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New rules awake Nam

officialNetball Association of Malawi (Nam) has been caught unawares after the International Netball Federation (INF) announced new rules of the game.

According to INF website, the new rules will be come effective for international matches from January 1, 2016, and member associations must implement the changes for domestic matches by September 2016.

“The rule changes are the result of a thorough review by the INF’s Rules Advisory Panel and aim to improve players’ enjoyment of netball, as well as making the game more attractive to spectators.

“Most prominent amongst the changes are a reduction in the amount of whistle used by the umpires, quicker management of injuries, and clearer options for controlling discipline,” the website stated.

Following the changes, umpires will no longer have to use their whistle to indicate that a goal has been scored, or that the ball has clearly gone out of court.

“If a player calls for injury time, they must now leave the court within 30 seconds, and be substituted by another player, unless the team’s primary carer indicates that more time is needed. Previously, teams had the option of a two-minute injury timeout in every quarter.

“Umpires now have a clearer, graded system available to manage poor discipline. Players can receive cautions and warnings, before being suspended from the game, or ordered off, depending on the severity of the offence,” reads part of the communication.

Nam general secretary, Carol Bapu, said they would be conducting sensitisation exercise to update the affiliates.

“Seriously we need to call our affiliates and brainstorm. We need to act quickly so that we should adapt to the new rules,” she said.

Bapu, however, said the exercise would depend on the availability of funds.

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