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NVL Super 8 : Northumbria out of National League
Posted by Media Team on 2018/7/12 15:10:00 (33 reads)

Surprise withdrawal (Men's and women’s Super League - National Volleyball League)
Mid-summer shock
Hard on the heels of IBB Polonia's news that they had secured the services of top coach Simon Loftus arrived the news on 11th July of the demise of their main contender in the top flight with its women's side which is currently the knock-out Cup holder both having topped the Super8 divisions last season.

Volleyball England announced and informed the revised competitors in the top flight of the English National League of revisions to the draft fixture list. There will be quite a lot of extra work for administrators as well as strategic thinking for coaching staff. The announcement tells us that Northumbria University has taken the decision to withdraw their teams following a strategic decision about how it offers sport. It says that as a University, it is focusing its resources to ensure it has the right balance between performance sport and participation sport. Heather Steel, High Performance Sport Manager at the university explained the decision: “Northumbria is one of the leading universities for sport and disability sport in the UK. We remain committed to high performance sport, including volleyball", she said.

"The size and shape of our sports offer evolves every year. In a changing environment that includes a reduction in available external funding, we must ensure that we continue to offer all our students value for money and the best possible student experience. We are therefore rebalancing our sports portfolio to engage more students in a broader programme of participation. As a result, and after a period of review we have decided to withdraw from Volleyball England Super League next year. We remain committed to volleyball and high-level competition, including the BUCS league. We are taking steps to make sure that sport at Northumbria continues to support the development of volleyball."

Volleyball England has decided to change the Super League format rather than promote an additional team so the 2018-19 season will now have nine teams in each of the men’s and women’s Super Leagues and will look to increase to ten for the following season. How this increase to ten teams will be implemented will be communicated prior to the start of the season, they add. The competition this year will be played in the exciting split-league format which clubs backed as a way of enjoying more competitive matches. All teams will play each other once before Christmas, before the league splits into the top five and bottom four. The teams in each section will then play each other twice more to decide their final place in the league standings - and to battle it out for the title and to avoid relegation. This will mean the teams in the bottom half still play fourteen fixtures as in previous years, while the top five will gain two extra matches.

Bartek Łuszcz, Chairman of IBB Polonia responded, "At the club we are very sad to see Team Northumbria go as for many years they were a great opponent and there was a lot of great rivalry between us. The league needs competitors and we are now saying good bye to a very strong one. This is a bit of a worrying sign in the league and we are looking at various ways on how this can affect us. We are very grateful for the matches we played and are wishing Team Northumbria all the best for the future".

Contributor, Douglas Barr-Hamilton

Source, Volleyball England

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