A rich mixture of diverse styles highlighting the talent pool from around the world will be on show at the FAST5 Netball World Series (NWS) 2023 to be held at Wolfbrook Arena in Christchurch, New Zealand from 11th-12th November.
The popular shortened version of the game made a triumphant return to the international stage for the first time in three years in 2022 and was an instant hit.
Ōtautahi Christchurch once again plays host to the vibrant spectacle which this year welcomes the world’s six-most experienced FAST5 women’s teams, in New Zealand, Australia, England, Jamaica, South Africa and Malawi.
Following hot on the heels of a captivating Netball World Cup 2023, the players now get the opportunity to showcase this highly competitive and fun, high-tempo version of the game, which includes just five players on court, three different scoring zones, power plays and unlimited rolling substitutions.
“We’re delighted to be building on the success of last year’s FAST5 Netball World Series in Christchurch,’’ Netball New Zealand Head of Events and Competitions, Emma Fowlie said.
“It will be another special occasion as we welcome the world’s top-class female players to this format while also having the opportunity to showcase the men’s event and their renowned brand of athleticism and skillsets.’’
For just the second time in this event, FAST5 men’s teams from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa will play alongside the women’s event in their own competition.
Speaking on the importance of the FAST5 NWS World Netball President Dame Liz Nicholl DBE said: “The FAST5 Netball World Series is a key part of our thrilling world-class international events calendar, as we continue to bring more netball, to more people, more often.
“This innovative, dynamic and fast format of our game is helping us to reach new markets and drive game development.
“We know that the hosts New Zealand, as well as the competing teams, will ensure that our sport is shown in the best light.”
The hosts, New Zealand, whose team is known as the FAST5 Ferns, has a strong tradition in the game, wholeheartedly embracing the energetic nature of the shortened version with the best record of any of the teams.
Evolving from FASTNet to FAST5 in 2012, the FAST5 Ferns have won six of the subsequent seven titles on offer.
Playing in front of a lively and energetic home crowd, they will be looking to improve on their bronze medal finish at last year’s event.
Australia secured their first FAST5 NWS title last year in New Zealand, and the clinical and fast-paced, Diamonds will be all out to retain the trophy.
Strong exponents of the abbreviated version of the game, England, are renowned for their precision and strategic approach. Always productive when shooting from range and offering a variety of midcourt flair, the Roses pose plenty of potency.
Unpredictable and with athleticism to burn, Jamaica brings a dynamic flair to the FAST5 court. Lively and energetic, the Sunshine Girls are experts at the aerial game, have plenty of height at both ends of the court and a mix of razzle dazzle in the midcourt.
Fresh from hosting the Netball World Cup 2023, South Africa had their best FAST5 experience at last year’s tournament when finishing runners-up. Playing a more orthodox style, the Proteas have strong and reliable shooters and an impressive defensive end.
Malawi with their unique style and vibrant personalities are always crowd favourites. A growing force in world netball, the Malawi Queens are the complete entertainment package with their pre- and post-match routines. On-court, their unorthodox play and sharp shooting are a must-watch.
Tickets and packages for the FAST5 NWS 2023 are on sale now.
To find out more about the FAST5 NWS 2023, click here.