REVIEW OF THE SEASON – YEAR 2019

The following is a report of the activities of the COURTS All Sectors Netball League for the year 2019.

The COURTS All Sectors Netball League completed its twenty-ninth season on March 30, this year, and is pleased to report again, that the season was successful but not without its challenges. These will be detailed later. The League returned to its usual venue, the Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena where all the games were held. The majority of participants seemed to enjoy the return, but a few missed the environment of the several venues that were used last year.

The structure of the League remained the same. The Divisions are the Premiership, the Championship, the Alternative and the Retro.  The Retro Division continues as a separate Unit.  Cash prizes were once again awarded in the Premiership Division.

There was no change to the Management Committee when the Election was held at the Annual General Meeting in November of 2018. There was also no change to the Council. The members at the meeting were very satisfied with the performance of the League’s leadership teams. The President of the Council is Ms Sharon Wilson of the Bermudez United Club and the Secretary is Ms Lilia Mathurin Cameron of the Jabloteh Club. The Management Committee comprises Ms Carol Demming Gittens; Ms Rosemary Mathurin; Ms Giselle Darlington; Ms Patricia Butcher; Mr. Kenneth Butcher and Ms Brenda Prince.

The League is extremely grateful for the continued support of our main sponsor Unicomer (Trinidad) Limited (COURTS), the support of the Herbarium Limited (Cher Mere), and of our many stakeholders. The general membership increased from 24 to 26 teams this year. Noteworthy is that the Premiership Division increased by two teams to six, and male players were introduced to the Division. This was based on a decision taken at the Annual General Meeting.

TEAMS

As mentioned, six (6) teams played in the Premiership Division. There were five (5) in the Championship, ten (10) in the Alternative, and five (5) in the Retro. Altogether twenty-six teams participated.

The Alternative Division comprised of Bermudez United, Defence Force, Jabloteh, Las Lomas Academy, Metal Industries Company (MIC), Police Youth Club (PYC), TT Post, returning after several years, University of the Southern Caribbean (USC), and two teams from University of the West Indies (UWI) (X&Y). TT Post was warmly welcomed back.

In the Championship Division were Bermudez United, Defence Force, Jabloteh, Miscellaneous Marketing Laventille United, a new team, and Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT). A warm welcome was also given to Miscellaneous.

The Premiership Division comprised Defence Force, Fire, Las Lomas Academy, Police, Police Youth Club, and the Unit Trust Corporation (UTC).

The Retro Division consisted of Jabloteh, Les Enfants, Metal Industries Company (MIC), Police and TSTT.

VENUE                     

As reported earlier, the League returned to the Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena (ERISA) for all its games this year. Even though the electrical problems were not completely rectified, Management was assured that the Venue was safe to conduct the games and indeed it was.

However, there were other challenges with the Venue which we hope would be resolved before the start of the next Season. These include defective plumbing, an item of which the League handled; the occasional lack of water in the taps and sewer system; the lack of furniture; the menace of birds’ refuse both on the floor of the arena and on the furniture in the locker room; and leaks in the roof which caused the floor to be wet when it rained.

Nevertheless the League did what it could to minimize the hazards and thanked the Manager of ERISA for her efforts and empathy.

OPENING CEREMONY

The Opening Ceremony took place on Saturday 05 January 2019 at 3.00pm at the Venue. The Fire Service band once again provided the musical accompaniment for the March Past.  On the saluting base for the March Past were the COURTS representative Mr. Fazad Mohammed; Mr. Esmond Forde, Member of Parliament for the Tunapuna/Piarco Region; Mr. Patrice Charles, Director of Sport and Physical Education, Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs; Dr. Patricia Butcher, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Netball Association, Member of the Board of the International Netball Federation and of the Management Committee of the COURTS All Sectors Netball League;  Mr. Brian Lewis, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee and Ms. Brenda Prince, Chief Executive Officer of the League, who assisted the dignitaries with the inspection of the parade. The dignitaries brought greetings and offered best wishes to the League. Mr. Patrice Charles declared the 2019 Season open. 

