Netball’s equivalent to Twenty20 cricket, will take over Melbourne this weekend in the Fast5 World Series.
Fast5 netball is a revamped, fun and fast paced version of traditional netball and this weekend’s tournament will showcase some of the world’s best teams including Australia, New Zealand, England, Jamaica, Malawi and South Africa.
The six countries will play shortened games, with four six-minute quarters and can only have five players on the court at any time, with Wing Attack and Wing Defence not considered positions.
The scoring system has also been altered, to make the game more exciting. Three points will be awarded for a Super Shot made outside the goal circle, similar to a three-pointer in basketball. If a shot is made within the outer circle range (3.5 - 4.9 metres), two-points will be scored. The traditional one-point scoring circle will stay the same.
Another rule change will be the introduction of a Power Play quarter, which will see all goals scored in that quarter doubled.
Arch rivals Australia and New Zealand will start as favourites heading into the weekend long tournament.
The competition will be closely watched by Australian coach Lisa Alexander as selectors decide on a new squad ahead of international games in 2017.
“The quad series, the Constellation Cup, the Fast5, we are using all of them to name the team,” Alexander said.
The Australian side will include crowd favourites Susan Petitt, Cailtin Thwaites, Gretel Tippett and Courtney Bruce.
The weekend of Fast5 netball should help to build anticipation for the improved National Netball League commencing in 2017, which will help to attract new audiences and fans to the sport through the inclusion of new teams including Collingwood Football Club, Greater Western Sydney and Sunshine Coast Lightning.
There will also be new and improved broadcast rights with the Nine Network and Telstra, commencing in 2017.