It’s netball, but not quite as you know it.
The game Australia loves takes on a slightly different form as part of the Fast5 Netball World Series, and it’s coming to our shores in late October.
It’s a change from the traditional version of the sport but one Australian Fast5 team member Jo Weston revels in.
“I just love being a part of it, it’s really exciting.”
“It’s very dynamic, fast and free flowing,” says Weston.
The game involves compelling rule changes from multiple point shots to double point power plays and shortened quarters.
This, of course, throws a spanner into the works in terms of both offensive and defensive tactics as the 22-year-old defender explains.
“With only five players on court it means that you have to be a bit more creative in terms of our attack and defence,” she says.
“As a defender it’s a bit of a different mindset, as you almost want to get your attackers closer to the post rather than further away, as the further away they shoot the more points they get.”
Australia is up against some of the world’s best netballing nations in New Zealand, England, South Africa, Jamaica and Malawi, and will field a star-studded line up to match.
Weston is one of six Diamond squad members, including Gretel Tippett pictured above, who will feature in the two-day series.
The Melbourne local lauds the national team’s depth of talent, coming off the back of Constellation Cup, and is looking forward to playing in front of a vocal home crowd.
“I guess for me personally I’ve played alongside these girls for four years, since I’ve been playing under 21s, so it’s really nice to have that level of comfort within each other and those really strong friendships and hopefully that’ll translate out onto court,” says Weston.
“We need to get the crowd up and excited and hopefully create that atmosphere which will help us to get over the line.”
The Fast5 Netball World Series was first hosted by England in 2009 with New Zealand claiming five titles and England one.
Fast5 Netball World Series
When: October 29 and 30, 2016
Where: Hisense Arena, Melbourne
More information at fast5worldseries.com.au
By Anne Fedorowytsch