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Fast and furious on court

Caitlyn Nevins on the 2016 Fast5 Netball World Series, coming up on October 29 and 30 in Melbourne

The world’s best netball teams are set to hit the courts of Melbourne’s Hisense Arena this October for the Fast5 Netball World Series.

Over two days this October 29 and 30, Australia will take on the world’s best netballing nations: New Zealand, England, Jamaica, Malawi and South Africa.

The tournament is played in Fast5 format – a modified version of netball that puts a fast, dynamic spin on the much loved sport. The game features five players-a-side, shorter quarters, multiple point shots and double point power plays.

Our star-studded team includes current Australian Diamonds squad members Caitlyn Nevins, Paige Hadley, Susan Pettitt, Caitlin Thwaite, Gretel Tippett and Jo Weston, alongside some of Australia’s best up-and-coming talent.

In the lead up to the tournament, we had a chat with Caitlyn Nevins about all things on court.

“These fast-paced and action-packed sporting events seem to produce a spectacle that all sport lovers enjoy.”

How does the Fast5 format compare to a standard netball game from a playing perspective?

Fast5 requires completely different strategies compared to the normal format. In normal netball every goal scored is worth one point, so we often try to pass the ball to our shooters as close to the goal post as possible for greater accuracy.

With Fast 5 there are one, two and three point shooting zones, so you will see our goalers shooting from a lot further out to maximize scoring opportunities. Having two players less on the court means each player will cover significantly more court space in both the attacking and defensive ends. Rolling substitutions ensure the game can be played for its entirety at a high intensity and fast pace.

What can spectators expect from the event? 

I’ve been told it will be an extremely fun and interactive atmosphere for spectators with music, dancing and many wearing costumes. It is great opportunity to watch the top six netballing nations play in a round robin style format over the two days.

Cricket has taken this direction too with Big Bash. Why do you think sports have headed down the ‘fast-paced, action-packed’ path? 

These fast-paced and action-packed sporting events seem to produce a spectacle that all sport lovers enjoy. The modified version of netball will help to capture new audiences to our sport.

What team do you think will give us the biggest run for our money in the comp?

New Zealand is historically our hardest competitor, having won five of the six Fast5 World Netball Series to date. However, we won’t be taking any of the teams lightly.

As host country, do you think we’ll have an edge over the competition?

Absolutely. Having the home crowd advantage behind you is like having an extra player out there on court with you, so this may be the help we need to secure our first Fast5 championship win.

Find out more about the Fast5 Netball World Series.

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