Newcastle's Sam Poolman is among Super Netball players "trying to get our heads around" a controversial two-goal super shot rule change that has "blindsided" teams six weeks out from the season start.
Super Netball announced on Tuesday fans could expect even more spectacular action with the introduction of the super shot, which will be active in the final five minutes of each quarter.
Super Netball chief Chris Symington declared "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".
But the players, who have endured an eight-month pre-season, pay cuts, and uncertainty about the season due to the coronavirus crisis, did not share the same excitement and through the Australian Netball Players Association (ANPA) have demanded Netball Australia and Super Netball consult them on future rule changes.
"As a players association group, we've been really respectful and working with the sport during this whole challenging time and then to not find out something that really impacts the players is extremely disappointing," Giants defender Poolman, who is a player delegate on the ANPA, told the Newcastle Herald.
"For it to go out to the media without us being able to have a say and the fact that we've only got six weeks to prepare, given the whole situation we've already been through, to add a rule change is challenging. Everyone was in shock and trying to get their head around what that means and obviously the stress of how close we are to the season starting ... they've kind of just disrespected our role in the game."
Super Netball had already announced extra time and rolling substitutions would be introduced this season, which was due to begin in May but has been delayed until August 1.
"We're now awaiting a response from the league and Netball Australia around having clear processes moving forward and keeping them accountable and just reminding them that players are an important product of the game," Poolman said.
"If we just let it go and do what we are great at, in making the most of every situation and playing the game, they then get away with doing that. They did it to us with the rule changes around [competition] bonus points as well, so we needed to highlight the fact that they've done something like this before."
It leaves teams with limited time to adapt to the change where goal attacks and shooters will be able to score two goals by shooting from a longer-range zone within the goal circle.
"Immediately your thoughts go to shooters and the pressure it puts on them and if they are a shooter that is comfortable to shoot in that range," Poolman said. "In the league we've got some really nice tall shooters but their strength is under the post, not from a two-point zone.
"Another thing is selection. You select your team for the products we were playing not this style. And, if it was a rule that continues, teams will change their selections. Two players will be given a contract maybe over someone else, purely because of this rule.
"It will be interesting to see now how teams now tactically play the game. If in the first 10 minutes of the quarter you get all of the points on the board, then the other team is going to feel the pressure and then start going for twos. It will test defenders ... if you don't read the play, you'll just get eaten alive by a smart shooter that's going to back themselves in for two points."
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Netball Australia chief Marne Fechner said the sport's governing body endorsed the new rule but it was not proposed to be rolled out into any other form of netball.
"Super Netball Limited was established to ensure there was a dedicated focus on growing the sport entertainment value of the league and we are supportive of the commission driving innovation and thinking differently about how the game is presented," Fechner said.
"The super shot has been discussed over a number of years now. It's been a rich debate and there's a diversity of views about the two-point shot, this year we'll have the opportunity to see it in action."
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