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Fastnet is a variation of netball featuring shortened games and goals worth multiple points. The new format was announced by the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) in 2008, and was primarily developed for a new international competition, the World Netball Series.



In 2008, the IFNA released the details of a new, faster format of netball, which eventually became known as "fastnet". The new format was developed for a new international netball competition, the World Netball Series.[1] According to the IFNA, the new rules were ultimately designed to make games faster and more television-friendly, with the ultimate aim of raising the sport's profile and attracting more spectators and greater sponsorship.[2][3] Previously, the new rules had been trialled by England junior and senior netball squads over a 12-month period.[4] Some of the new rules were announced in December 2008, including six-minute playing quarters and power plays;[1] others were announced in February 2009.[4] The new format was quickly compared to Twenty20 cricket and rugby sevens.[1][5]

Playing rules

Fastnet features modified rules that are outlined below. Outside of these, the standard rules of netball apply (see Netball rules).

  • Timing: Each quarter lasts only six minutes, compared with 15 minutes in normal international netball competition. Breaks in between quarters are two minutes each. Injury time-outs are 30 seconds only; standard rules allow for one initial two-minute injury time-out.
  • Coaching: Coaches can give instructions to players from the sidelines during play, from in front of their playing bench. Standard international rules do not allow coaching during play.
  • Substitutions: As in basketball,[6] teams will be allowed to use rolling substitutions, with no stoppages in play per substitution and with unlimited substitutions per quarter. Standard international rules only allow substitutions either between quarters or when a player is injured.
  • Power plays: Each team can separately nominate one "power play" quarter, in which each goal scored by that team counts for double points. This is somewhat similar to powerplays in One Day International and Twenty20 cricket,[6] although it is not a feature of standard netball.
  • Two-point shots: Similar to three-point field goals in basketball and two-point goals in six-a-side indoor netball, the goal shooter (GS) and goal attack (GA) may shoot goals from outside the shooting circle. These goals count for two points; in a power-play quarter, they would count for four points. Umpires raise one arm for a single-point goal and two arms for a two-point goal. In standard netball rules, goals can only be shot from within the shooting circle and count for one point only.
  • Centre passes: After each goal, the team that conceded the goal takes the next centre pass; teams alternate taking the first centre pass of each quarter. Under normal rules, a coin toss determines the first centre pass of the match, after which centre passes alternate between the two teams.
  • Tied scores: Tied games are decided by penalty shoot-outs, similar to those in association football.[7] Often in competitive netball, tied games simply continue until one team wins in extra time, or else subsequently achieves a two-goal advantage.


The main fastnet competition is the World Netball Series; presently, it is the only international competition based on the new format. It was first held in October 2009 and is contested on an annual basis between the top six national netball teams in the IFNA World Rankings. Regional fastnet competitions also emerged in 2009 in England.[8] The Jamaica Netball Association have also announced plans for a domestic fastnet competition in their country starting in 2010.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Newstalk ZB (2008-12-02). "Innovative World Series planned for next year". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  2. ^ "Rhone excited about World Netball Series". The Jamaica Star (online). 2009-01-12. Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  3. ^ "Calling All Netball Fans!". International Federation of Netball Associations. 2009-04-03. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  4. ^ a b Johannsen, Dana (2009-02-05). "Innovations sure to raise eyebrows". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  5. ^ Marshall, Jane (2009-02-05). "Kiwis keen on novel netball variant". The Press. Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  6. ^ a b Medhurst, Natalie (2009-02-06). "World Netball Series may fizz without crowd support". The Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  7. ^ Warren, Adrian (2008-12-01). "Netball to try short game format". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  8. ^ "County Tournament Planned". Times & Star. 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  9. ^ Bogle, Dania (2010-02-10). "JNA unveils ambitious five-year plan". The Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 

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