Beach Netball will be held for the first time in the Cook Islands this weekend. WORLD NETBALL/23010307
The annual Beach Games to be held from January 6-21 will feature Beach Netball for the first time in the Cook Islands.
Netball Cook Islands welcomed the proposal
by organisers Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee (CISNOC) to
host Beach Netball for the first time in the Cook Islands.
The daylong competition will take place on
Saturday, January 7 from 8am at the Beach Courts in Nikao.
Netball Cook Islands secretary Tekura
Moeka’a said the two organisations will be working together to ensure the event
goes without a hitch.
Beach Netball is a five-a-side game played
on a 10x20 metre sand court with one goal post. There are no playing positions,
all members on court can move about in all areas of the court.
Moeka’a said: “Beach Netball like Fast 5
Netball maintains most traditional netball rules like contact, replayed ball,
stepping, obstruction, short pass and out of court.”
“For Beach Netball – added rules include
the ‘Dive into the Sand’ – players may dive on the catch to catch or gain
possession of the ball and can release the ball from the ground. After a goal
is scored the ball must return to the transverse line before a shot for goal.
There is also a 3-point zone and a 1-point scoring zone.”
There are 13 teams registered for the
event. Registrations have closed however there may be some last-minute
exceptions, Moeka’a said.
Three categories/grades are included in
the first Beach Netball – Masters Mixed, Open Mixed and U18 Mixed.
A maximum of two male are allowed on the
court. Format will be pool matches followed by play offs.
“Netball Cook Islands is looking forward
to hosting the first Beach Netball of its kind perhaps in the Pacific. We
believe those who have registered will be receptive to the additional rules and
it will be a fun-filled day. And if all goes well, this will be an annual occurrence.
We are hoping in the future it could be run similarly to Netball in Paradise
where teams from overseas will be enticed to participate too.
“Netball Cook Islands have and will always
promote the good game of netball. We are currently competing with other local
sports competitions which has impacted the number of participants especially at
the senior level, officials like umpires and bench officials and coaches. Beach
Netball provides another avenue that is inclusive and should encourage
development of interests in playing or officiation.
“This will be a great opening for netball
in 2023 as we work towards other netball competitions like the local Rarotonga
competition and Pacific Games 2023 to name a few.”