The ANZ Championship
is the pre-eminent netball
league in Australasia
. The competition is held annually between April and July, comprising 69 matches played over 17 weeks. It is contested by ten teams, five from Australia
and five from New Zealand
. The competition is administered by Trans Tasman Netball League, which was formed as a joint venture by the netball governing bodies of both countries. ANZ Bank
has been naming sponsors of the competition since its inaugural season.
The ANZ Championship was launched in 2008 as a successor to the Commonwealth Bank Trophy
in Australia and the National Bank Cup
in New Zealand, both of which were retired after 2007. The ANZ Championship saw netball become a semi-professional sport in both countries, with increased media coverage and player salaries. The current champions are the Queensland Firebirds
, who defeated the Northern Mystics
in the grand final of the 2011 season.
Netball is the most popular team sport for women in Australia and New Zealand in terms of player participation, with the sport having been established in both countries for more than a century. Both countries started national competitions in the 1920s, and by the close of the 20th century had started their own separate elite competitions. The National Netball League (later the Commonwealth Bank Trophy
) was started in Australia in 1997, while a revamped Coca-Cola Cup (later the......