Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica's senior team netball captain, Nadine Bryan, says unfamiliarity with the rules was one of the main reasons why the team failed to secure a medal at the just-concluded World Fast5 Series in Auckland, New Zealand.
The Sunshine Girls, who like most of the countries were participating in Fast5 for the first time, went down to eventual winners New Zealand 52-18 in the semi-finals, before being surprised 38-34 by South Africa in the third place playoff.
The Oberon Pitterson-coached Girls had earlier advanced to semi-finals after recording a 34-33 win over Australia in the quarter-finals.
"It was a case whereby we had to watch some of the teams and see what they were doing different from us," said Bryan, who along with members of the team returned the country yesterday.
"The rules were not only new, but one could only try and implement as we went along. This was rather difficult as when, as a team, we made mistakes, our opponents generally capitalised and this is something we need to work on going forward."
Fast5, which is netball's answer to the much-hailed Twenty20 version of cricket, sees teams having to field five players, unlike seven which is used in the original format.
Different scoring rules
It also has different scoring rules with an extra goal being awarded depending on where the shot is taken.
A new shooting zone was instituted within the original shooting zone with one and two points being awarded, respectively, for each shot made.
It also allows for shots to be taken from outside the shooting arc, with three points being the reward for a goal scored from that range.
But that is not all. Each team has the chance to double their goals by the allocation of a power play period, which must be declared at the start of the match, and can be taken during any quarter.
Shots that are made during each team's power-play period value two, four and six goals, respectively.
"It is a good and exciting format, but one that will take some getting used to," continued Bryan.
"It calls for a lot of fitness, endurance, the ability to make long passes and for good, accurate shooters.
"But it was a good eye-opening experience and we look forward to our next Fast5 series, which could be against England early next year, as we believe that if we train right we can be very good at this format of the sport."
New Zealand won the World Fast5 Series after a tense 23-21 win over England in the final.