Netball Novice: Buddo Boycotts, Kitende Crowned Champions

Netball novice championship at Namboole last season. St Noa photo

There were unexpected turn of events on Saturday as the 2020 National Novice Netball Championship climaxed at Namboole.

Buddo SS who beat St Mary’s Kitende 19-17 last year boycotted the tourney towards the final bend and hence missed the opportunity to defend their tourney.

Drama came at Buddo’s quarterfinals tie with Bishop High School who claimed that the defending champion for using an ineligible player by the names of Nakitto Christine.

Bishop high’s games master Vicent Ssekandi who fronted the complaint revealed that he was serving the same responsibility at Light SS Kitebi while Nakitto was a students at the same school in 2016.

Bishop High petitioned by claiming that Nakitto has featured at Novice championship since 2016 which breaches the rules where a player must not appear in more than three championships.

“We petitioned against Buddo for using Nakitto Christine,” said Ssekandi. “Nakitto played the novice championship in 2016 while was at Light SS Kitebi where I was the games teacher, In 2017 she joined Exodus and she played for them in 2017 and 2018.

“In 2019 she played for Buddo and this is her fifth Novice championship yet the rules indicate that a player has to appear only three times. We petitioned and the federation had to cross check photo albums for 2016, 2017 and 2018 but they said that they had miss placed the albums.”

The petition was handled by Uganda Netball Federation vice president technical William Mwanja who gave a verdict that a game should go on after Bishop high school failed to bring enough evidence.

Mwanja said:

“I received a petition from Bishop high school but there was no enough evidence so I gave a verdict which was allowing the game to go on with a player in claim included in the game.

“Our job is not to look for evidence, it is in the responsibilities of the petitioner.”

Though the Federation allowed the game to be played, but Buddo wasn’t ready to play the quarterfinal game before receiving an apology from Bishop high school for petitioning them without evidence.

Consequently, a walkover was given to Bishop high school but after 12 minutes, Buddo SS came claiming that they wanted to play. But it was late and the organisers could not bend the rules.

The championship which was hosted at Namboole ended with St Mary’s Kitende claiming the trophy after beating Bishop high school 16-14 in the final.

To win this year’s Novice championship, St Mary’s Kitende beat Entebbe parents by a walkover, ejected Blessed Sacramento Kimanya 20-16.

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