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Suncorp Super Netball: New two-goal Super Shot rule will feature in 2020 season

Coverage of New Zealand's ANZ Championship continues on Sky Sports this weekend, with four matches live from Friday morning

Caitlin Bassett
Image: Caitlin Bassett, the Aussie Diamonds captain, has been quick to criticise the decision

Suncorp Super Netball is home to the best netballers in the world, but they aren't all happy with the competition's decision to introduce a new two-goal scoring rule when play starts in August.

Netball is a very simple scoring game, each successful shot is worth one goal - but when the eight-team Super Netball competition gets underway on August 1, they will be in a 'Super Shot' in operation.

The Fast5 version of the game has usually been the area of experimentation in tournaments for clubs and countries that have largely been exhibition in their nature. There has been a certain degree of success in the initiatives, despite causing a stir along the way.

Now the sport in its purest form, league competition, will get the chance to see what effect a tweak to the scoring system has with the best players in the world playing in the most high-profile competition.

A designated 1.9m zone inside the shooting circle will offer goal attacks and goal shooters the chance to score a goal that will be worth two, but only in the final five minutes of each quarter.

The response from the media, and many of the players has been mixed, with England's star shooting duo Helen Housby and Jo Harten as well as Australian sensation Caitlin Thwaites among the first to speak out - in particular about a lack of consultation.

"Our statistical analysis of the first three seasons found that close to 90 per cent of goals scored during Suncorp Super Netball matches were within three metres of the goal post," said Suncorp Super Netball CEO Chris Symington.

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"We know that the long shot is statistically more challenging, but the game has always been predicated on the ability for our shooters to score from anywhere in the circle.

Image: Shooting in Suncorp Super Netball is about to change and it's divided opinion from the players

"We want to encourage this spectacular element of our game and, when combined with the introduction of rolling substitutions this year, we believe the Super Shot will spark new tactics, further showcase the world-class skills of our athletes and add another level of hype and excitement to our matches.

"With the ever-growing competition for the attention of fans, the time is right to introduce an innovation that will make the game even more dynamic and unpredictable."

It's the third innovation to this year's competition which was due to get underway in May but has been delayed by three months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

When play gets underway in August a new extra-time rile will allow matches to have an extra five minutes of time - and the Super Shot rule will be in operation for the entire period, while unlimited rolling substitutions can take place without halting the game.

As the sport has strived for more mainstream coverage, sponsorship and commercial exposure the scoring system has long been the area of conversation. Fans and traditionalists are vehemently opposed to the idea but now, over a full season there is the chance for a full assessment of its impact and a change that could affect the game going forward for years to come.

Sky Sports is your home of netball, follow coverage of the ANZ Premiership in New Zealand, Round Three gets underway on Friday morning with Tactix v Magic from 8am on Sky Sports Mix the first of four live games across the weekend

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