The Goulburn Valley League will bring in an under-15 netball competition to run on Saturday mornings next year.
Expanding the competition’s format, where under-17s is its lowest age bracket, has been on the league’s agenda fthis year.
A committee, including club representatives and board members, has been created to delve into the logistics of implementing the new age group.
With under-17s the first game on a Saturday beginning at 10.30am, it is likely the younger age group would begin earlier, with the B-reserve, B-grade and A-grade to follow in their usual timeslot.
Many clubs already have a strong reserve of juniors to draw upon with Mooroopna and all three Shepparton clubs fielding sides at the Shepparton Netball Association.
While an under-15 GVL competition would impact numbers at the SNA, the bracket at the Brauman St courts should remain strong with only one side allowed per age group from each GVL club.
Conversely, the SNA allows the same club to include multiple teams in each age bracket.
GVL board member and former netball league president Jacqui Hudgson said the GVL and the SNA would work together to ensure participation rates in each competition remained strong.
‘‘We’re hoping both the league and the association can embrace the competition and work on it together,’’she said.
Adding in an extra age group was explored further at last night’s GVL board meeting, with the working committee to meet for the first time on July 24.
‘‘I’m looking forward to meeting where that’s going to lead in preparation for an exciting year,’’ she said.
In March this year not all GVL clubs were in support of the proposal, but many have begun to make preparations for its imminent adoption.
With the instigation of the new age group, the GVL will reflect all other leagues in the region that have under-15s playing as part of their fixture on a Saturday.