With the government’s announcement that Level 3 restrictions will remain in Auckland for at least a further two weeks, the Sal’s NBL has made the decision to cancel the 2021 women’s season.
The opening week of games at Pulman Arena in south Auckland was completed just days before the beginning of Auckland’s restrictions in mid-August, however no further games have been played since.
With six teams from across New Zealand participating, the League held hope of returning to competition before the end of year but can only do so safely if restrictions are at level 2 or below.
Government’s announcement to keep Auckland in level 3 means teams will not have enough time to prepare for the season to recommence, and for the competition to be fully completed prior to Christmas.
General Manager of the Sal’s NBL Justin Nelson said he and his staff remained hopeful the competition would restart for as long as they could.
“It’s unfortunate to be in this position, and further highlights why we need adhere to the rules and get vaccination rates up in the hope of no interruptions in 2022.
“I especially feel for the players and the fans and am sorry to them that we can’t continue.
“To have trained and prepared so hard, then played the opening round, to now sitting idle and hoping so much for a positive outcome. It’s frustrating.
“Unfortunately, the wave of emotions and anticipation hasn’t ended as we would have liked. We’ll now look to next year with renewed positivity.”
The remaining events on the NBL calendar in 2021, the Schick 3X3 Cup and the Schick 3X3 Christmas Classic, are currently slated to go ahead in early December.