Netball: Netballers see return of the team talk

By Dana Johannsen

Netball coaches are welcoming new rule changes to be introduced to the transtasman competition this year that will allow interaction with their players during injury timeouts.

The move to reintroduce coaching during stoppages is just one of three new modifications to be introduced for the 2010 ANZ Championship.

The other changes will see a full countdown clock used, and umpires will no longer signal with their whistle when a goal is scored.

The rules will be trialled for the first time at this weekend's preseason tournament in Queenstown.

Northern Mystics coach Te Aroha Keenan said the modifications are common sense.

The international netball federation (IFNA) banned coaching during stoppages in play two years ago to deter teams from calling tactical injury time-outs.

However, the new rule has done little to curb this practice and the only area it appears to have succeeded in is frustrating the coaches.

Up until now the ANZ Championship has followed the lead of IFNA, but league officials this year decided to make a change after reviewing match-day operations.

Keenan said the initiative has been well received by her peers.

"I think it's great, because everyone was thinking of sly ways of getting information out there anyway. So hand signals and the old wink, wink, nudge, nudge won't need to happen," she said.

ANZ Championship general manager Anthony Everard said the league conducted a full review of the competition after the 2009 season and the changes were a result of feedback received from coaches and administrators.

"From time to time we will test and introduce new systems and processes aimed at fine-tuning the competition and delivering a great spectacle," he said.

The third season of the ANZ Championship kicks off on March 20 when the Mystics meet the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Auckland.

RULE MODIFICATIONS
* No whistle after a goal is scored
* Coaching allowed during stoppages
* Full countdown clock

- NZ Herald

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