Australian Diamonds captain Caitlin Bassett has slammed the decision to implement a new two-goal Super Shot for the upcoming Super Netball season.
Super Netball hierarchy are under fire from players for a lack of consultation about the controversial scoring change.
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When the season starts in August, a two-goal 'Super Shot' will be introduced for the last five minutes of each quarter.
The change, announced on Tuesday by Super Netball chief executive Chris Symington, gives shooters the chance to score two goals with one shot from a 1.9 metre designated zone in the goal circle.
But the change has drawn massive criticism, with players saying they weren’t canvassed.
“Players not being consulted over the biggest rule change netball has seen is terrible,” Australian and Melbourne Vixens shooter Caitlin Thwaites posted on Twitter.
Thwaites’ Vixens coach Simone McKinnis said she was “shocked” at the new rule.
“I know it's something that's been talked about for a while but for it to be announced right now, it has really come a bit out of the blue,” McKinnis said.
“Generally, I'm not a fan of it. But if that's the decision that has been made, then we just get on with it.”
Sharing a photo from the ‘Legends Football League’ - an offshoot of NFL in which female athletes wear lingerie-style uniforms - national team captain Bassett wrote on Instagram: “The next change to make netball more ‘entertaining’??”
However former Australian captain and now prominent commentator Liz Ellis welcomed the move.
“There are so many players in the game who have the ability to score long - so let's reward them,” she posted on Twitter.
“Seeing a player take a risk for a big reward is exciting. The biggest risk is that the game becomes messy.”
So I am looking forward to seeing how it plays out. It might be great. It might be a shitshow. If it is great then it will probably stay. If it is a shitshow it will go. But if you stand still you are going backwards. And remember it’s 5 mins a Q - not the whole game.— Liz Ellis (@LizzyLegsEllis) June 23, 2020
Super Netball boss defends controversial change
Symington said the ‘Super Shot’ would add excitement to the competition.
“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.”
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
And again, the Super Netball League didn’t even consult the players. That’s like, on its own, something that makes this totally irresponsible. To make a fundamentally game-altering rule change without consulting those who play is a disgrace.— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) June 23, 2020
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
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
@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
Besides the ‘Super Shot’, a provision for extra time plus rolling substitutions will also be introduced when the delayed season starts.
If scores were tied at the end of regular time, teams would play five minutes of extra time, with the 'Super Shot' active for that entire time.
The 2020 season begins on August 1 with the draw to be confirmed soon.