Netball’s radical rule changes

netball-players2Netball’s governing body the IFNA has announced a series of experimental rule changes to be trialled in this year’s World Netball Series due to be held in Manchester in October.

The changes, which include shooting for double points outside the goal circle, will put “the fitness, technical ability and tactical awareness” of the best players in the world to the test.

The high profile series will see ithe world’s top six netballing nations –
England, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Samoa and Malawi – play to the new format, with each match consisting of four six-minute quarters.

Under the new rules, fter a goal is scored, the game will restart from a centre pass taken by the team who conceded the last goal – rather than alternating the centre passes as previous.

Also in an attempt to increase the excitement of the matches, each team will elect a 6 minute power play quarter, when the points value of all goals scored will be doubled.

Shooters can also notch up double points for their team by shooting outside the goal circle, which means that during a power play quarter goals are worth up to four points each.

Coaches will also be allowed unlimited rolling substitutions while play is in progress.

Australian coach Norma Plummer is not convinced the new format is fair. She said: “I wasn’t sure about the power play. I think if it’s a top side playing a weaker side and they go and do that they are going to double the score to 50 goals rather than 25 goals. I’m not for that.”

She went on: “I’m still on the fence about whether or not every time you score a goal you concede the centre pass to the opposition. Your wing attack could hardly be used in the role that she is developed for.”

The New Rules

• Matches will be 4 x 6 minutes with 3 x 2 minutes breaks

• An unlimited number of rolling substitutions per team per quarter is allowed. Each team may make any number of rolling substitutions at any one time. A rolling substitute may enter the game while play is in progress. There will be a designated substitution box at each transverse line, and located next to the coaching area, where rolling substitute/s shall wait holding up a substitution paddle indicating the player/s to be substituted. Team changes may not be made during a rolling substitution, as the game is not stopped

• The official team bench is located on the opposite side of the court from the team benches and substitution boxes

• After a goal is scored, the game restarts from a centre pass taken by the team who conceded the last goal. The captain winning the toss chooses end or first centre pass at the start of the first and third quarter. The other team will have first centre pass at the start of the second and fourth quarter.

• There is no Umpire whistle after a goal is scored.

• Coaches will be allowed to coach from the team bench or coaching area, located in front of their team bench. The coaching area will be marked on the floor.

• Each team will elect one quarter as a power play when any goals scored will be doubled. The elected power play quarter must be notified by the coach before the quarter commences, by pressing the control button to turn on a light.

• Shooters may shoot from inside or outside of the goal circle. All successful goals from outside the goal circle will be worth double i.e. two goal points. The umpire will signal a successful goal by raising one hand for one goal point and two hands for two goal points (In a power play this could result in 1 goal scoring 2 goal points or 4 goal points)

• All stoppages for injury or illness will be 30 seconds

Human Kinetics understands from contacts within the sport that the new rules will only be trialled in the World Series and will not be adopted by the sport at large without proper evaluation and consultation after the event.

Source: IFNA

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