What Teams Play In The Vitality Netball Super League?
, 6 min reading time
, 6 min reading time
The Vitality Netball Super League is the United Kingdom’s elite level netball competition. It features ten teams from England, Wales and Scotland. The compettion normally runs between February and June with the final being played in July. The Vitality Netball Super League itself was formed in 2005. This was due to the lack of elite competition available for players based in the UK. However Vitality only became league sponsors in 2016. Eight teams formed the league initially from around the United Kingdom. These teams were;
Towards the end of 2016 the league had expanded to ten teams with Scottish Sirens, Wasps and Seven Stars joining, but Leeds Carnegie pulled out.
At the end of the 2018 season Team Northumbria were pulled from the league and replaced with London Pulse, and it has been announced that Leeds Rhino Netball will also join the league for the 2021 season.
The league was dominated by a few teams early on with Team Bath leading the way winning four titles in five seasons (2005-06, 2006-07, 2008-09 and 2009-10), then claiming a fifth in 2013. Saracens Mavericks and Manchester Thunder achieved two titles, whilst Surrey Storm and Wasps managed to claim back to back titles. (Storm in 2015/2016 and Wasps in 2017/2018).
The 2019 season saw Wasps Netball take on Loughborough Lightning in the first semi final with Wasps winning 74-54 and then Manchester Thunder taking on Team Bath, Manchester Thunder won this one 57-54 taking them through to the final to face Wasps Netball.
The 2019 winners were Manchester Thunder who beat Wasps 57-52 in the 2019 Grand Final. Obviously following the disruptions to the 2020 season, due to Covid, it was decided to suspend the league until 2021.
Celtic Dragons – based in Wales at the Sport Wales National Centre
London Pulse – based in London at the Copper Box, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Loughborough Lightning – based at Loughborough University Sir David Wallace Sports Centre
Manchester Thunder – based at Belle Vue Sports Village in Manchester
Saracens Mavericks – based at Hertfordshire Sports Village
Severn Stars – based at University of Gloucestershire Arena
University of Strathclyde Sirens – based at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow
Surrey Storm – based at the Surrey Sports Park
University of Bath Team Bath – based at University of Bath Sports Training Village
Wasps Netball – based at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry
Previous league champions are:
2006 – Team Bath
2007 – Team Bath
2008 - Hertfordshire Mavericks
2009 – Team Bath
2010 – Team Bath
2011 – Hertfordshire Mavericks
2012 – Northern Thunder (became Manchester Thunder in 2013)
2013 – Team Bath
2014 – Manchester Thunder
2015 – Surrey Storm
2016 – Surrey Storm
2017 – Wasps Netball
2018 – Wasps Netball
2019 – Manchester Thunder
Each year the top four teams will qualify for the Play-Offs, but the top eight teams also quality for the Fast5 Championship which is a fast paced version of netball which has been taking place since 2017.
The Official Match ball of the Vitality Netball Super League is manufactured by Gilbert, as shown above. However if this ball is not available, an identical netball is available in a different colourway. It doesn't have the league branding but the netball is the same. In fact, it is called the Gilbert Synergie X5 match netball.
Fast5 Netball is a faster paced version of netball with matches only lasting 12 minutes. Additionally there are quite a few differences to a normal netball match. You have an all star 5 point line you can shoot from and also a golden buzzer power play which means any goal scored gives you double points. Teams can also recruit two all-star players for the day which often means international players are drafted in to squads to help boost the strength of the teams.
Players: Each team to only have 5 players on court at any one time
Timing: Each quarter lasts only 6 minutes (compared to 15 minutes in a standard game). Breaks between the quarters last 2 minutes and injury time outs are only 30 seconds.
Coaching: Coaches are permitted to give instructions from the sidelines in front of their benches during play. Coaches are also the ones who can hit the golden buzzer to signal the power play.
Substitutions: Teams can use rolling subs, without having to stop play. Chiefly there are no restrictions on how many substitutions are made per quarter.
Power plays: Each team can select one quarter to be the power play. However they cannot choose the same quarter as the other team. During this period all goals scored are worth double points.
Two and Three point shots: The Goal Shooter and the Goal Attack are the only players who can score. Significantly they may also shoot goals from outside the shooting circle. These goals will count for 2 points if scored from inside the outer zone and 3 points if they are scored in the super shot zone.
Centre Passes: After each goal is scored the team that conceded the goal takes the next centre pass.
Tied scores: If a game is tied at the end of normal time, the game is decided with a penalty shoot out
The Fast5 Netball court is set up like this – they are usually in different colours too so it clearly shows the different scoring zones.
So if shooting from inside the standard circle area you can get 1 point per goal, inside the next circle you can score 2 points and then outside both of these circles its 3 points on offer per goal.