It’s almost FAST5 Netball World Series time and we are getting excited! There’s so much to look forward to, but just in case you need a reminder why we should be absolutely fizzed for its return to Christchurch, then here’s five reasons to like FAST5 – and five reasons to absolutely love it!
Five Reasons to Like FAST5
It’s perfect for anyone with a shorter attention span (so, everyone who watches Tik Tok) with four six minute quarters – but with SO MUCH going on you’ll actually look up from your phone. Trust us, your screen time will be WAY down on FAST5 weekend!
We all love netball (it’s the best sport in the world, duh) but it’s also a serious business, especially when we’re gunning to add to the trophy cabinet or when we’re gearing up for pinnacle events. Now, we most DEFINITELY want to win, but fun is woven into the fabric of Fast5. The players are there for a good games but also to have a full-blown party on the court too. There’s music pumping, brighter coloured uniforms and even a few pyrotechnics court-side to keep things jazzy.
And that brings us to the vibe off-court, not just from the spectators but from the players themselves. Expect entrance dances, planned team moves and a heck of a lot of smiles from the on-court players and the bench. But it’s the crowd who really take the atmosphere up a notch with singalongs and tremendous applause for all of the teams (but mostly the Ferns, duh!)
You get to see plays and court strategy you just don’t get with the usual seven-aside game, thanks to the fact there’s two less players on the court (sorry wings!). Expect WAY more driving, passing into space and speed to be huge factors to get that ball into the shooting circle.
Shots, shots, shots, shots! You have one pointers, two pointers and WILD three-points shots from outside the circle that can change the game instantly. It’s a high risk, high reward playing model but dang, it makes for some edge-of-your-seat netball as you anxiously wait to see if those long bombs are on target.
And Five Reasons to LOVE FAST5!
There’s a pretty standard dress code when it comes to FAST5 and its ‘spectacle’. Think bedazzled cowboy hats, a LOT of feather boas (look on the floor when you leave, it’s like a pink Big Bird has run rampant) and matching t-shirts - it's a great excuse to get the gals and guys together and make the most of an incredible weekend in Ōtautahi, Christchurch.
It’s a wonderful evolution to the game we love so much. FAST5 opens netball up to those might have never watched game, or haven’t had much of an interest in netball before. The faster, higher-paced game is exciting, action-packed and such fun to watch!
Two words – Power. Plays. Each team gets to pick one quarter where their points scored will be doubled. The strategy of which quarter to pick! The intensity of the six minutes! Plus the centre pass rule is different – the pass is awarded to the team who didn’t score the last goal, so the contesting is always tight!
Players go into the FAST5 World Series with the aim of showing off just what they can do on the court. Flair is the name of the game, as well as using the different rules and strategies to their advantage, and it’s a great opportunity for them to show their own individual personalities, too.
Last year was the first time in the history – yup, HISTORY – of sport that both men’s and women’s teams competed at the same global tournament, an incredible accolade that means so much for the advancement of the men’s game, as well as netball’s overall profile (plus, the men are SO much fun to watch!).