The following criteria exists for netballers wishing to play for Northern Ireland –

Introduction: Northern Ireland Sporting Landscape

This information has been produced to support athletes, coaches and parents within Northern Ireland to be informed of their options in relation to representational choices for athletes at performance level netball.

Netball Northern Ireland have consulted with the International Netball Federation and Netball Ireland to ensure clarity is provided to support representative decision making.

Netball Northern Ireland

Netball Northern Ireland is a stand-alone body recognised in its entirety by Netball Europe and the International Netball Federation.

As per the Northern Ireland Act 1998, citizens within Northern Ireland have the following birth right:

‘It is the birth right of all the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves…as Irish or British or both, as they may so choose and accordingly…. to hold both a British and Irish Citizenship’.

Subsequently, Netball athletes in Northern Ireland can choose to represent either Northern Ireland or Ireland at international level.

 

Northern Ireland Representation

How to become an International Netballer for Northern Ireland

Stages Comments
Stage 1

Affiliate to a Club or School in Northern Ireland

Affiliation Regulations

To affiliate to play netball in Northern Ireland, all netballers must affiliate through a Northern Ireland Club or School.

There are no affiliation regulations that prevent any netballers from outside Northern Ireland affiliating to a Club.

 

The Club or School must be affiliated to Netball Northern Ireland.

Stage 2

Representation for Northern Ireland at International events and competitions

INF – Player eligibility for International Events 6.11

Netballers are eligible to represent Northern Ireland providing they can meet one of the following eligibility requirements:

  • A citizen of Northern Ireland (copy of your passport or other document evidencing citizenship).
  • Born in Northern Ireland (able to provide a copy of birth certificate if relevant).
  • At least one parent or grandparent born in Northern Ireland : Mother or father or grandparent was born in Northern Ireland (able to attach copy of relevant parent’s / grandparent’s birth certificate and/or passport).
  • Living permanently and have been physically present in Northern Ireland for at least 24 months prior to proposed competition. Short holidays away from NI are permitted.  If relevant attach utility bill, school enrolment or graduation confirmation or other documents evidencing that you have lived in Northern Ireland for 24 months.

 

Ireland Representation

How to become an International Netballer for Ireland

 Stages Comments
Stage 1

Affiliate to Netball Ireland directly or through a Club or School in the Republic of Ireland

Affiliation Regulations

To affiliate to play netball in the Republic of Ireland, all netballers must affiliate through a Netball Ireland directly or Club/School.

The Club or School must be affiliated to Netball Ireland.

Stage 2

Representation for Republic of Ireland at International events and competitions

INF – Player eligibility for International Events 6.11

To be eligible to play for a National Association’s national representative team in any International Event, a player must:

(d)  Be a citizen of the relevant Country in accordance with the laws of that country; or

(e)   Be born in that Country or have at least one parent or grandparent born in that country; or

(f)   Have resided in that country (as established by the players physical presence in the country) for a period of 24 months immediately prior to the start of the relevant International event.

 

Further information

Other considerations Comments
INF Player Eligibility: Change of Nationality All netballers need to be aware of the INF Player Eligibility rules as follows:

 

6.12 A player who has played for a country in any Netball World Cup or Netball World Youth Cup will not be eligible to participate in either the following Netball World Cup or Netball World Youth Cup or any other senior international match for another country, provided that the Board may, in its absolute discretion, waive the application of this clause:

a)    for players under the age of 21 who have played for one country and will be playing for another country because of extenuating circumstances (such as genuine family relocation); or

b)    for players who are returning to their place of birth; or

c)     where there are other exceptional circumstances.

6.13 In any age-restricted International Events (such as the Netball World Youth Cup), the players must be under the required age as at midnight on 31 December/1 January prior to the relevant International Event.

High Performance Systems Whichever country a netballer chooses to represent, they should consider the time, commitment and financial costs attributed with each system.
Potential competitions Competitions that are currently available for Northern Ireland and Ireland netballers include:

·         European Championships

·         Commonwealth Games *

·         World Cup**

·         World Youth Cup**

*Subject to qualification via ranking and netball being selected as one of the countries competing sports

** Subject to qualification from regional qualifiers.