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Leeds Rhinos signing Jade Clarke on her arrival in 2020.

Leeds Rhinos Netball made Jade Clarke their first signing in 2020.

The 2022 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) full signing window is now open and it will give all 11 sides an opportunity to finalise their squad before the start of the season.

The signing window allows teams to fully shape their squads by bringing in players from different clubs or retain the services of key players,

If this is your first time following the VNSL or you just need a refresher, we have compiled everything that you need to know for the months ahead.

When does the signing window open and close?

The 2022 signing window opened on 15 September. Teams will have exactly one month to announce their signings before the deadline of 15 October 2021 when all clubs will be expected to have revealed their squads in full. Players must be fully registered before they are announced.

How large can squads be?

Clubs may have a total squad of up to 15 players. This comprises of 12 ‘Registered Players’ and up to three ‘Training Partners’. Matchdays squads, meanwhile, are set to a maximum of 12 players.

Rules have been changed so that Training Partners are exactly that and can only be drafted into a matchday squad due to ‘exceptional circumstances’ such as injury or illness. Only the 12 Registered Players are eligible for selection on a matchday.

Who can clubs sign?

Clubs can sign a maximum of 15 players during the signing window. After a period of time following the conclusion of the 2021 season, teams can start approaching players from other clubs who are currently out of contract.

Squads are made up of mainly UK athletes but each side is allowed to register two non-UK players. However, these players cannot play in the same third of the court at the same time in any game. For example, in 2021, Celtic Dragons’ Jamaican goal attack Rebekah Robinson could not play in the same third at the same time as Australian goal shooter Annika Lee-Jones.

New salary cap rules now see clubs having to submit 10 players – an increase from the previous total of nine – who fit within the league’s salary cap rules. They can therefore register two players who sit outside of the salary cap. This is an increase from the previous total of one exempt player.

All players must be at least 16 years old on the closing date of player registrations.

What are the major changes from 2021?

The major changes for teams and players in 2022 are financial with promising changes being made to salary caps, salary collars and minimum individual salary for players.

Clubs can now have two players who sit outside the salary cap instead of one and the remaining ten players will fall within the salary cap instead of nine in 2021. In addition, the salary cap has been increased by 29 per cent compared to 2021.

The salary collar – the minimum amount teams can pay – has also been increased by 10 per cent. The minimum individual salary for a player has also gone up by 20 per cent from 2021.

Have there already been any outgoings?

A handful of retirements were announced prior to the conclusion of the 2021 season. In June, formidable Surrey Storm goal shooter Karyn Bailey announced her retirement from the sport after a successful spell in the VNSL with Storm and Saracens Mavericks.

Soon after, Mavericks’ Jo Trip announced her plans of retiring at the end of the regular season. The New Zealand defender had been a stalwart in the Superleague for years having represented Loughborough Lightning, Surrey Storm and Mavericks.

Lastly, Sam May bowed out at the end of the 2021 Grand Final. The league’s longest-serving import retired from the game after her final victory having excelled for Lightning, Wasps and Mavericks respectively.

What were the key signings from last year?

With Leeds Rhinos Netball joining the league’s other 10 sides for 2021, there was even more transfer activity than normal in a busy 74-day period last year.

Rhinos signed England international Jade Clarke, Vitality Rose Vicki Oyesola and Sky Sports Fans’ Player of the Season Donnell Wallam during their first-ever signing window before embarking on their debut season.

Team Bath Netball announced a host of returnees in the form of Serena Guthrie, Layla Guscoth and Eboni Usoro-Brown after all three were absent for the short-lived 2020 season. All three made a huge impact as Bath reached their first Grand Final since 2013.

Title-winning Beth Cobden also returned to the VNSL with Lightning and went onto win the Vitality Player of the Season award. Towera Vinkhumbo, meanwhile, won Players’ Player of the Season having made the switch to Strathclyde Sirens from Severn Stars last year.

Where can I keep up to date with all signings?

For all the latest of signings during the window, make sure to follow the @NetballSL on Twitter and Instagram.

On Twitter, you’ll be able to keep across the ins and outs with our 2022 signing window Twitter Moment. For specific club news, be sure to be across all eleven of our teams on their respective social media accounts and subscribe to our List.

On Instagram, stay tuned to our Story Highlight and the 2022 Signing Window Guide to keep up to date.

We will also be covering each signing in full on our website, offering weekly round-ups and are offering a comprehensive overview of 2021 squads on our Transfers page. Don’t miss out!

To stay up to date with the latest news, follow us on TwitterInstagram or subscribe to website notifications with the bell icon in your bottom left corner.

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