With the popularity of netball surging from strength to strength and netball events from the grassroots to the Vitality Netball Superleague looking forward to when crowds are allowed back in, many professionals have discussed what rule changes they would make to improve the game.
The debate was started by a post from Loughborough Lightning’s director of netball, Sara Bayman, who discussed her issues with the “penalty not set”.
This is a rule that comes after an umpire has given a penalty. The player has to wait until the infringer is out of play before throwing or the penalty pass can be reversed.
Removing this or allowing the team awarded the penalty to play on quickly can speed up the game, Ms Bayman argues.
Jo Harten who plays for England’s Vitality Rose team, criticised the “over a third rule”, where a ball cannot be thrown over a third of the court without being touched by a player in that third.
This stops the huge court wide shots that are seen in sports such as basketball and given some of the incredible passes that are already seen at the sport’s highest level, allowing the ball to cross two transverse lines could lead to some exceptional highlight moments.
On a similar note, “buzzer-beater” shots are not allowed in Netball, as the ball much touch the goal ring before the time runs out, reducing the chance of some last-minute heroics.
All of these suggestions came from long time professionals who love the game, but as the game surges in popularity also how it can continue to build and grow.