‘New course’ for netball
Barbados is slowly developing its own international netball identity and players who don’t fit into the system won’t be considered for senior national selection.
Hours after defeating Trinidad and Tobago to finish seventh in netball at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, head coach Alwyn Babb said this was the direction in which they were heading.
“We are working feverishly to make sure the system works, that everyone is aware of it and knows their part,” Babb told NATIONSPORT in a telephone interview on Monday.
“Selection will not only be about the players. If you don’t fit into the system, you won’t be selected. It is not about who can pass well, it is about the system.”
Unveiled for the first time at the Commonwealth Games, it is a system of screen and roll, based on the fitness of Barbadian players who tend to be shorter than their international counterparts.
“One player becomes the decoy,” he explained. “When the opponent goes after the moving player, the other one gets the pass. Whenever we did it, it worked.”
It certainly did against Trinidad where Barbados were able to come from behind and win 60-59 against an opponent they had not beaten in six years. However, it faltered badly in the 97-22 defeat by New Zealand.
“In the New Zealand game, we were trading centre passes and the score was 8-7, but we stopped playing it and started taking them one on one. I explained to the girls they [New Zealand] were taller and faster and we couldn’t play them one on one,” the coach added.
Babb said they were trying to develop a number of systems that were totally Barbadian, but needed taller players in both girls to match up against the imposing players from other countries. However, the players who are of average height need to be fast and play craftily.
The team is due home on Saturday and the players will get “three or four weeks off” for rest and recovery. This will be followed by a regime of strength training as they push for improved performances at the 2011 World Netball Championships in Singapore from July 3 to 10.