Did you know that netball is the most popular sport for women in Australia?
With the sheer number of netball clubs and leagues at every skill level and age, netball is a staple of the Australian sports landscape.
And just like with the rest of Australia’s sports scene, it has a very active professional scene.
What’s Fast5 Netball?
Think of Fast5 as netball’s answer to AFLX or Twenty20 cricket.
Just like AFLX and T20, Fast5 is a quicker, more dynamic version of the base sport.
Originally developed in 2008 as “Fastnet”, Fast5 features a modified ruleset compared to the original rulebook. A revamp in 2012 gave us the current Fast5 game.
What’s the difference between Fast5 and regular netball?
Fast5 features five players to a side opposed to the traditional seven
Each quarter only lasts six minutes, compared to fifteen in the regular game
Instead of only scoring from the semicircle, Fast5 uses basketball rules with three shooting zones (each worth a different amount of points)
Each team chooses a quarter – any points scored in the selected quarter are doubled!
On top of that, substitutions don’t stop play
Instead of alternating, centre pass (think kick-off or centre bounce) goes to the conceding team
The best way to resolve a tie (or start a riot!)
The result? Netball that’s faster and more full-on!
The Fast5 Netball World Series
Held on the weekend of the 27th and 28th of October, this tournament pits the world’s six best netballing teams against each other for dominance in Fast5 netball.
Held in Hisense Arena (which has now actually been renamed to Melbourne Arena), this tournament sees all six teams compete against each other, round-robin style. That means eight back-to-back games on the first day, and six on the second excluding the finals.
That’s a lot of netball to take in, so if you’re a fan of the sport, this is a weekend you don’t want to miss!
Who’s in this year?
Funnily enough, we’ve never won Fast5 despite our dominance in regular netball – perhaps this will be our year?
As the current world #2 and the winners of the 2017 tournament, England will be looking to make this two tournament wins in a row.
With two finals appearances and qualifying for every Fast5 tournament since inception, Jamaica is arguably overdue for a win. The question is, will they?
With an area roughly the size of Greece or Cuba, Malawi punches above its weight in the netball world.
The Kiwis have dominated Fast5 since its inception, with 6 wins out of 8 tournaments so far. But not for much longer, if we have our way!
Rounding out this year’s roster is South Africa, nicknamed the Proteas after the native Sugarbush flower. The Proteas are another staple of world netball and just like Jamaica will be waiting for an opportunity to step out of the shadow of the big teams.
Choose Le Garage for Hisense Arena parking
While it may have recently undergone a name change, the venue itself is the same. Same seating, same location… and same overpriced parking!
With event parking going for $30 a spot, on-site parking can be expensive for many netball fans.
Luckily, there’s an affordable alternative to Hisense Arena parking: Le Garage.
Located in Melbourne’s CBD, Le Garage offers some of the most competitive parking rates in the city.
For the weekend (i.e. the first two days of the Fast5 World Series) we charge a flat $15 fee – even better, if you book your spot online in advance, that rate drops to an incredible $10 flat fee!
With a prime CBD location just a few minutes’ walk from Melbourne’s sporting precinct, Le Garage is the clear choice for safe, convenient, and affordable Hisense Arena parking for the Fast5 World Series.
Click here to book your discounted parking spot.