The judges of the parade were Ms. Keisha Butcher, Ms. Rhona Mohon and Ms. Margaret Adams. The League expresses its appreciation to them and to all those persons who assisted in making the Opening Day Ceremony a success.

The Jabloteh team won this year’s parade.

In the Opening Day Knock Out competition, Fire won from PYC in the Premiership Division; TSTT won from Bermudez in the Championship Division; while in the Alternative Division, MIC won from TT Post. 

COMPETITIONS

The arrangement of the competitions was the same as last Season. In the Premiership and Championship Divisions, two rounds of the Round Robin were played. The view was held that players in the Premiership Division need as much competition as possible given that all of them would be eligible for participation in the Netball World Cup due to be held in Liverpool, England, in July 2019.

Due to limited playing time, and as happened last Season, the Championship Division played a double elimination Knock Out instead of a straight Knock Out in the Divisional KO competition. The competitions for the Jean Pierre and Steve Sarjeant Challenge trophies were also played as straight Knock Outs, in the interest of time. In all the Divisions, the Fast 5 was played as a double elimination.

League games, with the exception of those in the Retro and in the Alternative, were of one hour’s duration. The duration of the games for these Divisions was forty minutes, four quarters of ten minutes each. As indicated, teams in Premiership and Championship Divisions played each other twice in order to determine the overall placing for the League trophies. The Alternative Division played one round, given the number of teams in the Division, while the Retro played two. 

Other competitions were the Knock-Outs for the Steve Sarjeant and Jean Pierre Challenge trophies, in the Premiership and Championship Divisions respectively. Also, the Divisional Knock-Outs, which were played in two halves of twenty minutes in the two (2) top Divisions, except for the final of the Premiership which was played over an hour. In the Alternative Division and for the COURTS Open Knock-Out two halves of fifteen minutes each were played.

Also featured were the Opening Day Knock-Outs at the beginning of the Season and the Mixed Team Knock-Out at Closing Ceremony. The FAST 5 competitions for the Justin Bowen trophies were played in all the Divisions.

The Retro Division also had two (2) rounds of competition, two (2) Knock Outs, one of which was a double elimination, and the FAST 5 competition. 

As usual, the competitions were extremely keen in all the Divisions. The majority of the games were intense especially in the Premiership Division, and it appeared that the standard of the games improved. Indeed, the League provided the platform for the prepping of the senior national players for NWC 2019.

The results of all of the competitions are in the Appendix.

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

Broad objectives of the League include increased player participation, increased number of technical officials, increased media involvement, increased intensity of the game and performance of players especially in the Premiership Division, improved quality of competitions, and strict observance of the Code of Conduct.

In respect of the above, management has noted considerable interest and positive attitudes by participants at all levels and consequently is able to present the following.

Player participation increased this year with two additional teams and approximately fifty players. There are teams willing to join the organization but because of the constraint of time and limited space, they cannot be readily accommodated.

Regarding the technical officials, as a consequence of the Under 16 Training Program held in August 2018, the Umpiring Training Programs held under the auspices of the TTNA, and the League’s umpire feedback sessions during the Season, the League saw an increase in the performance, and the number of umpires; three at the preliminary level, and an upgrade of two others who have been demonstrating willingness and paying attention to feedback from senior umpires. The scorers have remained consistent in number and are doing an excellent job.

Media coverage has been tremendous and although, statistics are not available in respect of air time on all three of our local television stations, feedback suggests that air time exceeded last year’s. Regarding print media, three scrap books were used compared to last year’s two.  Certainly, the League has exceeded the standard.

A decision was taken at the AGM 2018, to include male players in the Premiership Division, mainly to improve the intensity of the games and consequently the performance of the players in that Division, who are all eligible for selection on the Senior National team.  As indicated earlier this team will attend the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, in July 2019. This decision was effected and two male players were allowed registration on each team for any given game. The outcomes were varied.

Notwithstanding, the main objective was achieved, as it was clear, based on umpire, coach and player feedback, that the intensity of the games increased and so did female player performance. The games were spectacular and the spectators applauded. It appeared too, that the teams were more adventurous with the positioning of players, and that provided an opportunity to explore the capability and capacity of their players.

