- Introduction of tactical time out confirmed for 2017
- Two-point shot to be trialed for possible introduction in 2018
Netball Australia has confirmed that there will be no major rule changes introduced for the first season of its new national netball league.
The only likely change to the rules of the game in 2017 will be the introduction of a tactical time-out, which will give coaches the opportunity to provide strategic input twice within a match.
This announcement follows an extensive consultation process with fans, athletes, umpires and coaches, who were asked for their opinions on a range of potential rule innovations including the introduction of a two-point shot, and an extra time shootout.
While survey results did not generally support major rule changes, there was sufficient support to warrant further exploration of the two-point concept for possible introduction in future years.
Netball Australia Chief Executive Kate Palmer said, “Innovation is critical to the success of the new league, and has been an underlying principle in everything we’ve been doing to establish the competition for 2017.
“What we’ve found through the (rules innovation) consultation process is that overwhelmingly, people who have seen our product – either live or on TV – love it.
“The ANZ Championship Grand Final absolutely highlighted that our game has never been more entertaining.
“So our big job for 2017 isn’t to change the game. It’s to expose more people to the game; to build that passion around the clubs, create great rivalries, and be very bold in stating that Netball is the premier women’s code in this country.
“With our broadcast partners (Nine and Telstra) and eight clubs, we know we have the right partners to make this happen.”
Netball Australia will conduct a thorough trial and evaluation of the two-point shot for possible introduction in year two or three of the new league.
In the meantime, discussions are continuing between Netball Australia, the eight clubs and the Australian Netball Players Association in relation to the new collective player agreement. While clubs are able to hold informal discussions with players, no athlete may be contracted until the collective agreement is finalised.