Netball Australia have courted controversy by announcing Super Netball will introduce the two-point shot rule for the delayed 2020 season.
The 'Super Shot', which was introduced during the Australian Diamonds' bushfire relief match earlier in 2020, provides goal attacks and goal shooters the opportunity "to score two goals by shooting from a 1.9 metre designated zone along the goal circle arc, and will be active in the final five minutes of each quarter" a Super Netball media release stated.
Despite several fan surveys over the past three years stating the netball community had no desire for the new rule change, Super Netball CEO Chris Symington announced on Tuesday the league would be introducing the rule.
"We want to encourage this spectacular element of our game and, when combined with the introduction of rolling substitutions this year, we believe the Super Shot will spark new tactics, further showcase the world-class skills of our athletes and add another level of hype and excitement to our matches," Symington said via the statement.
"With the ever-growing competition for the attention of fans, the time is right to introduce an innovation that will make the game even more dynamic and unpredictable."
Symington pointed to statistical analysis over the past three seasons for the reasoning behind the rule change, but that is unlikely to placate fans.
"Our statistical analysis of the first three seasons found that almost 90% of goals scored during Suncorp Super Netball matches were within three metres of the goal post," he said.
"We know that the long shot is statistically more challenging, but the game has always been predicated on the ability for our shooters to score from anywhere in the circle."
Fans were quick to comment their anger of the rule change on social media, while the Melbourne Vixens released their own statement with head coach Simone McKinnis stating she was "shocked' by the news.
"I know it's something that's been talked about for a while, but for it to be announced right now, it's really come a bit out of the blue," McKinnis said. "Generally, I'm not a fan of [these types of rule changes] but if that's the decision that's been made then we just get on with it.
"I'm rapt with addition of extra time...that's really good. I'm not a two-point shot fan, but as I said, we get on with it."
Former Diamonds shooter Caitlin Thwaites also voiced her anger on Twitter, stating: "Players not being consulted over the biggest rule change netball has seen is terrible."
After the Super Netball 2020 season launch was pushed back due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the season will now start on August 1 with the NSW Swifts looking to defend their title.