However, it was observed that many of the current national players did not play in their customary positions, and in a few cases players required more rest and recovery time. Also, the fact that men were allowed to play, meant that some women, perhaps those requiring more playing time remained as substitutes because winning remained a priority for the teams.

It is usual for the management of the League to structure the competitions to facilitate as much playing time as possible and to make the competitions even more interesting. This year playing time was extended to include a few more Sundays, and like last year, the one-point shot in Fast 5 was removed, and the two-point area increased, to make it even more exciting. Both player and spectator feedback was positive. In addition, the duration of a few of the Knock Out games in the Premiership Division was increased to one hour.
It was disappointing and of grave concern this year that three Clubs and two officials had to be cautioned regarding breaches of our Code of Conduct. These breaches included the playing of ineligible players and inappropriate behaviour, both on and off the Court. Apologies were received.

CHALLENGES

As outlined above there were a few challenges this Season mainly relating to the venue and to the conduct of players and officials.

TRAINING

In August last year, the League again undertook an Under 16 Youth Development Programme in which seven (7) teams, sourced from the League’s Clubs participated. The Programme was scheduled over two (2) weeks and the purpose was the same.

  • Building capacity – numerical, mental, physical, technical
  • Increased player participation
  • Motivational: Developing a love for netball and a healthy life style

See the outline of the Programme attached..

ACHIEVEMENTS/INNOVATIONS

At the League’s AGM 2018, a few decisions were taken regarding the operations of the League including

  • The naming of a Junior All Star team should continue along with Senior All Star team.
  • The Fast 5 Knock Out tournament would be played over one weekend.
  • The Fast 5 format used last Season proved to be more exciting so it should be retained.
  • Rules re the March Past should be amended in view of the challenges of last season.
  • Default fees have been increased to $1000.00
  • Less than seven players in attendance, $500.00
  • Defaulting teams will be debarred from the Opening Day Knock Out.
  • Each team in the Premiership Division could register a maximum of five (5) male players of which only two (2) may be permitted to play on any game. (The names of two (2) male players only, should appear on the Team Submission form.)

Donations from the Herbarium (Cher Mere)

Cher Mere continued its support for the League this Season with the donation of Vouchers at the Awards Ceremony.  The Senior All Star Team was presented with individual gift vouchers. The League is very appreciative of these contributions as it seeks to promote healthy and hygienic lifestyles for its participants while promoting Cher Mere’s cutting-edge products.

The League looks forward to a continued successful association with Cher Mere.

Sponsorship from COURTS

Unicomer (Trinidad) Limited, (COURTS) considered the League favourably again with the signing of a contract with us for yet another year.   The League remains extremely grateful and will continue to do its best to ensure that it gets value for money while giving the company the mileage that it so richly deserves. 

The League thanks the Management of Unicomer (Trinidad) Limited particularly, Mr. Fazad Mohammed for participating in our events and for his encouragement.

Fund Raiser

Teams continue to contribute in advance in the amounts requested. The AGM also noted that the decision taken by the Council to have an additional fund raiser to assist with doing a tour has not yet been implemented. Current difficult economic times are not helping, but the effort will continue.

MEDIA COVERAGE

The media coverage this year was excellent, especially the Print Media. We thank the Express, especially Mr. Garth Wattley and Mr. Ashford Jackman; the Trinidad Guardian, especially Ms. Rachel King and Mr. Nigel Simon; and the several journalists at Newsday for the keen interest shown. We thank too the Television Stations, especially Mr. Ian Wason of TTT, Mr. Vinod Narwani of TV6 and Mr. Ryan Bachoo of CNC3, for their contribution and look forward to their continuing support of the League.

CONCLUSION

The participants of the COURTS All Sectors Netball League offer their sincerest appreciation to Unicomer (Trinidad) Limited (COURTS), the Herbarium Limited (Cher Mere), and other stakeholders for the League’s success. Special thanks to the Fire Service Band and Ms. Paula Darceuil for their services on the Opening Day. The League also wishes to thank Ms Elsa Clouden for her continued support. Thanks too, to all officials, supporters, well-wishers and others who contributed to making the Season the success that it was in 2019.

 
     
     
     
 
 
     
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