Invercargill guinea pig for new netball version

Netball's governing body will be watching closely when a new version of the sport is launched in Invercargill later this month.

The Invercargill Netball Centre has developed Twist Netball - a five a-side version of the traditional game. And, with Netball New Zealand set to host the inaugural Fast5 international tournament in November, the Invercargill competition has been tagged as something of a guinea pig.

“Netball New Zealand have asked us to provide feedback on the competition with regard to what works well and what doesn't,” Invercargill Netball Centre administrator Julie Erskine said.

“Fast5 is a new innovation for netball which will be showcased for the first time later this year so that information will be important leading up to the tournament.

“And players in Invercargill will have an opportunity to check it out even before the Silver Ferns do.”

Twist Netball begins with a few Open Nights, the first of which is on September 24 before a six-week competition kicks off in October.

Erskine was confident it would prove popular.

“It's a lot faster than traditional netball," she said.

No one player can sit back and wait for the ball to come to them.

"Everyone on the court has to contribute.

“It's a fantastic way to maintain off-season fitness for players from other codes like basketball, rugby or squash.”

The competition was open to all ages with mixed teams welcome.

The format features just five players on the court and along with the two shooters scoring in the goal circle, the centre player can shoot goals from anywhere in the goal third, two points for those slotted from outside the circle.

Teams can also nominate one quarter as a Power Play where all points are doubled.

The Southland Times