Hockey format changing to lift television ratings
When Palmerston North hosts two Black Sticks women's tests in October, spectators will notice the game has changed.
Gone will be two 35-minutes halves, replaced by four 15-minute quarters for a 60-minute match, all for television. That's how it is going internationally, to lift television ratings, squeeze in replays to show emotion and allow more advertising breaks. After each goal and penalty there will be a 40-second stoppage.
Manawatu's Emily Naylor again still won't have played for New Zealand in Palmerston North. She is taking a year's break.
■ Simon Lees is the new head coach of Manawatu United, formerly YoungHeart Manawatu, in the national youth league.
He takes over from Steve Burnley. Lees comes with strong credentials, having won two titles with Massey University women's team and then taking Marist men's team last year to promotion into the Central League.
■ Palmerston North cricketer Dane Cleaver has been on fire playing in the off-season in England, smashing successive centuries for club side Coggeshall Town last week.
The Central Districts wicketkeeper batsman tops both the Two Counties (868 runs at an average of 54.25) and North Essex Cricket League (480 runs at 240) run charts. He hit a 104-ball 119 in Coggeshall's one-day game, then boomed a massive 171 not out in a total of 273-1 in their Twenty20 game.
■ Manawatu Jets shooting guard Alonzo Burton has missed out on a development contract with the Breakers.
Burton, who had his first year with the Jets this year, was one of the five Breakers development players last season, but missed out after the recent trials. Jets guard Derone Raukawa also trialled, but missed a spot at the Auckland-based Australian NBL club.
■ The Manawatu Harness Racing Club launch their book about the club's history, Against Desperate Odds, at the Hotel Coachman in Palmerston North at 6pm on Wednesday.
It was written as a labour of love by Denise and Duncan Neilson, but Duncan died in May and didn't see it published. The book, which costs $30, can be ordered by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
■ Three of New Zealand's best-known racing commentators cut their teeth calling trotting races at the Manawatu Raceway, according to the book. They were the late Peter Kelly, one of the best, and Alan Bright as well as Mike O'Sullivan.
■ The people at Arena Manawatu tried. They bid for one of two of the Warriors' pre-season games in Palmerston North next year. One went to Rotorua, the other to Nelson - hardly a stronghold of the code.