What Is Fast 5 Netball?
Were you aware of the big netball event that took place in Melbourne’s Hisense Arena in the last weekend of October in the previous year? The Fast5 World Series was held in Australia for the first time ever. National teams from England, New Zealand, South Africa, Jamaica, Malawi, and, of course, Australia participated.
Is this your first time to learn of Fast 5 netball and have no idea what it is? Basically, it’s a faster and briefer form of the game with more scoring. You could say that it’s netball’s answer to Sevens Rugby or Twenty20 Cricket.
This jazzed-up variation of netball features shortened games as well as goals worth more points. It was introduced by the International Federation of Netball Associations in 2008 for the express purpose of holding a new international competition: the Netball World Series.
The new format was initially called Fastnet, but was renamed Fast5 in 2012. The rules were also revamped at this time to make games even faster and, consequently, more television-friendly. This was intended to raise the sport’s profile, not to mention attract more spectators and sponsors.
What’s the format of Fast5 netball? In the World Series, games consisted of four six-minute quarters. That’s how quickly a game goes. As you can probably surmise from the name, it calls for only five players on each side, having done away with the wing attack and wing defence. The teams are each left with two shooters, two defenders, and one centre.
The scoring is another major difference. A shot can be launched from anywhere inside the attacking third and earn three points. Shots from the outside circle earn two points, while those within the usual goal circle earn one point.
Also, both sides get a power play for one quarter and all the points are worth double. A pregame coin toss determines the quarter in which a team gets to have the power play. The winner gets first pick.
The coin toss winning team also gets the centre pass for the first and third quarters. The other team gets the centre pass for the second and final quarters. In between, the team that didn’t score the previous goal gets the centre pass.
If you’re interested in playing Fast5, get in touch with Melbourne Social Netball. If you want to catch a game as a spectator, check out the usual venues: Riverside Golf and Tennis Centre, Flagstaff Gardens, Melbourne High School, Richmond Recreation Centre, and Ryan’s Reserve.