THE Golden City Netball Association has been retained as one of the host venues for next year's Netball Victoria Association Championships.
Golden City was to have hosted this year's northern zone qualifying tournament, but the championships were cancelled due to COVID-19.
However, Netball Victoria announced on Thursday that hosts which missed out on staging games this year had been retained for next year.
The northern zone qualifying tournament at Golden City has been set for Sunday, June 6.
"It's terrific we've been given the opportunity to host again in 2021 and that the Association Championships are back in the Netball Victoria calendar," GCNA president Rachel Thomsen said on Thursday.
Bendigo is the reigning 17-under northern zone champions having won in 2019, while Castlemaine and District was the 15-under reserve northern zone winner.
Next year's zone qualifying stages have been pushed back to June to allow associations and leagues time to recruit their teams, while also providing greater player development and preparation time.
Netball Victoria says next year's Association Championships "will play a fundamental role in the development and identification of players and officials after a year of limited netball in 2020."
"The Association Championships help us identify talented Victorian athletes, primarily for our Talent Academy program, but also to provide additional scouting for the state team program, the Victorian Regional Academy Sports network and our VNL clubs," Netball Victoria's general manager of Vixens, performance and pathways, Rebekah Webster, said.
"We also get to see how our Affiliates' representative team programs are performing and progressing.
"With representative team programs across the state playing an important role in developing both our athletes and coaches, we are looking forward to seeing players, coaches and umpires back on court in 2021."
An addition to next year's competition will be the inclusion of a 17-under male division on Championship day.
Registrations for the championships will open in February.
The defending open champion is Goulburn Valley after it beat Ovens and Murray 16-11 in the 2019 final.
* 2021 Netball Victoria Association Championships locations and dates:
Sunday, June 6
Central East (15/U & 17/U) - Springvale & District Netball Association.
Northern - Golden City Netball Association.
Sunday, June 20
Central East (13/U) - Waverley Night Netball Association.
Central West - Wyndham Netball Association.
Eastern - Moe & District Netball Association.
Sunday, June 27
North East - Albury Netball Association.
Western - Wendouree Netball Association.
Sunday, July 18
Finals Day - host venue TBC in early 2021.
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