Super Netball stuns fans, players with new two-point shot rule

Super Netball have run countless polls and surveys floating the idea of a two-point shot over the past few years.

But despite the fact fans and players have always been opposed to the idea, on Tuesday the league announced it would be implementing the rule for the 2020 season.

The ‘Super Shot’ will come into play in the last five minutes of each quarter and must be put up by a goal attack or goal shooter in the designated zone from at least 1.9m away from the post, on the edge of the circle.

Super Netball CEO Chris Symington said the rule would add an element of “thrill” to the game and that the “time was right” for more innovation.

The sport has used two and three-point shots before in its Fast 5 format, likened to cricket’s T20 and rugby union’s Sevens versions of the game.

But fans have always been adamant that these types of gimmicks were fine as long as there was a clear distinction between the use of them in Fast 5 tournaments and not in elite competitions.

Back in March, Netball Australia put on an Australian Diamonds and Super Netball All Stars bushfire charity relief match, where the two-point shot was also trialled as a one-off exhibition match rule.

This sparked further debate amongst the community as to whether it had a place in traditional netball and again, there was a resounding no from the sport’s fans and players.

The league recognised this angst and even published examples of these reactions on its Super Netball website.

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Most took this as a sign their voices had been heard, which feeds into part of their outrage around the announcement.

Chair of Super Netball, Marina Go, defended the league’s decision on Twitter.

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But the players don’t seem to be on board with her reasoning for the idea.

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National team captain Caitlin Bassett took to Instagram to declare her position, suggesting netball’s next change to make it more “entertaining” would be to wear skimpier outfits like lingerie football.

Meanwhile, the Melbourne Vixens were quick to release a statement that the club and its players had not been given any warning the rule change was coming.

Head coach Simone McKinnis declared she was “shocked” and that the news was “out of the blue”, just six weeks before the season starts.

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But NSW Swifts head coach Briony Akle took a different approach.

“Every team is in the same boat so it’s the ones who react quickest who’ll be successful,” she said.

“We’ve got some work to do but I know my players can rise to a challenge.”

A netball coach stands facing the court, with her hands outstretched palms down to calm her team.

A netball coach stands facing the court, with her hands outstretched palms down to calm her team.

Swifts coach Briony Akle is trying to lower tension levels at her club over the new ‘Super Shot’ rule.(AAP: Gary Day)

The reigning champions coincidentally polled their social media followers just last week, asking for opinion on this topic.

And although Paige Hadley and England’s Helen Housby have both expressed their position against the two-point shot, it looks like their coach won’t be letting them dwell on the matter any longer.

“Twenty years ago our best Australian shooters could score from anywhere in the circle and our defenders had to match them,” Akle said.

“Liz Ellis and Cath Cox came from this era and they had pretty good careers, didn’t they?”

Super Netball is due to start on August 1, with fixtures still yet to be released.