24 June 2020

Suncorp Super Netball rule change sparks anger from players ahead of 2020 season

Netball Australia and Suncorp Super Netball have announced a rule change but players are outraged by the lack of ‘consultation’. 

The latest rule will come into play ahead of the 2020 season due to begin on August 1. 

The ‘Super Shot’ rule has come from the Fast5 version of the game, and means shooters will now have the chance to score in a designated 1.9 metre zone inside the shooting circle.

Each goal will equal two points, instead of one, but will only be activated in the last five minutes of each quarter. 

Several plays took to social media to share their frustration with the decision and revealed there was ‘zero consultation’. 

Collingwood Magpies shooter Natalie Medhurst has labelled it ‘disrespectful’. 

She told ESPN: "The vast majority of players were pretty disappointed with the way in which it was handled.

"On the back of COVID as well, the way in which the players have dealt with everything; the pay cuts, players have gone above and beyond.

“We've already endured an eight-month pre-season, to make a decision as big as this without any consultation from any key stakeholders whether that be players, coaches the competition committee, has sort of blown everyone away and was quite disrespectful.”

England’s star shooter Helen Housby, who plays for New South Wales Swifts, wrote on Twitter: “6 weeks out from start of season - zero consultation with any of the players or clubs - knowing that it goes against what the overwhelming majority wanted.... @SuperNetball.”

Giants captain and England international Jo Harten tweeted: “6 weeks notice.. better start practicing those long bombs I guess. #twopointshot.”

But a netball fan replied, saying: “Suprised you’re taking it so well.”

She then replied: “No choice, no voice. Can only take the decision on the chin.”

Melbourne Vixens star Caitlin Thwaites said: “Players not being consulted over the biggest rule change netball has seen is terrible @SuperNetball @AusNetballPA.”

Suncorp Super Netball CEO Chris Symington said: "Our statistical analysis of the first three seasons found that close to 90 per cent of goals scored during Suncorp Super Netball matches were within three metres of the goal post.

“We know that the long shot is statistically more challenging, but the game has always been predicated on the ability for our shooters to score from anywhere in the circle.

“With the ever-growing competition for the attention of fans, the time is right to introduce an innovation that will make the game even more dynamic and unpredictable.”

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