School of Sport and Education, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK; and University of the Pacific, Department of Health, Exercise and Sport Science, Stockton, CA.
  3. ^ "All England Netball Association Limited Annual Report (2005 - 2006)" (PDF). Refer to pp. 3 of the report.
  4. ^ a b "Netball Superleague: Three new teams added, but Yorkshire Jets left out". BBC Sport. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Netball Superleague: London Pulse to replace Team Northumbria in 2019". BBC Sport. 10 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Sky Sports sign four-year deal with England Netball". Sky Sports. 27 November 2016.
  7. ^ "About Us". Netball Superleague Website.