Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lifting Netball's Profile

Suddenly, sporting folk are talking about women's netball.
No, not the short skirts or long legs... but the lift.
Last Sunday's trans-Tasman clash between NZ team the Mystics and the Ozzie Vixens in Melbourne was set ablaze, when the kiwis employed a rarely-used tactic of cheer-lifting, a rugby-lineout-type lift. Mystics defender Anna Harrison pulled off some spectacular action following assisted lifts from teammates, a move which impressed some and left others questioning its legality.
Yet it's a tactic that's been around in top-level netball since the 1970s, and was used by Singapore against Sri Lanka at last year's world champs.
By all accounts, its a difficult manouvere to achieve successfully, requiring perfect timing and a defender who keeps her body perfectly straight while being lifted. Mystics coach Debbie Fuller came up with the idea, as a way to combat increasingly taller shooters who have entered the ANZ Championship in recent years. The team practised the move for the past month and checked with umpires to make sure they would not be penalised. It's not against rules to lift a player, but some whingers say it goes against the spirit of the game.
But the Ozzies were impressed: their coach Lisa Alexander called it a great innovation and hasn't ruled out using it: "Definitely it adds variety to the game, and makes people sit up and take notice. Its a great innovation, but we'll be doing our best to counteract it." She said Australia had even trialled the tactic in the past.
In my book, ANYthing that enhances the game has gotta be good for it! And if there's a brief flash of an extra length of toned leg in the air at the same time, well...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What is the world coming actually blogged about sport????? LOL....... Well the ozzies could hardly complain, after all they're a nation of underarm bowlers!