Expect the unexpected at the inaugural Fast5 world championships – where crafty moves like the Harrison Hoist may become an integral part of the game.
English shooter Jo Harten reckons Fast5 is the ideal arena for unconventional techniques - like the lift introduced to netball by ANZ Championship side Northern Mystics to help defender Anna Harrison gain extra height – to be given more air time.
"We'll be looking out for plenty of Harrison Hoists; I’ll put my money on it that we'll see it more than a few times this week," Harten says.
The Fast5 Ferns certainly practiced the tactic among their defenders as they went through their paces for the first time this afternoon at the Netball North Harbour courts.
Silver Ferns coach Wai Taumaunu is leading the team but has called in support from former Australian international Natalie Avellino as a shooting specialist, and Northern Mystics coach Deb Fuller to concentrate on the defence.
Taumaunu knows that with a game as quick and unpredictable as Fast5, her side needs to be creative. Her shooting arsenal of Irene van Dyk, Maria Tutaia, Anna Thompson and Bailey Mes also experimented with putting up shots from the new shooting zones – where goals will be worth 1, 2 and 3 points (double that in a power play quarter).
All six teams will take a close look at the Vector Arena tomorrow – site of the new Fast5 tournament – where the new purple court was laid today.
While the players are caught up in three days of intense action on court starting on Friday, on the sidelines, the administrators of world netball are meeting to discuss the future of the game.
The International Netball Federation is hoping that Fast5 – the evolution of the shortened version of netball originally known as FastNet – will succeed in its goal to raise the sport’s profile even higher and bring a whole new band of followers to the game.
So expect the unexpected off court too – as fans dress up to the occasion in zany costumes like those that have made the Rugby Sevens more than just a game of football.