The Commonwealth Bank Trophy
was the pre-eminent national netball
competition in Australia
from 1997 to 2007.
It was established in 1997 as a true national league to replace the ailing, state club-based Mobil League
. Designed from the beginning to be more marketable to the general public, it saw large increases in crowd sizes and sponsorship over its predecessor. From 2008, it was replaced by the ANZ Championship
The Trophy was an eight-team, single division round-robin
competition, based around a fourteen week season starting in May and ending in August. The top four teams played off in a knockout finals series, culminating in the Grand Final in the first week of September. While crowd turnout fell short of that in the three football codes, matches were generally attended by several thousand people, with a record crowd of 13,436 being achieved in 2004. This has necessitated a shift to larger venues, with smaller suburban venues of earlier years having to be abandoned in favour of larger city arenas. A significant number of games were shown both on free-to-air ABC TV
and on pay television.
While the Commonwealth Bank Trophy was an elite competition, it lacked the attention and sponsorship of the three main football codes. This means that there was not the money to pay high player wages - indeed, according to Australian Workers Union
National Secretary Bill Shorten
, many earned less than $4,000 a year from the sport. This means that the vast majority of players -... Read More