The netball community is divided over a new two-goal Super Shot rule added heading into the new season, which has prompted backlash from many fans.
Super Netball announced a host of new elements to feature in the upcoming season including the Super Shot and and provision for extra time plus rolling substitutions to be introduced when the delayed season starts in August.
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The Super Shot announced by Super Netball CEO Chris Symington on Tuesday will provide goal attacks and goal shooters the opportunity to score two goals with one shot from a 1.9 metre designated zone within the goal circle.
It will only be active in the final five minutes of each quarter.
The Super Shot introduction had fans, reporters and some players confused after previously sharing negative feedback towards the rule.
In Australia, the Netball league just decided to unilaterally and completely alter the shape and course of the game without consulting players. And they did it six weeks before the season starts.— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) June 23, 2020
Honestly, one of the craziest, dumb decisions I’ve ever seen from a league. https://t.co/dVkH9c2o6l
Suncorp Super Netball three months ago: "Not today, not ever – your reaction to the 2-point shot" https://t.co/Nb3MiNn4W3— Matt Gibbs (@mattgibbs95) June 23, 2020
What on is the league doing by alienating 90% of their rusted-on fan base and fundamentally changing the tactics of the sport to appease an unknown few? https://t.co/g7peSq310Y pic.twitter.com/b1BAZ1d8YT
How many times do the fans, players and commentators have to express just how deeply they hate an idea before the organisation gets it? This is wrong on so many levels. #netball https://t.co/F29C4VfRdA— Brittany Carter (@_BrittanyCarter) June 23, 2020
You've got to be kidding.— Netball Scoop (@NetballScoop) June 23, 2020
It's a BIG two thumbs down from us. 👎👎 https://t.co/AiBbYJGjE1
I don't often struggle for words. But today I do. That netball's governing body @NetballAust would choose 2020 - of all years - to introduce a rule it KNOWS is roundly despised by fans - is unfathomable to me. You know fans? The ones who pay. Them. I am sitting here with tears.— Erin Delahunty (@della79) June 23, 2020
@SuperNetball SSN is the best netball league in the world and you have reduced it to a gimmicky training drill. The introduction of the 2pt shot has disrespected your fans who have told you over and again they don’t want this change. Disgraceful— Steph Poulton (@esskay512) June 23, 2020
However, Australian netball legend Liz Ellis said she was excited to see how this new rule, which benefits long shooters, plays out.
There are so many players in the game who have the ability to score long - so let’s reward them. Seeing a player take a risk for a big reward is exciting. The biggest risk is that the game becomes messy. Coaches and players are smart enough to work this out.— Liz Ellis (@LizzyLegsEllis) June 23, 2020
Melbourne Vixens coach expresses shock
Heading into its fourth season, the elite Australian-based netball competition has shown a willingness to innovate to add excitement.
It successfully implemented the awarding of a bonus point to the team that wins each quarter of a match.
"Our statistical analysis of the first three seasons found that almost 90 per cent of goals scored were within three metres of the goal post," Symington said.
"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.
"We want to encourage this spectacular element of our game and, when combined with the introduction of rolling substitutions this year, we believe the Super Shot will spark new tactics, further showcase the world-class skills of our athletes and add another level of hype and excitement to our matches."
Melbourne Vixens head coach Simone McKinnis expressed ‘shock’ the new rule was included just six weeks out from the season.
“I was shocked…I know it’s something that’s been talked about for a while, but for it to be announced right now, it’s really come a bit out of the blue,” McKinnis said in a Vixen statement.
“Generally, I’m not a fan of it [these types of rule changes] but if that’s the decision that’s been made then we just get on with it.
“I’m rapt with addition of extra time…that’s really good. I’m not a two-point shot fan, but as I said, we get on with it.”
If scores are tied at the end of the match, teams will now play five minutes of extra time - and the Super Shot will be active for this entire five minutes.
The 2020 season begins on Saturday, August 1, with the fixture to be confirmed in the coming weeks.