North Dorset Netball League this season decided to kick the proceedings off with a tournament. Held in the league’s usual venue, Blandford Leisure Centre it was a race against the fading natural light on the outdoor courts.
Although it was aimed at starting the competitive season for the local teams, the tournament was actually set up to aid budding umpires in the league. It gave them crucial on court experience as well as mentoring from qualified officiators. Umpiring is largely based on confidence, knowing the terminology, knowing where to stand, where to run, how to score. It is a lot to learn and requires practise meaning that umpiring during the season itself can be pretty off putting given the length of matches and the competitive nature of play.
The short 6 minute matches of the tournament proved to be the ideal environment for exercising umpiring skills, well done to everyone who gave it a try.
15 teams from the area took part over the 2 evenings all making good use of the ‘Joker Card’ rule. This tactical play option meant that teams could double their match score against up to 2 opponents in the early rounds and a further 1 in the semi final and final stages combined.
At the end of the group stages Wildcats were leading group A but there were 3 teams in group B tied at the top, Gem Set Sapphires, NDNC Cyclones and Bright Sparks meaning that the decision had to be made on goals scored as 2 of them also tied on goals conceded!
The semi finals consisted of Wildcats VS NDNC Cyclones and Gem Set Sapphires VS RROC. The highlight had to be during Wildcats VS NDNC Cyclones, the final whistle sounding on a score of 3-3 and both teams shouting “We’ve used our Joker Card” to which the officials replied “You have to keep playing until a deciding goal is scored”…no pressure!
Wildcats and RROC made it to the final and took to the court in semi darkness. Both teams played well and did well to score, RROC deservedly won in the end showing some excellent skilful netball, congratulation to the team!
A fun filled tournament was a great way to prepare all the teams for the winter league. A big thank you to the organisers, the North Dorset Netball League is now raring to go so let the battle commence….
Statistics of Interest
RROC scored the most goals overall (52) and also the most in one single match (9)
Wildcats conceded the fewest in total (4)